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Novelist Tim O'Brien Will Speak at Davidson


January 22, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu
Tim O'Brien
Tim O'Brien

Award-winning novelist Tim O'Brien will give a literary reading and a lecture during a two-day visit to Davidson January 31-February 1. His reading will take place January 31, and his lecture will be February 1. Both events are free and open to the public, and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Love Auditorium of Chambers Building.

Born in 1946, O'Brien grew up in small-town Minnesota. He attended Macalester College, where he majored in political science, attended peace vigils and war protests, and planned to join the State Department to reform its policies. Upon graduating, O'Brien was drafted into the Army and sent to fight the Vietnam War. Following his military service, he went to graduate school in government at Harvard University, and later worked as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post.

O'Brien has written extensively on his war experiences. He has received both popular and critical acclaim for his six books, including Going After Cacciato, which won the National Book Award in 1979.

His first book, published in 1973, was If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. It gives an intensely personal account of O'Brien's experience as a Vietnam foot soldier that takes readers behind the infantryman's rifle. In Going After Cacciato, O'Brien blends reality and fantasy to tell the story of an infantryman named Cacciato who makes the sudden decision to lay down his rifle and begin a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris.

O'Brien's work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, McCall's, Granta, Harper's, Redbook, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Gentleman's Quarterly, and Saturday Review. His short stories have been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories (1976, 1978, 1982), Great Esquire Fiction, Best American Short Stories (1978, 1987), The Pushcart Prize (Vols. II and X), and in many textbooks and collections. He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation.

For more information on O'Brien's visit to Davidson, call 894-2192.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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