Thanks to the English department, we have enjoyed visits this fall from two contemporary American writers whose book publishing careers began taking off fairly recently: Charles Shields, a former English teacher who published his first book, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, in 2006, and Lisa Klein, a former English professor, who has published four historical fiction novels for young adults in the past four years, the first one being Ophelia in 2006.
Next week, as you may have learned through the related writing contest sponsored by our English department, a writer with a career that spans over 40 years with over 50 published works in genres including poetry, plays, novels, memoirs, and Latin translations, as well as screenplays, teleplays, a writing manual (in which she credits, among other things, a strong background in Latin for her success as a writer) – and even a cookbook based on one of her mystery series – will be gracing the auditorium at MLWGS: Rita Mae Brown.
Gaining writing renown in the early years of her career (the early 1970’s) for novels centered on women’s rights and other social issues, Ms. Brown has since published several novels in two New York Times bestselling mystery series and is best known these days as a mystery writer, American foxhunting enthusiast, and protector of animals and the environment. She lives on a farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia, and her talk will focus on writing and her recent memoir, Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small.
Although her writing-related awards (including Emmy Award nominations and an NEA writing fellowship) and credentials (degrees in English literature, political science, and cinematography) are impressive, Ms. Brown finds the most fulfillment in her continued work protecting animals and the environment. A long-time activist in many areas of social justice work, her focus over the past two decades has been in these areas.
So…whether you’re enthusiastic about writing, Latin, literature, political science, horses, cats, hounds, or social justice (especially related to animals and the environment), consider attending Ms. Brown’s one-hour talk during 5th block next Wednesday, December 8th from 12:30 until 1:30pm in the auditorium. If you’d like to read up on her career between now and then, go to EBSCO’s Literary Reference Center database and type in Rita Mae Brown Critical Survey Fiction. Those search words should lead you to the 2010 essay “Rita Mae Brown” by Dennis Weeks and Elizabeth Schafer published in Critical Survey of Long Fiction, 4th edition (Salem Press).
If you have any questions about the assembly, please see Mrs. Lisa Williams – and remember to say “Thank you!” to our English department for arranging all these wonderful author visits this semester!