E.L. Doctorow to Read at Chapel on Sunday, May 5

Sunset Reading Series presents author of The Book of Daniel, Ragtime and Billy Bathgate

By Ivy Meeropol

For a few years now I’ve been working on the great American author E.L. Doctorow, wearing him down and pestering him to no end, the goal being to secure a reading at the Sunset Readings, the literary series Rebekah Tighe and I run at the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration.

E.L. Doctorow (Photo courtesy of Chapel Restoration)

E.L. Doctorow (Photo courtesy of Chapel Restoration)

I’ve known Edgar since I was a kid. I was 3 when The Book of Daniel was published, a novel where the central character is based on my own father, the eldest son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were executed by the U.S. government in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage.

My family is somewhat split over how they feel about this book. Some don’t like the liberties he took with the so-called “true story.” I, however, love this book with a passion, in part because, when I read it at age 17, it helped me understand so many of the unruly, confused emotions I had about my family’s legacy.

This is what Doctorow does. He’s said it best himself: “The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.” The author of such novels as Ragtime, The March, and Billy Bathgate continues to publish powerful work and will have a new book out this year.

On Sunday, May 5, we are thrilled to present E.L. Doctorow at the Chapel of Our Lady of Restoration, 45 Market St. in the Village of Cold Spring. The reading begins at 4 p.m., but we strongly suggest an early arrival.

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