October 9, 2008
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager
AMHERST, Mass—Award-winning biographer Brenda Wineapple will explore the connections between poet Emily Dickinson and writer Nathaniel Hawthorne in a talk titled “He Lived the Life of Ambush: Hawthorne, Dickinson and Beyond” at the Amherst Woman’s Club on Triangle Street in Amherst, on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The gathering, which is part of the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Replenishing the Shelves Lecture Series, will also feature a book-signing and light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.
Although Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne never met, the poet and her family read and admired the author’s work. As Dickinson remarked to a friend: “Hawthorne appalls, entices.” During her lecture, Wineapple will discuss Hawthorne’s “enticing” appeal to his 19th-century audience and share highlights of his biography.
Wineapple’s biography, Hawthorne: A Life, won the prestigious Ambassador Award of the English-Speaking Union for Best Biography of 2003 and the Julia Howe Award of the Boston Book Club. Her most recent work, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, has garnered praise in critical reviews since its publication earlier this year. Wineapple’s other books include Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein and Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner. Her essays, articles and reviews have appeared in many publications, including The American Scholar, The New York Times Book Review, Parnassus, Poetry and The Nation. A Guggenheim fellow, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and twice a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, she was formerly the Washington Irving Professor of Modern Literary and Historical Studies at Union College in Schenectady, N. Y., and now teaches in the master of fine arts programs at Columbia University and The New School in New York City, where she lives with her husband, the composer Michael Dellaira.
The Replenishing the Shelves Lecture Series grows out of a museum initiative to recreate the libraries of the Homestead and The Evergreens as accurately as possible. The Emily Dickinson Museum acquired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Marble Faun in 2007, in the same edition owned by Emily Dickinson and her family, with funds contributed for that purpose. The book collection effort is dedicated to and led by Polly Longsworth, a longtime Dickinson scholar and the first chair of the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Board of Governors. For more information on Replenishing the Shelves, please visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call executive director Jane Wald (542-2154).
The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. Owned by the Trustees of Amherst College, the museum is overseen by a separate Board of Governors charged with raising its operating and capital funds. The Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), while the Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.
The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst.the official museum Web site is at www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Hours are March through December, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 9, 2008