PEN/Faulkner Gala 2007 (2007)

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This event happened on September 24th 2007 at Folger Shakespeare Library.

Paired with a supernatural "Twilight Zone" Themed evening paired with readings from Lynn Freed and David Baldacci.

LYNN FREED was born and grew up in Durban, South Africa. She came to New York as a graduate student, receiving her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University.

After moving to San Francisco, she wrote her first novel, HEART CHANGE (republished as FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY). Since then, she has published six more novels: HOME GROUND, THE BUNGALOW, THE MIRROR, HOUSE OF WOMEN, THE SERVANTS’ QUARTERS and, in 2017, THE LAST LAUGH. She has a collection of short stories, THE CURSE OF THE APPROPRIATE MAN and two collections of essays: READING, WRITING & LEAVING HOME: LIFE ON THE PAGE and THE ROMANCE OF ELSEWHERE.

Ms. Freed’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Santa Monica Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Mirabella, Elle, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Travel & Leisure and Vogue, among others. Her work is widely translated, and is included in a number of anthologies.

In 2011 Ms. Freed won an O. Henry Award for her short story, “Sunshine” (included in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2011), and, in 2015, another for “The Way Things Are Going” (included in The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2015). In 2012, her essay, “Keeping Watch”, was included in BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING. She has won the Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Award for Fiction (HOME GROUND), and has subsequently had four books nominated for the same award. Most of her books have appeared on The New York Times “Notable Books of the Year” list as well as on its “New & Noteworthy Paperback” list, as they have on the lists of The Washington Post, The TLS and other journals.

In 2002, Ms. Freed was awarded the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award in fiction by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation, and been awarded residencies and fellowships supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Camargo Foundation, The Lannan Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Bogliasco Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, The Corporation of Yaddo, and The MacDowell Colony, among others.

Ms. Freed is Professor Emerita of English at the University of California in Davis.

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 41 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.

A lifelong Virginian, David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.