Author Thomas Kennedy speaks to students at FDU

Above: Students fill Lenfell Hall as author Thomas Kennedy read from his novel In the Company of Angels, a powerful story of two deeply damaged souls trying to find their way from darkness toward light as they start their own relationship.

Story and photos by Dan Landau

Award-winning author, Thomas E. Kennedy, visited FDU on November 17, 2011 to present to students in two different events. During the day, he appeared before a standing-room only crowd in Lenfell Hall where he read from his critically-acclaimed novel In the Company of Angels. He also discussed the poets whose voices inhabit his novel.

In the evening, Kennedy participated in a coffee reading put on by the Musician's Guild, a student group. The coffeehouse was held in the Bottle Hill Room and also featured student writing and poetry.

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.”

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.

For Immediate Release

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Daniel Landau,
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