Award-Winning Author, Thomas E. Kennedy, to Speak at FDU

MADISON, NJ (October 20, 2010) — Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes to campus the internationally acclaimed novelist Thomas E. Kennedy to read from his award-winning novel, “In the Company of Angels,” on Thursday, November 11, 2010 from 3:30 p.m to 5:00 p.m. Kennedy’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in Hennessy Hall, at FDU’s College at Florham in Madison, NJ.

A faculty member in FDU’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, Kennedy is the author of more than twenty books and the winner of numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the O. Henry Prize for Short Stories, and the National Magazine Award, in 2008. The New York Times has described Kennedy's writing as “shimmering with emotional honesty,” and The Cape Cod Voice as “wildly inventive and wickedly comic.”

“We are excited to introduce Tom Kennedy to our young writing students,” said Kathryn Douglas, director of college writing. “As a writer and professor of writing, he will excite and engage them by bringing his own writing to life, and he will inspire them to see themselves as writers who can and will make important contributions in their communities.”

Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award in 2007, Kennedy’s novel, “In the Company of Angels,” is a powerful story of two damaged souls struggling from darkness to light. Imprisoned for teaching political poetry to his students, Bernardo Greene has been tortured for months in Pinochet’s Chile when he is visited by two angels who promise that he will survive to experience beauty and love once again. Months later, in Copenhagen, where he has come for treatment, the Chilean exile befriends Michela Ibsen, also a survivor of abuse. In the long nights of summer, the two of them struggle to heal, to forgive those who have left them damaged, and to trust themselves to love.

“In the Company of Angels” is the primary text for the College at Florham’s book program—FDU: Reading the World. As such, all students enrolled in the Freshman Writing Workshop course will read the novel and all freshmen in the writing program are studying texts that are connected with Kennedy’s work. Among these related texts are excerpts from books by Matthew Alexander, a former United States Air Force interrogator in Iraq, and by Ali Soufan, a highly decorated former FBI Supervisory Special Agent.

Alexander spoke at FDU’s College at Florham on October 7, 2010 and Soufan will speak on October 21, 2010 as part of a lecture series FDU’s PublicMind Poll is hosting. Torture is a theme of this lecture series and besides Alexander, Soufan, and one other speaker have discussed torture as part of the series.

Kennedy’s visit and presentation is co-sponsored by The College Writing Program at the College at Florham and the Dean of Students’ Office at FDU. For more information, contact Kathryn Douglas, director of college writing, at (973) 443-8710. Fairleigh Dickinson University is located at 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940.

For Immediate Release

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations

Lillian Lukac