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March 31, 2005

Creative Nonfiction Author Adrian LeBlanc to Speak

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Before Adrian Nicole LeBlanc became a published author of creative nonfiction, she worked as a writing instructor and helped her classmates polish their assignments at Smith College.

At 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, LeBlanc will talk about “Listening Between the Lines: Reflections on Becoming a Writer,” as part of an event to honor the retirement of longtime staff member Marian Macdonald, for whom she worked at Smith.

Macdonald began at Smith in 1976 and founded and directed the Jacobson Center for Teaching, Writing and Learning until her retirement last year. LeBlanc’s talk is in the Weinstein Auditorium of Wright Hall and is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception in the Smith College Club.

LeBlanc published her first book in 2003 to widespread acclaim. “Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx” details the painful true story of Jessica, a young woman who grew up in the Bronx, fell in love with a heroin dealer and became a mother as a teenager. While spending ten years with Jessica and her family, LeBlanc chronicled the young woman’s descent from the pinnacle of wealth to the depths of incarceration and welfare subsistence.

A member of the Smith College Class of 1986, LeBlanc worked with Macdonald at the writing center, which was originally called the Center for Academic Assistance and renamed the Jacobson Center in 1997. LeBlanc will return to campus as part of the event “In Honor, In Thanks” to celebrate Macdonald’s contributions to the college throughout nearly three decades.

Macdonald’s presence at the center will be missed, says Julio Alves, the acting director of the Jacobson Center for Teaching, Writing and Learning since Macdonald’s departure.

“There’s no one like Marian, who can see through the confusion of things and get down to the core,” said Alves. “She had this uncanny analytic ability to home in on the things that can make a difference.” The Jacobson Center for Teaching, Writing and Learning will soon begin a search for a permanent director.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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