Pulitzer Prize-winning Author, Advocate for Children, Pianist And Others to Speak at Yale

The following talks at Yale University November 30-December 3 are free and open to the public.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author will be featured in two events

Tracy Kidder, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction writing, will visit the campus November 30-December 2, as the John-Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer.

Kidder will be the guest at a master’s tea at 4 p.m. on November 30, in the Saybrook College master’s house, 90 High St. On December 1, he will give a talk titled “The Work of a Non-Fiction Writer” at 4 p.m. in Rm. 102 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St.

Kidder’s non-fiction books, some of which have been best-sellers, comprise a series of microcosmic portrayals of American lives. His most recent book, “Home Town,” portrays the urban life of Northhampton, Massachusetts, largely through the eyes of Tommy O’Connor, a local police officer and native of the town. His other books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Soul of a New Machine,” “House,” “Among Schoolchildren,” and “Old Friends,” which depicted the lives of a group of nursing home residents.

The John-Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer Endowment Fund was established this year by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schlesinger of Pound Ridge, New York, in order to enrich the experience of student writers in Yale College. The fund is named in memory of their son. Kidder will attend writing classes in the English department and will comment on student work.

Ashoka president to discuss ‘social entrepreneurship’

“Social Entrepreneurship: Ending the Squalor of the Social Sector” is the title of the Law School’s 1999/2000 Preiskel/Silverman Lecture, which will be delivered on November 30, by William Drayton, founder and president of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.

Drayton’s lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Rm. 127 of the Law School, 127 Wall St.

Drayton founded Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 1980. The organization, headquartered in Virginia, has supported some 1,000 people across the globe who are working to create social change by advancing education, environmental protection, rural development, human rights, health care and care for the disabled and children at risk. Ashoka selects these “social entrepreneurs” as Ashoka Fellows, and provides financial and professional support to help them implement their ideas.

Drayton served during the Carter administration as an assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and later was president of Save EPA. Drayton is chair of Environmental Safety, which monitors environmental performance and works with government leaders to promote protection of the environment. He is also chair of Youth Venture, a support network for young people seeking to bring change to their schools or communities.

Drayton has earned international attention for supporting efforts to improve the lives of others across the globe, and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984. In 1987, he received the Yale School of Management’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Author will discuss his new book about Holocaust survivor

New York University professor Jared Stark will discuss his new book, “No Common Place,” which chronicles the story of a Holocaust survivor, on November 30 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St.

“No Common Place” tells the story of Alina Bacall-Zwirn, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and four Nazi concentration camps. The book also describes Bacall-Zwirn’s effort to leave a legacy of memory to future generations. In his talk, Stark will speak about the process of preserving Holocaust narratives and will explore how to record these experiences.

U.N. official to talk at master’s tea

Nancy E. Soderberg, alternate United States representative for special political affairs for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, will be the guest at a tea on December 2 at 4 p.m. in the master’s house of Jonathan Edwards College, 70 High St.

Soderberg represents the United States in the Security Council and assists with the formulation and implementation of the U.S. position on designated Security Council issues. Her primary responsibility is U.N. peacekeeping operations and serving as alternate U.S. representative to the U.N. Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Prior to her appointment to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in 1997, Soderberg served as a deputy assistant to the President for national security affairs. Soderberg also served as special assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and staff director of the National Security Council from 1993 to 1995. She previously served as deputy director of the Presidential Transition for National Security and as the foreign policy director for the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1992. Before joining the Clinton campaign, Soderberg worked as the senior foreign policy advisor to Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Renowned pianist to present talk on Schubert’s music

Balint Vazsonyi, internationally known pianist and director of the Center for the American Founding, will discuss “Suffering in a Major Key: The Strange Case of Franz Schubert” on December 2 at 5 p.m. in the Beaumont Room of the Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar St.

Vazsonyi will discuss how Schubert, who was deprived of recognition during his brief life, broke with the tradition of using major keys to express happy emotions and minor keys to convey sadness. Vazsonyi will also demonstrate his thesis on piano.

Vazsonyi has published and lectured extensively on musical, cultural and political subjects and has been a frequent guest on national television and radio. Author of the best-selling book “America’s 30 Years War: Who is Winning?” he writes for The Washington Times, Indianapolis Star and the National Review. He was appointed director of the Center of American Founding in 1996, an organization that proposes the application of America’s founding principles to current national debates.

Princeton philosopher to present Blanksteen Lecture

Philosopher Peter Singer, who was recently appointed as the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, will deliver this year’s second David and Goldie Blanksteen Lecture in Jewish Ethics on December 2.

His talk, titled “On Valuing Human Life,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Levinson Auditorium of the Law School, 127 Wall St. A reception will follow at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St.

Singer is the author of the best seller “Animal Liberation” and has drawn controversy for his assertion that animals have rights which humans must honor.

For further information, call the Slifka Center at (203) 432-1134 or visit the center’s website at www.yale.edu/slifka.

Connecticut’s child advocate to speak in Bush Center series

Linda Pearce Prestley, Connecticut’s child advocate, will discuss “Child Welfare and Current Issues Impacting Children” on Friday, December 3, as part of the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy lectures series. Her talk will be held in Rm. 211 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St.

Prestley, an attorney, was appointed as the state’s child advocate by Governor John G. Rowland in 1997. Since assuming her post, she has established a comprehensive children’s ombudsman office for the state, which provides a safety net for children who may need assistance in obtaining resources from agencies and alerts state agencies about children who may be in peril. Prestley and her staff take legal action on behalf of children, investigate cases of concern, and provide technical and direct support to attorneys in juvenile matters.

For further information, call (203) 432-9935.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325