Cunard’s Storied Transatlantic Crossings to Feature Literary Luminaries

Jan 7, 2009 – In 2009, guests sailing a Transatlantic Crossing aboard Cunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 will have an opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the literary world’s most fascinating personalities. Among the best-selling authors and playwrights scheduled to sail are E.L. Doctorow, Erica Jong, Amy Bloom, John Guare and Susan Cheever. They are among several celebrated, award-winning authors who are set to infuse Cunard Insights, the line’s top-rated onboard enrichment programme, with a dose of literary lore from April through September, 2009. Guests can look forward to engaging Q&A discussions, lectures, book signings and readings with select titles to be featured in the Cunard Book Club.

“Our Transatlantic Crossing is a most storied voyage and therefore it is quite fitting to feature these literary luminaries to engage and delight our guests,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. “Queen Mary 2 is the only ocean liner in the world providing regularly scheduled service between New York and Southampton. A Cunard voyage across the Atlantic truly epitomizes the new Golden Age of Ocean Travel, and the addition of these renowned authors will further enhance an experience that is already considered one of the most thrilling journeys in the world.”

Among the authors scheduled to sail are:

Kathryn Harrison – April 20, 2009 (Southampton to New York)
A prolific author, Harrison has published six novels, three memoirs, a travelogue, a biography and a book of true crime. A frequent reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, Harrison also writes personal essays that have been included in many anthologies and have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Vogue, O Magazine, More, Bookforum and other publications.

Oscar Hijuelos – May 8, 2009 (New York to Southampton)
American novelist Hijuelos is the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His first novel, Our House in the Last World, was published in 1983 and received the 1985 Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. His second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, received the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was adapted for the film The Mambo Kings in 1992 and as a Broadway musical in 2005.

Rita Dove – May 25, 2009 (Southampton to New York)
An American poet and author of American Smooth, Dove was the second African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize (1987). From 1993 to 1995, she served as the second Black and the youngest Poet Laureate of the United States and Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress. Her next book, Sonata Mulatica, will be published in April.

E. L. Doctorow – May 31, 2009 (New York to Southampton)
Doctorow is the author of several critically acclaimed novels that blend history and social criticism. Although he had written books for years, it was the publication of The Book of Daniel in 1971 that earned him notoriety. His next book, Ragtime, was a commercial and critical success. As of 2006, he held the Glucksman Chair in American Letters at New York University. His personal papers are held by the Fales Library at NYU.

Erica Jong – June 13, 2009 (Southampton to New York)
Erica Jong is a poet, novelist and essayist best known for her eight best-selling novels, including Fear of Flying and her mid-life memoir Fear of Fifty. Sheis also the author of six award-winning collections of poetry. She is a frequent lecturer in the US and abroad.

Susan Cheever – June 25, 2009 (Southampton to New York)
Daughter of John Cheever and sister of Benjamin Cheever, Cheever is an author whose books include My Name is Bill – Bill Wilson: His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, a biography of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson; Home Before Dark, a memoir about her father, John Cheever; Note Found in a Bottle, a memoir of her own alcoholism and recovery; Treetops: A Memoir; as well as five novels: Looking for Work, A Handsome Man, The Cage, Doctors and Women and Elizabeth Cole.

Amy Bloom – July 6, 2009 (New York to Southampton)
An American writer, Bloom has been nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition to novels Away and Love Invents Us, Bloom has written articles in periodicals including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Slate and Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories and several other anthologies, and has won a National Magazine Award.

Brad Gooch – July 30, 2009 (New York to Southampton)
Gooch is an American writer and current Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. His novels include Zombie 00, Billy Idol and Scary Kisses.

John Guare – September 8, 2009 (New York to Southampton)
An American playwright, Guare is best known as the author of The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation and Landscape of the Body. His style, which mixes comic invention with an acute sense of the failure of human relations and aspirations, is at once cruel and deeply compassionate.

In 2009, Queen Mary 2 marks her fifth year of service with an extended Transatlantic season including more than 20 classic six-day voyages between New York and Southampton, two voyages between New York and Hamburg and two voyages between Boston and Southampton. Cunard’s iconic Transatlantic Crossing offers guests the classic ocean travel experience with an abundance of sea days affording guests the luxury of time to enjoy myriad leisurely, health & wellness, gourmet dining and intellectual pursuits.

Cunard has long been synonymous with onboard enrichment and was the first company to install a library aboard a passenger vessel – on the Bothnia in 1874. Queen Mary 2 continues this tradition with the largest library at sea filled with more than 8,000 books. Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line’s heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A’s, debates, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The Insights program underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2 or Queen Victoria, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to