NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
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POPULAR HISTORIAN AND SCIENCE WRITER JOHN KELLY TO DISCUSS THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK DEATH, THE WORST PLAGUE OF ALL TIME
NYS Writers Institute, February 26, 2009
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading/Talk | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
John Kelly, author of “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time”(2005), and the forthcoming “The Graves Were Walking”(2009), about the Irish Famine, will speak about his work on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in Assembly Hall, Campus Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. he will present an informal seminar in the same location. The events are free and open to the public, and are offered in association with the academic conference “Rhetorics of Plague: Early/Modern Trajectories of Biohazard,” sponsored by the University at Albany Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences.
John Kelly is the author of “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time”(2005), a history for the general reader of a natural disaster that killed an estimated 25 million people during a five year period in the 14th century. Enlivened by contemporary eyewitness accounts, the book traces the progress of the epidemic across Europe and Asia, and illuminates its lasting impact on world history.
Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes called the book, “Powerful, rich, moving, humane, and full of important lessons…” Bestselling author Simon Winchester said, “There has never been a better researched, better written, or more engaging account of the worst epidemic the world has known….”
Kelly is the author of more than ten books on science and human behavior. He is currently at work on the forthcoming “The Graves Were Walking: The Great Irish Famine and the Failure of British Nation Building,”(2009), a character-driven account of the potato famine of 1845-1852. The new book draws on unpublished original source material, and presents an entirely new thesis regarding the causes of the famine.
Other books include “For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered” (2002, with B. Mavis Hetherington), “Three on the Edge: The Stories of Ordinary American Families In Search of a Medical Miracle” (1999), “Stepfamilies: Love, Marriage and Parenting in the First Decade” (1998, with James H. Bray), and “Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab” (1998, with Phillip K. Wearne).
Of “Three on the Edge,” “Publishers Weekly” said “[The book] puts a human face on clinical drug and treatment trials…. Kelly, an expert storyteller, aptly points up the smallest victories, both medical and personal. His clear prose makes the intricate scientific processes comprehensible….” “Library Journal” called “Stepfamilies,” a “fascinating report on the first major study of stepfamilies to date…. [a] thorough and intelligent book.”
Kelly’s appearance is in association with the academic symposium, “Rhetorics of Plague: Early/Modern Trajectories of Biohazard,” sponsored by the University at Albany Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences. The conference will take place February 26-27, 2009. For more information, visit the website for the symposium at http://www.albany.edu/english/plague.shtml.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.