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Isabel Wilkerson, Photo by Joe Henson
Isabel Wilkerson


NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2011
8:00 p.m. Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue,
Downtown Campus


Isabel Wilkerson, the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer for journalism, will present her award-winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (2010), a sweeping history of the movement of Blacks from the former slave states to the cities of the industrial North, on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Albany Times Union, and is free and open to the public.

Isabel Wilkerson,
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of the national bestseller, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (2010), a sweeping history of the movement of Blacks from the former slave states to the cities of the industrial North from 1915 to 1970. One of the largest internal migrations in history, the Great Migration transformed cultural and political landscape of the United States. The book is based on interviews with 1,200 people who participated in the Migration, and brings to light the personal dramas and acts of courage that characterize a critical, but little-studied passage, in American history. Wilson was inspired to write the book by her family history and the migration of her parents.

The Warmth of Other SonsWriting in the New Yorker, Jill Lepore called The Warmth of Other Suns, “[A] deeply affecting, finely crafted and heroic book.” Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called it, “profound, necessary, and a delight to read.” NBC’s Tom Brokaw praised it as “an epic for all Americans who want to understand the making of our modern nation.” The reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Not since Alex Haley’s Roots has there been a history of equal literary quality where the writing surmounts the rhythmic soul of fiction, where the writer’s voice sings a song of redemptive glory as true as Faulkner’s southern cantatas.” Writing in the Wall Street Journal, John Stauffer said, “Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.”

The Warmth of Other Suns received the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfeld-Wolf Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. The bookwas named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including the New York Times “10 Best Books of the Year,” Amazon.com’s “5 Best Books of 2010,” and similar lists in the New Yorker,  Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Economist, Seattle Times, San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, Salon, Daily Beast, Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Entertainment Weekly.

Wilkerson spent most of her career as a national correspondent and Chicago Bureau Chief at The New York Times. She is the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in the history of American journalism and was the first black American to win for individual reporting. She received the Pulitzer in 1994 for her 1993 coverage of floods in the Midwest. Other journalism prizes include the George S. Polk Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Journalist of the Year award of the National Association of Black Journalists. Wilkerson currently serves as Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction in the College of Communications at Boston University

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