Pulitzer-prize winning author, former international journalist to address URI honors colloquium Sept. 24

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Geraldine Brooks to discuss ‘Search for Knowledge’

KINGSTON, R.I. – September16, 2013 – Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks will discuss “The Search for Knowledge,” Tuesday Sept. 24 as part of the University of Rhode Island honors colloquium, “Public Education, Everyone’s Right, Everyone’s Responsibility.”

Brooks’ talk at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston, will be based on her latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing, the University’s common reading selection for the fall semester. Every freshman is required to read the book and write a blog for their URI 101 freshman seminar class.

Note to media, for most of the lectures, speakers will be available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing and Communications, 401-874-5862.

Caleb’s Crossing, a New York Times best seller, exposes the emotional, historical, religious, and social hardships of adolescents who are driven by curiosity to learn and understand more about themselves and their surroundings. According to Brooks’ website, “Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha’s Vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans.”

At 12, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Her father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest between old ways and new, eventually becoming the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. Inspired by a true story and narrated by Bethia, Caleb’s Crossing captures the triumphs and turmoil of two brave, openhearted young people “who risk everything in a search for knowledge at a time of superstition and ignorance.”

Brooks’ first book, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (1994), was an international best seller based on her experiences in the Middle East. Foreign Correspondence (1997), a memoir about a childhood enhanced by pen pals from around the world and her goal to find them years later, won the Nita B. Kibble Award in 1997 for women’s writing. In 2006, Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her novel March.

Brooks is an Australian author and journalist who grew up in Western Sydney. She attended Bethlehem College Ashfield, and later attended the University of Sydney. Shortly after, she worked as a reporter and feature writer for The Sydney Morning Herald, specializing in environmental issues. In 1982, Brooks won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. After earning her degree, she worked for The Wall Street Journal where she focused on international crises in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East and earned the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for “Best Newspaper or Wire Service Reporting from Abroad” in 1990. Later, she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University in 2006.

The program is supported by:

Major Sponsor: URI Honors Program

URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, as well as the following URI colleges, departments and offices, College of Human Science and Services, Talent Development, Multicultural Center, University College, WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, College of Arts and Sciences, The Harrington School of Communications and Media, John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, Department of Gender and Women Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Marketing and Communications, Department of Publications and Creative Services, and Instructional Technology and Media Services. Rhode Island Public Radio is also a sponsor.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401.874.2381 or debg@uri.edu.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact URI Professor Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Program director, at 401.874. 4732. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401.874.2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 800.745.5555.

This release was written by Sabrina Galiney, a URI Communications and Marketing intern and a textiles, fashion merchandising and design and public relations major.