Words to Live By | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Words to Live By 

State of the Arts

Published August 26, 2009 at 7:37 a.m.


The University of Vermont uses its annual academic convocation to set the tone for the upcoming year. But this Sunday, townies might want to attend just to hear the keynote speaker, renowned nonfiction author Tracy Kidder. Among his books are House, The Soul of a New Machine, Among Schoolchildren and Mountains Beyond Mountains, the story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his struggle against third-world disease, which this year’s crop of UVM freshmen has been assigned to read before arriving on campus.

Kidder’s newest book, Strength in What Remains, explores the incredible journey of a refugee from Burundi who went from sleeping in Central Park to graduating from medical school — and eventually used his skills to found a free clinic in his impoverished home country. The convocation is the Pulitzer winner’s only stop in northern Vermont on a national book tour that also includes Northshire Bookstore in Manchester; look for him there on September 26 at 7 p.m.

Want to learn more?

UVM Convocation 2009 with Keynote Speaker Tracy Kidder

Sunday, August 30, 6 p.m., at Patrick Gymnasium, University of Vermont, Burlington. Kidder will sign books at 8:30 p.m. in the Mount Mansfield Room of the Davis Center. Free but ticketed. Tickets are available at the Hoffman Information Desk in the Davis Center, 656-4636. For more info, call 656-4205.

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About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.


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