March 28, 2006

Pulitzer Prize author Marilynne Robinson to give Rudin lecture

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson will give the 2006 Rudin Lecture on American Culture on Wednesday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lewis Auditorium of Goldwin Smith Hall on campus. Robinson's talk, "The Ghost in the Book: Writer and Reader," is free and open to the public.

Robinson won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for her novel "Gilead." Her first book, "Housekeeping" (1981), won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She also has published two books of nonfiction: "Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State and Nuclear Pollution" (1989) and "The Death of Adam" (1998), a book of essays on history, theology and American culture. Robinson, who teaches at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, also will hold a book signing April 5 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Cornell Store.

The Rudin Lecture was created with a gift to Cornell University Library in 2003 by Gail Gifford Rudin, Class of 1956, and Stephen Rudin. The couple have been strong supporters of the Cornell University Library for many years and both have served as members of the Library Advisory Council.

This year's lecture also provides the library with an opportunity to showcase the Rudins' most recent gift -- an extensive collection of original letters by such noted American and British writers as Louisa May Alcott, James Baldwin, Pearl Buck, Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Alex Haley, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Mitchell, Vladimir Nabokov, Rod Serling, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut and William Wordsworth.

Selections from the Rudin collection will be on view in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library during the reception following the lecture. For more information, contact Lynn Brown at (607) 255-4813 or e-mail