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The Montgomery Endowment at Dartmouth College presents "An Afternoon with Joan Didion," October 7

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/02/08 • Media Contact: Sarah Gomez • (603) 646-3661 

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Joan Didion
The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment presents Joan Didion, novelist, essayist, and cultural critic.

Renowned novelist, essayist, and cultural critic  Joan Didion will give a public presentation at Dartmouth in early October, while she is in residence at the College for two days as the first of three Montgomery Fellows selected for the fall term by the College's Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment.

This fall the theme for the Montgomery Fellows program is "America in 2008: Perspectives and Reflections." The Montgomery Endowment will present "An Afternoon with Joan Didion" on Tues., Oct. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall. A book signing will follow the event, which is free and open to the public.

"Joan Didion is a public intellectual whose work bridges the imagined divide separating the realms of literature and politics to address the most challenging questions of our time," states Donald Pease, Jr., the Avalon Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English. Pease also served as a member of the committee that selected Didion for a Montgomery Fellowship.

Didion is the author of 13 books and has won numerous awards for her prose, including the 2007 National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the 2005 National Book Award for The Year of Magical Thinking. In 2007 Didion adapted The Year of Magical Thinking into a play, which debuted on Broadway starring Vanessa Redgrave. Her novels include A Book of Common Prayer and Democracy, and her non-fiction books include Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Salvador, and Where I Was From. Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, co-authored five screenplays including The Panic in Needle Park, A Star Is Born, and Up Close and Personal.

Established in 1977 through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth F. Montgomery (Dartmouth Class of 1925), the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment was created "to provide for the advancement of the academic realm of the College in ways that will significantly add to the quality and character thereof, making possible major new dimensions for, as well as extraordinary enrichments to, the educational experience offered primarily to undergraduate students within the Dartmouth community."

The other two Montgomery Fellows scheduled to be in residence as part of the series this fall are:

  • John Abizaid, a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), who directed the operations in a 27-country region. Abizaid will discuss "The United States and the Middle East:  Strategic Choices for the Way Ahead" on Tues., Oct. 14, at 4:30 p.m., Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall.
  • John Burns, a journalist who has headed several news bureaus for The New York Times. After reporting for five years from Baghdad, he recently became the London Bureau Chief. Burns will address, "Five Years in Iraq: Which Way Home?" on Tues., October 21, at 4:30 p.m., in Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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