MORRISTOWN, NJ— Distinguished professor, Dean of Drexel’s Pennoni Honors College and authorPaula Marantz Cohen has said that “long before I began writing fiction, I was writing about literature… the saying goes that writing a dissertation is the surest obstacle to writing anything that anyone would read, and writing about great literature (as I did in my dissertation) is bound to make writing even mediocre fiction all the harder.”  However after writing about great literature, she began her foray intowriting great fiction herself.  Professor Cohen thus has written her own fiction in addition to studying literary giants from Jane Austen to Henry James and will be on hand to discuss her work at theMorristown & Morris Township Library on Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. 

Some of Professor Cohen’s fiction work includes:

·         Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love and Death and SATs (about a wealthy, but unmarried guidance counselor who is told to give up the love of her life in college, but who also happens to cross paths with her lover’s nephew thirteen years later in her school)

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·         Jane Austen in Boca (Jane Austen centered her classic novels around "three or four families in a country village," but on this witty twist on Pride and Prejudice–the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida)

·         Suzanne Davis Gets a Life (where the 35 year-old heroine goes on a wrong-headed but funny quest to find Mr. Right)

·         What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper (about an invalid sister to two famous brothers who is probably the best equipped to solve the most famous of murder cases)

Professor Cohen will discuss her books and the challenges of writing fiction but with a strong knowledge of great literature as expected of a tenured professor of English.  She has successfully taught her students her love of literature and yet also found ways to incorporate that into her own fiction, which iswidely read and reviewed by noted critics.  Refreshments will be served.  This program is supported by the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library.




Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University where she teaches courses in literature, film, and creative writing. She is the recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and is a co-editor of jml: Journal of Modern Literature.

Cohen is the author of four nonfiction books and five novels, and is the producer of the documentary film,Two Universities and the Future of China.  Her play, The Triangle, about John Singer Sargent, Henry James, and Edith Wharton, was a finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition.  Her essays, stories, and reviews have appeared in The Yale Review, The American Scholar, The Southwest Review, the Times Literary Supplement, RaritanThe Hudson Review, and other publications.  She writes a weekly online column, “Class Notes,” for The American Scholar and is the host of The Drexel Interview, a TV show based in Philadelphia that is broadcast on over 350 local stations, including 150 PBS stations, throughout the country.

Cohen holds a B.A. in French and English from Yale College and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University.