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Author Elizabeth Berg to Speak at Catawba's 24th Annual Brady Author's Symposium

February 08, 2010

Category: Events


Another New York Times bestsellers list author will be the keynote speaker at Catawba College's 24th annual Brady Author's Symposium on Thursday, March 18. Elizabeth Berg, with 21 books to her credit, including her latest, "Home Safe," will share remarks entitled, "The Story Behind the Stories," at the symposium. Her upcoming book, "The Last Time I Saw You"  will be released in April.

Immensely popular with readers who appreciate both her powers of observation and her detailed descriptions, Berg spent 10 years as a registered nurse before becoming a full-time writer. Her ability to provide authentic details, especially in her medically themed books, draw on observations from her nursing experience. She writes about the experience of a comatose man in "Range of Motion," about a nurse caring for a friend dying of cancer in "Talk Before Sleep," and about a nurse providing end-of-life care for her former adolescent crush in "Never Change."

Her novels contain realistic details about ordinary, everyday life while they also tend to examine the resilience of the human spirit. Her works have been described by Barnes& as "sincere, unpretentious, somewhat sentimental" with plots which "can occasionally be predictable."

Tickets are on sale now for symposiumEvents that include an 11 a.m. lecture with Berg, followed by seated luncheon at 12:15 p.m. and a book signing. She will also participate in an hour-long question and answer session from 2 until 3 p.m. Tickets for Berg's March 18th lecture are $15 each, with a limited number of luncheon tickets available for $15 each. Cost to attend the question and answer session is also $15. AllEvents associated with her visit to Catawba will take place in the Robertson College-Community Center on campus.

Berg's latest novel, "Home Safe," has garnered good reviews. People noted it as "a charming read," while USA Today described it as "quietly uplifting" and described Berg as "a sensitive and controlled writer with an uncanny way of capturing how women think and what they say."  Publishers Weekly wrote of "Home Safe": "Berg gracefully renders, in tragic and comic detail, the notions that every life – however blessed — has its share of awful loss, and that even crushed, defeated hearts can be revived."

"Durable Goods," Berg's first novel in 1993, was named Best Book of the Year by the American Library Association. "True to Form," "Never Change," and "Open House" were New York Times bestsellers. "Open House" was also an Oprah's Book Club selection in 2000.

Born Elizabeth Hoff on Dec. 2, 1948 in St. Paul, Minn., Berg's father was a U.S. Army colonel whose career took his family to a new army base in a new city every few years. She notes in a biography found on that she was "a dramatic and dreamy child" who "loved books and reading from the time my mother began reading to me, and I've loved writing ever since I could hold a pencil."  She says that her first writing submission, a poem to American Girl magazine was rejected and thereafter, she waited 25 years to submit anything else. She entered a contest in a magazine and won, which set her to writing for magazines for 10 years before she moved onto novels.

Before becoming a writer, Berg was employed for 10 years as a registered nurse and she describes that time on as her "school" for writing. She shares: "taking care of patients taught me a lot about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and triumph and especially about relationships — all things that I tend to focus on in my work."

Married for more than 20 years and now divorced, Berg has two daughters and two grandchildren, and makes her home with her partner, Bill, and dog Homer outside of Chicago and in Wisconsin.

Berg joins an impressive group of authors who have spoken at previous Brady Author's Symposia, including Reynolds Price, Doris Betts, Lee Smith, Anne Rivers Siddons, Angela Davis-Gardner, Dannye Romine Powell, Josephine Humphries, Betty Adcock, Kay Gibbons, Fred Chappell, Robert Inman, John Berendt, Pat Conroy, Terry Kay, Jan Karon, Gail Godwin, Ann Hood, Tim McLaurin, Frances Mayes, Rick Bragg, Susan Vreeland, Jodi Picoult, Gish Jen, Joanne Harris and Chris Bohjalian.

For more details or tickets, contact the Catawba College Public Relations Office at (704) 637-4393.


PHOTOS: Author Elizabeth Berg Speaks at Catawba