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Author Tracy Kidder Launches 2012-13 Presidential Events Series

posted on 09/07/2012

Tracy KidderThe winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Robert F. Kennedy Award, author Tracy Kidder will launch Eckerd College's 2012-2013 Presidential Events Series on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Fox Hall. "A Conversation with Tracy Kidder" will be moderated by Colette Bancroft, Book Editor for the Tampa Bay Times.

Tracy Kidder will be teaching and mentoring on Eckerd's campus this fall as a visiting scholar-in-residence. His books, Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains, are assigned readings to Eckerd's freshmen and seniors in the Western Heritage in a Global Context and Quest for Meaning courses. 

This talk is free and open to the public and is part of Eckerd's Presidential Events Series themed "Cultivating Service: People, Politics, Planet."

Mountains Beyond MountainsMountains Beyond Mountains (2003) captures two global health crises, tuberculosis and AIDS, through the eyes of Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, a non-governmental organization that is the only health-care provider in the Plateau Central in Haiti. His story  is a gripping and inspiring account one man's efforts to establish clinics and hospitals—his compassion for the poor, his inner circle of true believers and, ultimately, his success in helping stem the tide of new HIV and TB infections in Haiti.


Strength in What RemainsStrength in What Remains (2009) is the humbling story of Deo, a young man whose will to survive and love of knowledge take him from the horrors of genocide in Burundi to Columbia University and then on to medical school. Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health also play a pivotal role in Deo's story, as they inspire him to transform the nightmares of his deeply impoverished and war torn country into the dream of establishing his own clinic in Burundi.

Colette Bancroft of the Tampa Bay Times will engage Mr. Kidder in a conversation about how he selects his subjects for such inspirational stories and what prompted him to write Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction (to be released in January 2013).

Mr. Kidder's visit is sponsored by the Lloyd W. Chapin Faculty Development Program, the Col. Christian L. and Edna M. International Relations Speakers Series, Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series, the Florida Presbyterian/Eckerd College Class of 1968 Endowed Western Heritage in a Global Context Distinguished Visiting Professor Program, the College Program Series and the Tampa Bay Times Fund.

About Tracy Kidder
Over his long career, Kidder's writing has been prolific and outstanding. The Soul of a New Machine—a book celebrated for its insight into the world of high-tech corporate America—earned him a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award in 1982. Other bestselling works include House (1985), Among Schoolchildren (1989), Old Friends (1993) and Home Town (1999).

Born in New York City in 1945, Kidder spent his childhood in Oyster Bay, Long Island, where his father was a lawyer and his mother was a teacher. He attended Harvard where he earned a B.A. in 1967. From June 1968 until June 1969, he served as a lieutenant in Vietnam for which he was awarded a Bronze Star, an experience chronicled in his memoir My Detachment. Following the war, Kidder obtained his M.A. from the University of Iowa, where he attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. It was there that Kidder met Atlantic Monthly Contributing Editor Dan Wakefield, who helped him get his first assignment for the magazine as a freelance writer.

Over the years, Kidder's articles have covered a broad array of topics, ranging from railroads, to energy, architecture, the environment among others. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Granta and The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times OpEd page.

Photo credit (top): Gabriel Amadeus Cooney

Tampa Bay Times Fund

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