Best Selling Author to Speak About African-American Migration

Isabel Wilkerson Visits WWU Campus Oct. 2

By: Camlynne Waring

Pulitzer-prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson will be in Walla Walla Oct. 1 and 2 to speak about her book, The New York Times bestseller “The Warmth of Other Suns.”  The book chronicles the under-reported migration of millions of African-Americans from the American South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals: Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling, and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster.

Wilkerson will make presentations at the Walla Walla Public Library on Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.; at Whitman College’s Cordiner Hall on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.; and at Walla Walla University in room 209 of the Winter Education Complex on Oct. 2 at 8 a.m.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Wilkerson is now a professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University.  She has lectured on migration, social justice, urban affairs and 20th Century history across the U.S., as well as in Europe.

“The Warmth of Other Suns” won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Hillman Book Prize, the 2011 Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the 2011 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, the Independent Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University, the NAACP Image Award for best literary debut and was shortlisted for the 2011 Pen-Galbraith Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

According to her website, Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson has also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Wilkerson’s visit is sponsored by Walla Walla Reads, Whitman College Summer Read Program, and Walla Walla University.

For more information on Wilkerson and her visit, follow the links below:

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