Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese


The University of Minnesota English Department has announced its spring events, and, as always, they're big.

First up is New York Times columnist Samuel G. Freedman, who will speak at noon Feb. 12 at Lind Hall 207A, 207 Church St. N.E. Freedman is a professor at Columbia University and the author of eight books, including "Dying Words," which explored the world of gay journalists during the time of AIDS.

A week later, the American Indian Student Cultural Center will co-sponsor "An Evening with Sherman Alexie." Alexie, author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," will talk about growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Northrop Auditorium; cost is $5.

On March 10, the creative writing department's annual First Books reading will take place at 7 p.m. at the Weisman Museum. Readers this year will be Rachel Moritz ("Borrowed Wave"), Jonah C. Sirott ("This is the Night"), and Jennifer Willoughby ("Beautiful Zero," winner of the Milkweed Editions Lindquist & Vennum Prize).

And then on April 7 Abraham Verghese will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium, marking the 15th anniversary of the Esther Freier Lectures in Literature series. Verghese is the author of the novel "Cutting for Stone" and two memoirs. He teaches at Stanford University.

The Esther Freier Lectures have, over the years, brought in more than 25 notable writers, including E.L. Doctorow,  Zadie Smith, Colum McCann, James McBride and Jamaica Kincaid.

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Attention, poets! Submissions now open for the Lindquist & Vennum Prize