Program Considers Interaction of the Novelist and the Scholar

(NEW YORK, March 5, 2009) A talk by Robert Ball, Chair of Classics from the University of Hawaii, with response from Erica Jong, world-renowned author and poet, will highlight “Erica Jong, Sappho’s Leap, and I: Interaction of the Novelist and the Scholar,” at Columbia University on Wednesday, March 25.


The event, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Room 523 of Columbia’s Butler Library, is open to the public and is sponsored by Friends of the Columbia Libraries.

The evening’s talk will explore the collaborative process between author and scholar that went into Jong’s novel Sappho’s Leap. A reception will immediately follow the program. Please respond to or register online at

Robert Ball is Professor of Classics, Chair of the Classics Division, and Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas at the University of Hawaii. He received his Ph.D. in Greek and Latin from Columbia University, where he studied under Gilbert Highet, one of the twentieth century’s most erudite and distinguished classicists.

Professor Ball has received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Philological Association and the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Hawaii. He has published many articles, reviews, and books—a book on the Roman poet Tibullus, two volumes of Gilbert Highet’s papers, and two textbooks for first-year/second-year Latin.

The Friends of the Columbia Libraries aim to cultivate an informed interest in and support for the Columbia Libraries. The Friends foster the growth and improvement of the Libraries through financial and in-kind gifts and provide opportunities for creating, collecting, and preserving library materials. The Friends also promote the visibility of the Libraries through sponsorship of educational and social events.

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