Friday, September 25, 2009

Award-Winning Novelist Jeff Talarigo To Give Reading At Washington College

Chestertown – Award-winning novelist Jeff Talarigo will present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Thursday, October 1, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Talarigo is the author of the The Pearl Diver, which won the 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award and was named a 2005 Kiriyama Prize Notable Book.

Talarigo’s second novel, The Ginseng Hunter, noted as one of the “Best Books of 2008” by NPR and an American Library Association’s “Notable Books for 2009,” was released in paperback in April 2009.

After graduating from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Talarigo spent seven years working as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist.

From the 1990s to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan, where he taught English and began writing fiction. He currently lives in Boston, where he is working on a novel about 20th-century Gaza as seen through the eyes of a Palestinian woman.

The work in progress is inspired by a three-month journey in 1990 that the author took by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan, and back. This was Talarigo’s first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return in 1993.

Talarigo’s work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew and Korean.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Upcoming Sophie Kerr Room readings will feature authors Dan Chaon (a National Book Award finalist) on October 13 and Debra Spark on November 12.

Admission to the Jeff Talarigo reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

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