WBFO News
11:06 am
Mon May 10, 2010

Naipaul opens fourth year of Babel

Buffalo, NY – Just Buffalo this week rolls out its subscription package for the fourth year of Babel.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Last month 1,571 people bought tickets to hear a lecture by author Salmon Rushdie. It was a sell out. And the largest crowd yet for the international lecture series.

But the series itself is attracting a crowd.

The subscription series has steadily grown - nearly doubling over three years to a subscription base now of more than a 1,000. Just Buffalo's artistic director Mike Kelleher said the authors are even impressed.

And Kelleher said it is not only mega-literary stars such as Rushdie who are creating such a draw. Kelleher said Babel offers the international literary elite, rather than mere household names with best sellers.

Next year's series features Chris Abani, Edwidge Danticat, Maxine Hong Kingston and V.S. Naipaul. Kelleher said Babel's audience trusts Just Buffalo to pick writers who are the best at what they do.

Kelleher said Just Buffalo's reputation for bringing in only the most select authors - and a growing audience to hear them - is helping attract funding too. The not-for-profit worried last year about sustaining the series beyond the three years funded largely by the John R. Oishei Foundation. But Kelleher said corporate funding is in place for next year and he feels good about the future of Babel in Buffalo.

More information is available at Just Buffalo.