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Best-selling authors will hold public discussions of work, craft

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
217-333-2177; andreal@illinois.edu

1/30/2008

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two best-selling writers will discuss their work and their craft as guests of the University of Illinois Library.

Audrey Niffenegger, a book artist and author of fantasy, and Gary Blackwood, primarily an author of works for children and young adults, will visit the Library on Feb. 7 and March 3, respectively. Both events are free and open to the public.

Niffenegger will visit from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Room 346, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana.

A professor at Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago, Niffenegger is the author of The New York Time’s best-seller “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” The highly acclaimed book has been praised as a “soaring” love story of a dashing librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, who, according to Publishers Weekly, “finds himself unavoidably whisked around in time.”

Niffenegger also is the author of “The Adventuress” and “The Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel.”

Blackwood will speak from 3 to 4 p.m., also in the Rare Book Library. His informal discussion, which is part of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s “Books in Culture/Culture in Books Series,” will include comments about writing historical fiction.

Blackwood is the author of “The Shakespeare Stealer,” “The Shakespeare Spy,” “Second Sight” and “Wild Timothy,” among other titles. “The Shakespeare Stealer” is a fast-moving tale of a 14-year-old English orphan sent by a rival theater manager to steal the as-yet-unpublished “Hamlet” in 1601. Publishers Weekly wrote that the book “excels in the lively depictions of Elizabethan stagecraft and street life.”

Blackwood’s work covers the entire spectrum of children’s books – from picture books to young adult books, both fiction and nonfiction.

In his spare time, Blackwood writes plays for adults and young audiences. His adaptation of “The Shakespeare Stealer” has been produced many times in the United States, in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Seattle’s Children’s Theatre.