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January 3, 2005

Award-winning author Jonathan Franzen to present lecture at Santa Cruz Public Library

By Scott Rappaport

The Friends of the UCSC Library and the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries will present a lecture by renowned author Jonathan Franzen on Thursday, January 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library (224 Church Street). Admission is free.

Photo: Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen Photo: Greg Martin

Franzen won the National Book Award for The Corrections, perhaps the most-written-about novel of 2001. He is also the author of two other works of fiction—The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992), as well as a collection of essays titled How to Be Alone (2002) that includes an account of his brief tenure as an author for Oprah Winfrey’s book club.

Franzen’s honors include the American Academy’s Berlin Prize in 2000 and a Whiting Writers’ Award in 1988. He was also named one of “Twenty Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker and one of the “Best Young American Novelists” by Granta. Franzen will speak about contemporary fiction writing in his talk, entitled "What Makes You Think You're Not the Evil One Himself?"

The UCSC and Santa Cruz library support groups have been sponsoring a joint author/artist series for the past decade. Previous guest speakers have included Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, Santa Cruz mystery writer Laurie R. King, and William Rubel, local food expert and publisher of the children’s magazine Stone Soup.

“We find the speakers and produce posters, and they provide the community room at the Main Branch downtown and refreshments,” explained Liz Sandoval, staff liaison for Friends of the UCSC Library.

"This collaboration allows us to bring our program into the community in a convenient downtown location.”

“Our Friends programming budget has always necessarily supported programs just for children and young adults,” added Pat Sandidge, managing director of Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. “We are very grateful for the collaboration with the UCSC Friends because it has allowed us to expand program support to include very successful, entertaining, and stimulating adult programming.”

The two groups usually present two free lectures at the downtown library during the winter months. Book artists Peter and Donna Thomas will speak about fine printing and the literary book as a work of art on Thursday, February 17, at 7 p.m. Their lecture is billed as “The Artist Book: Four Dimensional Art.”

"We are thrilled to have such an internationally recognized, award-winning author as Jonathan Franzen participate,” Sandoval noted. “He has personal connections in Santa Cruz and has generously agreed to take time to speak for our Friends groups this year."

For more information, contact Liz Sandoval of Friends of the UCSC Library at (831) 459-5870, lsand@ucsc.edu, or visit: http://library.ucsc.edu/friends.


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