Go to New York State Writers Institute
Paper Trail by Ellen GoodmanPulitzer Prize-winning Columnist
featured in more than 400 newspapers nationwide
for over 25 years
will read from her most recent collection


PAPER TRAIL
Common Sense in Uncommon Times

February 25, 2004
(Wednesday)

8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
Introduction by
Rex Smith, Editor, Times Union


UAlbany, Downtown Campus

"How much less sense the world would
make without Ellen Goodman around."

- Baltimore Sun

A journalist who has focused on the "human dimension" of major news issues for more than four decades, Ellen Goodman received the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1980. She became the first journalist to receive that coveted award for coverage of what is often perceived as "soft news"—news that emphasizes family life, marriage, parenting, divorce, the status of women, cultural values, and changing lifestyles. Instead of focusing directly on public policy, political controversies, and war, Goodman demonstrates how those developments have an impact on ordinary American life.

Some of her best columns of recent years have been collected in the new book, "Paper Trail: Common Sense in Uncommon Times" (February 2004). The collection features commentaries on the Clinton scandals, the "amBushing of America," the War on Terrorism, the "dotcom" boom and bust, media culture, Viagra, Botox, "reality TV" and other cultural phenomena.

Syndicated in more than 400 newspapers by the Washington Post Writers Group, Goodman is that organization’s bestselling writer. In 1976, the Writers Group took the bold step of marketing her column for the editorial and op-ed pages, where no "soft news" column had ever appeared before. Editors agreed to the arrangement because they recognized the seriousness and importance of Goodman’s commentary; because she succeeds in extracting the larger meaning of the news, something that traditional "hard news" pundits often fail to provide.

Goodman began her career as a reporter and researcher for "Newsweek" magazine in the early 1960s, and worked briefly for the Detroit Free Press, before joining the Boston Globe where she started as a feature writer and author of the "At Large" column in 1967. In 1968, she was named "New England Newspaper Woman of the Year" by the New England Press Association, the first of many journalism awards. In 1986, she was named associate editor of the Globe, a position she held for more than 15 years.

In addition to the Pulitzer, she has received the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (1980), the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award (1988), and the National Women’s Caucus President’s Award (1993).

Goodman’s previous collections of newspaper columns have included Value Judgments (1993), Making Sense (1989), Keeping in Touch (1985), At Large (1981) and Close to Home (1979). Other books include Turning Points (1979), a study of the impact of the women’s movement on the lives of ordinary women and men. With Patricia O’Brien, Goodman also wrote I Know Just What You Mean: The Power of Friendship in Women’s Lives (2000). Publisher’s Weekly called it, "warm, honest and engaging…. Heavy on insight and light on psychological jargon, this book is an intelligent, observant read."

Sunday Gazette Article