Pulitzer Prize-winning Australian novelist Geraldine Brooks will deliver the John Hersey Memorial Address on Thursday, January 8, 2009, during the first session of our twenty-seventh annual Key West Literary Seminar: Historical Fiction and The Search for Truth. Booker Prize-winner Barry Unsworth will have the honors for the second session, delivering his keynote on January 15.
Each year, we begin the Seminar with The John Hersey Memorial Address, established by members of the literary community in fond remembrance of Hersey (1914-1993), a much-loved figure in Key West, where he lived with Barbara, his wife, for many years. Hersey’s writings include the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Bell for Adano, Hiroshima, A Single Pebble, and Key West Tales.
On Saturday, January 10, we will host a special Gala Evening with Gore Vidal. The famed iconoclast and prolific writer returns to the island he came to know as a friend of Tennessee Williams in the 1950s. This event is in memory of John Malcom Brinnin (1916-1999), another greatly-loved Key West figure, the author of several collections of poetry, as well as biography and social criticism including Dylan Thomas in America, The Third Rose: Gertrude Stein and Her World, and The Sway of the Grand Saloon: A Social History of the North Atlantic.
Click here for pictures of John Hersey and John Malcolm Brinnin from the KWLS archives.
Image of six year-old newsboy, "Little Fattie," is by photographer Lewis Hine, 1910. It is in the public domain.