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Mountains Beyond Mountains

Author Tracy Kidder to discuss latest book and One Book One Northwestern selection

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January 19, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tracy Kidder -- author of “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” this year’s ”One Book One Northwestern” selection -- will speak Wednesday, Feb. 9, and deliver the “One Book One Northwestern” keynote address Thursday, Feb. 10, at Northwestern University.

At noon on Feb. 9, Kidder will discuss “Strength in What Remains,” his most recent book, in the McCormick Tribune Forum, 1870 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus. Part of the Global Health Lecture Series, the lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

At 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, Kidder will discuss “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” This inspiring book chronicles the fight of a Harvard-trained physician to bring adequate medical care to Haiti and other medically underserved nations. Free and open to the public, the lecture will take place in Room 107 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus. A reception will follow.

The real-life hero of “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is Dr. Paul Farmer, a MacArthur “genius award” winner who co-founded Partners in Health to conquer tuberculosis, AIDS and other infectious diseases in regions too poor to afford costly drugs. When the devastating Haitian earthquake occurred a year ago, Partners in Health treated many of the earthquake’s 300,000 injured victims and helped to reopen and run Port-au-Prince’s main hospital.

“Strength in What Remains,” published in 2009, grew out of Kidder’s reporting on Dr. Farmer. It tells the story of an African refugee who survives genocide in war-torn Burundi and living homeless in New York’s Central Park to eventually become a student at Columbia University.

A master of literary nonfiction, Kidder has received the National Book Award, the Robert Kennedy Award and other literary prizes in addition to the Pulitzer. He is the author of nine books and has written articles for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review and other publications.

The Feb. 9 Kidder presentation is part of the Global Health Lecture Series sponsored by Northwestern’s Program of African Studies, the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Program in Public Health, the Office of International Program Development and the One Book One Northwestern initiative. To attend, e-mail African-studies@northwestern.edu or RSVP on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=167840429919027&ref=ts.

Because space is limited for the Feb. 10 keynote address, RSVPs are appreciated (though not required) at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169605489746026 or by e-mailing onebook@northwestern.edu.

One Book One Northwestern is a campus-wide program that brings students, staff and faculty from across campus together around a single book. An initiative of the Office of the President, this year’s One Book program is coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement.