Friday, September 11, 2009

Bestselling Author Mary Gordon To Give Reading At Washington College

Chestertown – Bestselling novelist Mary Gordon will present a fiction reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Thursday, September 17, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is the first offering in “The Living Writers,” a fall program of visiting authors presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Gordon is the author of several bestselling novels as well as short stories, memoirs, essays and criticism.

She is known for her investigations of Catholic family life, Catholic spirituality, thwarted love, moral struggle, personal sacrifice, female identity and family pain. In addition to her successful career as an author, Gordon is Millicent McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College.

Gordon is often praised for her deep insights, lyrical writing, and what Los Angeles Times critic Ellen Akins called “her delicate rendering of the drama of consciousness.”

Recent books by Gordon include the biography Joan of Arc, the essay collection Seeing Through Places: Reflections on Geography and Identity, the novel Spending: A Utopian Divertimento, and the bestselling memoir of her secretive, tormented father, The Shadow Man.

Gordon’s latest novel, Pearl, is the the story of a single mother who sets out to prevent her daughter from killing herself in a hunger strike in Dublin.

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.

“The Living Writers” will continue with Sophie Kerr Room readings by authors Jeff Talarigo on October 1, Dan Chaon (a National Book Award finalist) on October 13, and Debra Spark on November 12.

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

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