Education as Inspiration: How Smith Informs Four Writers' Lives

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Four alums discuss how Smith influences their writing lives, Friday, October 18, 7:30 pm, Sweeney Concert Hall.
Friday, October 18, 2013
7:30 pm Panel Discussion - "Education as Inspiration: How Smith Informs Four Writers' Lives"
Sweeney Concert Hall

Watch a video of the event.

The panel discussion with Cindy L. Copeland ’82; Carole De Santi ’81, J. Courtney Sullivan ’03 and Hanya Yanagihara ’95 will be moderated by book critic, journalist and author Bethanne Patrick ’85. A book signing will follow the panel.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Smith College Libraries in conjunction with the inauguration of Kathleen McCartney as 11th President of Smith College.


Cynthia (“Cindy”) L. Copeland '82 is the best-selling author and illustrator of more than 25 books for adults and children. She has sold more than three-quarters of a million books in five languages and her books have been recommended by Oprah, Regis Philbin, Ann Landers, and the hosts of Good Morning America. Her latest book is Good Riddance: An Illustrated Memoir of Divorce. She lives in New Hampshire.

Carole DeSanti ’81 is Vice President and Editor at Large at Viking Penguin. An acquisitions editor for 25 years, she is known for championing independent, original women’s voices, including Melissa Bank, Marisha Pessl, Penelope Lively, Deborah Harkness and Ruth Ozeki ’80 whose book Tale for the Time Being has been short-listed for The Man Booker Prize for 2013. DeSanti’s own first novel is The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., published in 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It has been described as "an unflinching portrait of love and loss against a landscape of Parisian decadence." She lives in New York and Leverett, MA.

J. Courtney Sullivan '03 is the author of Commencement, Maine and now The Engagements. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine, and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. Sullivan is a contributor to the essay anthology The Secret Currency of Love and co-editor of Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, New York, Elle, Glamour, Allure, and Men’s Vogue, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Hanya Yanagihara '95 is the executive editor at Condé Nast Traveler and the author of The People in the Trees. This ambitious first novel has propelled her to national and international attention. According to the New York Times, Yanagihara is “a writer to marvel at.” Her next book, A Little Life, will be published by Doubleday in early 2015. She lives in New York. 



Mary Irwin
Friends of the Smith College Libraries
(413) 585-2903