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Jane Hamilton
Jane Hamilton

Known for the major bestsellers “The Book of Ruth” and “A Map of the World”

NYS Writers Institute, September 18, 2007
4:15 Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtoan Campus

Jane Hamilton, two-time Oprah Book Club author, known for the major bestselling novels, “The Book of Ruth” (1988) and “A Map of the World” (1994), will red from her new novel, “When Madeline Was Young” (2006), about a brain-damaged woman who is cared for by her husband and his second wife. The reading will take place Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. in Page Hall, on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and are free and open to the public.


Jane Hamilton, major contemporary fiction writer, is the author most recently of “When Madeline Was Young”(2006), the tale of a newly married woman who is brain-damaged in a cycling accident, and who becomes the de facto child of her husband and his second wife. The “Washington Post”reviewer said, “only a writer as skillful as Hamilton, as devoted to the manifestations of the observable world, could produce a work so revelatory of the human spirit.”

Hamilton received the PEN/Hemingway Award for “The Book of Ruth”(1988), a novel that enjoyed a “second life” seven years later as an international bestseller and Oprah Book Club selection. The novel tells the story of a slow-witted, but fiercely determined farm girl growing up in an impoverished Midwestern family. The “New York Times Book Review” said, “Ms. Hamilton gives Ruth a humble dignity and allows her hope—but it’s not a heavenly hope. It’s a common one, caked with mud and held with gritted teeth. And it’s probably the only kind that’s worth reading about.”

When Madeline Was Young by Jane HamiltonHer second novel, “A Map of the World”(1994), another Oprah Book Club pick and “New York Times”bestseller, was adapted as a motion picture starring Sigourney Weaver in 2000. The novel explores the consequences for one woman and her rural Wisconsin community of a toddler’s accidental death. “Newsweek” said, “It takes a writer of rare power and discipline to carry off an achievement like ‘A Map of the World.’ Hamilton proves here that she is one of our best.”

Other books include “The Short History of a Prince” (1998), winner of the “Chicago Tribune” Heartland Prize, and “Disobedience”(2000). “An entertaining, well-plotted meditation on secrecy in the history of a loving family” (“San Francisco Examiner”), “Disobedience” presents the story of a boy who discovers his mother’s illicit affair with a violin-maker. “Publishers Weekly” said, “In a miracle of empathy, Hamilton manages to...  strike the reader’s heart with her tender evocation of both human fallibility and our ability to recover from heartbreaking choices.”

“The Short History of a Prince” presents the personal struggles of a gay man who returns to Wisconsin to teach English after an aimless decade living in New York City. The “Boston Globe” said, “Hamilton’s third novel is arguably her best, for it matches its range of emotion with a technical precision both masterful and haunting.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.