|Novelist Kingsolver to speak at commencement
RELEASED: Jan. 27, 2005
DANVILLE, KYBestselling novelist and essayist Barbara Kingsolver, one of America's most celebrated and beloved authors, will speak at Centre College's 182nd commencement. The ceremony will take place at the College's Norton Center for the Arts on Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m.
"We're delighted that Barbara Kingsolver will be our commencement speaker," says Centre College president John Roush. "She is an extraordinary writer, a champion of the environment and a courageous advocate of social justice. With a niece in this graduating class and a nephew in the class of '08, Ms. Kingsolver is also very much a member of the Centre community. It's a pleasure to have her on our campus as Centre's 182nd commencement speaker."
Kingsolver, who has been praised by the New York Times Book Review for her "extravagantly gifted narrative voice" is the author of the novels Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer, the collections Homeland and Other Stories (fiction) and The Other America: La Otra America (poetry), and the nonfiction books Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983, High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never, Last Stand: America's Virgin Lands and Small Wonder.
Since her debut novel The Bean Trees appeared in 1988, Kingsolver's writing has won numerous awards, including the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year, the Arizona Library Association Book of the Year, the Edward Abbey Award for Ecofiction, the Los Angeles Times fiction prize, the Patterson Fiction Prize and the Pen/USA West Fiction Award. The Poisonwood Bible appeared on the Best Books of 1998 lists of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.
In 2000, President Clinton presented her with the National Humanities Medal, our nation's highest honor for service through the arts.
That same year, Kingsolver created and personally funded the Bellwether Prize, awarded biennially, which offers $25,000 plus a guaranteed publishing contract for serious fiction addressing issues of social change.
Born in eastern Kentucky in 1955, Kingsolver attended DePauw University in Indiana, graduating in 1977 with a degree in biology. She went on to earn a master of science degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Before turning to writing full time, she worked as an archaeologist, copy editor, X-ray technician, house cleaner, biological researcher, journalist and translator of medical documents.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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