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Vassar’s Bookstore offers four author events including presentations by Liza Donnelly, Lynn Owen, Eleanor Garrell Berger, and Michael Korda in October and November, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY--The Vassar College Bookstore, located in the College Center, will host four events in the Bookstore Author Series in October and November. Speakers will include New Yorker cartoonist and Vassar faculty member Liza Donnelly (10/7, 10:00am); Vassar staff member Lynn Owen, author of LaGrange (10/15, 5:00pm); Vassar alumna Eleanor Garrell Berger, author of Stepping Out, A Tenderfoot’s Guide to the Principals, Practices and Pleasures of Countryside Walking (11/5, 3:00pm campus walk; 4:00pm bookstore presentation); and best-selling author Michael Korda (11/12, 5:00pm), who will speak about his most recent book With Wings Like Eagles. All events are free and open to the public.

ABOUT LIZA DONNELLY (10/7, 10:00am)

Liza Donnelly, a member of the faculty of the Women’s Studies Department at Vassar College and Hudson Valley resident, is a staff cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine. Her cartoons have appeared regularly in the magazine since 1982, at which time she was the youngest and one of only three women cartoonists at the magazine. Donnelly will discuss and demonstrate the art of the cartoon during her presentation at the bookstore on October 7.

For children, Donnelly has written and illustrated seven books for Scholastic Inc’s best-selling series: Dinosaur Day, Dinosaur Beach, Dinosaurs’ Halloween, Dinosaur Garden, Dinosaur Thanksgiving, Dinosaur Christmas, Dinosaurs’ Valentine.

In addition to her work for the The New Yorker, Donnelly’s cartoons have appeared in many other national publications, including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Nation, Audubon, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, National Lampoon. Online Donnelly cartoons appear on revolvingfloor.com, where she is the cartoon editor; as well the HuffingtonPost Slate, wowowow.com, dscriber.com, and TONEaudio.com.

Her most recent book, written with her husband Michael Maslin is Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony with the New Yorker’s Cartooning Couple (Random House, 2009). Her other books include a history of the women cartoonists of the New Yorker, titled Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons” (Prometheus Books, 2005). This book is widely considered a must have for historians of the magazine and cartoon fans. In Sex and Sensibility: Ten Women Examine the Lunacy of Modern Love in 200 Cartoons (Twelve Books, 2007), Donnelly explored how love and sex today were viewed by 10 prominent women cartoonists. She also conceived of and edited three collections of cartoons for Ballantine Books called Mothers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons, and Husbands and Wives (the last two with Michael Maslin).

Lynn Owen will discuss her recent book LaGrange (Arcadia Publishing, 2009) on October 15 at 5:00pm. Her book explores the history and culture of the town of LaGrange in Dutchess County,
founded in 1821 as the town of Freedom. The book documents the time from the establishment of LaGrange’s original farms and mills in the early 1800s to the present day. Owen writes of some of LaGrange’s famous inhabitants, including Dr. George Huntington, who was hailed for his research on the disease that bears his name; the composer T. Carl Whitmer; and James Baird, the man who built the Lincoln Memorial.  

Owen moved to LaGrange with her husband in 1998, after purchasing a home that dates back to the late 1700s. In order to gain more insight into their home’s past, she joined the LaGrange Historical Society. Becoming captivated more and more by the history of the town, she became the president of the society in 2003 and has been serving in the position since. She also is a member of the Dutchess County Historical Society.

Owen was approached by Arcadia Publishing with an idea of a book to share the history of LaGrange. The highlight of the project was the opportunity to speak with LaGrangers, many who are long-time residents. Owen is planning to continue making a record of their memories for future generations, as well as hoping for the readers to enjoy the town’s story. She stated, “I hope that the book will encourage local residents, especially the young people, to want to learn more about LaGrange’s history, so that they take an interest in helping to preserve the area's remaining historic sites.”

 A graduate of Dutchess Community College, Owen currently works as an office specialist in the Disability and Support Services at Vassar College.

(11/5, 3:00pm campus walk; 4:00pm bookstore presentation; 5:00pm discussion in the Retreat)

Eleanor Garrell Berger
(Vassar College Class of 1964) has had more than three decades of professional experience in writing essays, stories, and critiques. She shares this passion and an insider perspective of walking outdoors in Great Britain in her recently published book Stepping Out, A Tenderfoot’s Guide to the Principals, Practices and Pleasures of Countryside Walking. On November 5 at 3:00pm she will demonstrate countryside walking with a walk around the Vassar campus; at 4:00pm she will discuss Stepping Out in the bookstore. The discussion with Berger will continue in the Retreat, located in the College Center, at 5:00pm.

Stepping Out is a detailed travelogue based on Berger’s own experiences in walking outdoors more than 1000 miles of pathways. The book includes amusing and inspirational personal essays for those who enjoy walking in the countryside and reading about the journeys of others.

In addition to the essays, the readers can find in the book a lot of advice and tips about planning and preparing for a walking journey, essential information about aches, pains, and natural disturbances. Embellished with pen and ink sketches by Elayne Searss, the book also gives insider advice on local British hotels, youth hostels, pubs, and restaurants.


Educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Magdalen College, Oxford, Michael Korda is the Editor in Chief Emeritus of Simon & Schuster. The author lives in Dutchess County, New York.

On November 12, at 5:00pm, he will discuss his latest work, With Wings Like Eagles, which depicts a history of the famous Battle of Britain in 1940. This battle was described by Winston Churchill as “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Korda’s book shows the combat through the lens of young fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force, in which he himself served.

With Wings Like Eagles tells the story of one of the biggest air battles by presenting such historical figures as Winston Churchill, Nelle Chamberlain, Reichsmarschall Herman Göring, along with the leader of RAF Fighter Command as the central figure of the story and young British and German pilots, the American airman who joined the RAF just before the Battle of Britain started, and young airwomen. The story is more than an epic battle memoir with its critical focus on political, diplomatic, scientific, and industrial events that shaped the tumultuous era. Invention of radar, innovative developments by aircraft designers, and the rise of air bombing as modern weapon of warfare are among the motives presented in the story.

New York Times Sunday Book Review contributor Phillip Carter noted that With Wings Like Eaglessoars in those parts in which Korda describes how the British prepared for the war in the skies, or how the Germans failed time and again to deliver a knockout blow.

Korda has published many acclaimed national best selling books, a number of which have appeared on the New York Times list. Among the author’s previous works are Power, Queenie, The Fortune, Charmed Lives, Country Matters, and Another Life. Having worked in the publishing industry for a long time, Korda also published a book about best sellers Making the List, in 2001.

The Vassar College Bookstore Faculty and Alumnae/i Author Series began during the 2009 spring semester, when Cathy Black-Benson (bookstore manager) and Sue Vinett (assistant manager) sought to highlight to both on-campus and off-campus students, families, residents, and professionals some of the richness of thought and accomplishment available at the campus bookstore. The series, which has expanded to include Vassar alumnae/i, will continue to announce additional speakers throughout the 2009-10 academic year.

The Vassar College Bookstore hosts a Writer’s Circle every third Thursday of the month at 1:00pm. In addition, the bookstore welcomes the opportunity to work with local professionals, educators, book club members, service providers, or parents. To arrange an author event for a group or for additional information about the Writer’s Circle, please contact Sue Vinett at (845) 437-5870 suvinett@vassar.edu.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar Campus are available online.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, September 29, 2009