Christopher Benfey is a literary critic and scholar of 19th- and 20th-cenury American and British literature. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, where he has taught since 1989. Benfey is the author of A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade, which won both the 2009 Christian Gauss Award of Phi Beta Kappa and the Ambassador Book Award; The Double Life of Stephen Crane (1992); Degas in New Orleans (1997); The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and the Opening of Old Japan (2003); and American Audacity: Literary Essays North and South (2010). He has edited The American Writings of Lafcadio Hearn and the complete poems of Stephen Crane for the Library of America. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, and Ploughshares. His family memoir, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival, appeared in 2012.
Serendipity: A Conversation Between Sven Birkerts and Christopher Benfey
Sven Birkerts and Christopher Benfey discuss art, awareness, and the operations of chance....