Tilar Mazzeo Reads Tonight, 8 p.m., on the “Secret History” of Chanel No. 5

Now that you’ve been filled in on the life of Jenny McKean Moore, it’s time to meet this year’s Writer-in-Residence! Come out this evening to hear Tilar Mazzeo as she reads from her forthcoming book The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume. The event begins at 8 p.m. in the Marvin Center Amphitheater, and it is free and open to all.

This semester, Prof. Tilar Mazzeo will be teaching ENG 181.10, a Creative Non-Fiction Workshop Course, in which students will explore what some call the “fourth genre”of creative writing.

The course includes a variety of assignments intended to enable the student to find their voice in this field. There is a storytelling/recording assignment, and Mazzeo assigns an interview with NPR correspondent Ira Glass, entitled “How to Tell a Good Story.”

The book will be released in early November, but here’s a teaser…In an interview found in the Behind-the-Book section of the Harper Collins Publishing profile on The Secret of Chanel No. 5, Mazzeo identifies herself, saying “as a biographer and cultural historian” who “writes about the stories behind the world’s most famous luxury products.”For all of us who think the advent of the Internet has made research a coach potato sport, think again. Mazzeo’s search for knowledge about the background of this famous fragrance led her to the Chanel archives in France, to F.I.T. and International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. for “classes and private seminars,”as well as to the perfume plantations of Bermuda.

If you’re already champing at the bit to hear more on The Secret of Chanel No.5? Finding it hard to wait to find out about “Coco Chanel’s liaison with a Nazi during WWII”? You can always check out this essay by Mazzeo, on her inspiration for The Widow Cliquot, to tide you over until tonight.

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