Gordon in the News: last updated 03/06/2007

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Tracy Kidder to Speak at Gordon College

March 6, 2007

Ashley Hopkins
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-As an event co-sponsor with the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, Gordon College welcomes Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder to speak on his widely-admired book Mountains Beyond Mountains. A non-fiction work that tells the true story of Dr. Paul Farmer; a Harvard educated medical doctor on a tireless quest to combat disease and poverty in Haiti, Peru and Russia.

"Mountains Beyond Mountains is a provocative and inspirational book," says Gordon College Provost, Mark Sargent. "We encourage our students to think globally at Gordon and to serve others, and this book portrays the work of one of the world's bravest and most compelling humanitarians. Kidder tells the story with both empathy and nerve: we are honored to have him speak at Gordon not only about the visionary work of Dr. Farmer, but also about the vital health and cultural issues facing people who live in poverty throughout the world."

The Hamilton-Wenham Public Library selected Mountains Beyond Mountains for their first "On the Same Page" event, a community-read program that offers local residents the opportunity to read the same book and discuss it. "We purchased 90 trade copies of the book, two large print copies and three in audio format," says Jan Dempsey, director of the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library and a Gordon graduate. "Seventy copies are circulating through the library and 20 were designated to be "Traveling Books," those that go out into the community and are passed from friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor. The community has really embraced this book and the program."

In 1994 while in Haiti reporting on American soldiers working to reinstate Jean-Bertrand Aristide's democratically elected government, Kidder met Dr. Paul Farmer. In 1999 Kidder asked to meet with Farmer again to begin work on The Good Doctor, a profile of Farmer that was published in The New Yorker in July 2000. Kidder's research for The New Yorker profile inspired Mountains Beyond Mountains, later published in September 2003 by Random House.

Kidder earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and was later awarded a bronze star for his role as first lieutenant in Vietnam. Post war he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa, where he participated in the Writers' Workshop, a program known for the literary luster of both its staff and alumni. Kidder met Atlantic Monthly contributing editor Dan Wakefield at the workshop, who helped Kidder get his first assignment for the magazine in 1973. That began a long-term association with the publication. Kidder's articles in The Atlantic have covered a range of topics from railroads, to energy, architecture and the environment.

In 1982 The Soul of a New Machine-a book celebrated for its insight into the world of corporate, high-technology America- earned Kidder a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Later works by Kidder include: House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, and Home Town. In 1989 Among Schoolchildren, a narrative of one year in the life of a fifth-grade class and its teacher, won Kidder the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Kidder lives with his wife and family in western Massachusetts and Maine.

WHAT: Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder to speak at Gordon on his bestselling book Mountains Beyond Mountains.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd., Wenham, MA·

  • Meet the Author and Book Signing, 6-7 p.m. in Presidents Dining Room, Lane Student Center.
  • Lecture, 7:30 p.m. in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel

Admission to this event is $15 and one ticket gets bearer into both events (meet the author/book signing and lecture). For tickets, please visit www.gordon.edu or contact the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library at 978-468-5577.

For more information on Tracy Kidder or to request photographs, please contact Ashley Hopkins at 978.867.4569 or e-mail .

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.