Writers in the Library Series Welcomes Margaret Lazarus Dean

margaret-lazarus-dean-smallWriters in the Library will welcome a refreshing new voice in fiction at its next event. Margaret Lazarus Dean will read from her novel The Time It Takes to Fall (Simon & Schuster, 2007) on Monday, October 6 at 7 p.m. in the Hodges Library Auditorium.

A coming of age story set in Florida during the unique historic moment of the Challenger disaster, The Time It Takes to Fall centers on 13-year-old Dolores Gray, the daughter of a NASA employee. While Dolores delves into physics and dreams of becoming an astronaut, she must grapple with social challenges at school and increasing turmoil at home. When the space shuttle Challenger explodes in 1986, the disaster impacts Dolores’s family, town, and her hopes for the future.

In addition to her reading, Dean will discuss her research methods while writing her novel. While investigating the world of space exploration, Dean visited NASA’s digital archive and witnessed a live space shuttle launch. Since the character of Dolores is deeply interested in physics, Dean audited a physics course at the University of Michigan in addition to carrying out library research.

Dean will also discuss the challenges and rewards of trying to combine the facts gleaned from her research with the imaginative world of a fictional narrative, and she will explore the theme of disaster in literature.

An Assistant Professor in the University of Tennessee English Department’s Creative Writing Program, Dean received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. In 2008, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and she received a 2001 Hopwood Award for the novel-in-progress for The Time It Takes to Fall.

The Writers in the Library series is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the Creative Writing Program of the UT English Department. For further information, please contact Jo Anne Deeken, head of technical services, UT Libraries, at 974-6905 or jdeeken@utk.edu, or Kali Meister, Jack E. Reese writer in residence, UT Libraries, at meisterkali@gmail.com.