Pulitzer-Winning Fiction Writer, Former AG Plan UMaine Visits

Contact: Naomi Jacobs, (207) 581-3823

ORONO — The College Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine is hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Elizabeth Strout and her husband, former Maine Attorney General Jim Tierney, March 22-24 to visit classes, meet with students and deliver a public reading.

Strout is the author of three successful works of fiction: Amy and Isabelle; Abide with Me and Olive Kitteridge. Members of the campus and surrounding communities are invited to a reading Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Conference Center. There is no cost.

Strout’s parents are graduates of the University of Maine, and her husband Jim Tierney is a former Maine attorney general and alumnus of the UMaine Political Science Department. Strout and Tierney, who also will visit political science classes, meet with students and serve on a discussion panel, are making the visit as a gift to the university.

The Pulitzer Prize in fiction citation that Strout received in 2009 for Olive Kitteridge, says that the collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine “packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating.”

From 2-3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 24, Strout will lead an open conversation, also a public event, with student writers in Room 304 Neville Hall.

Tierney, a Democrat and former Majority Leader of the Maine House who ran for governor in 1986, losing to Republican John McKernan, will lead a public forum examining the outcomes and implications of the 2010 election cycle on Thursday, March 24 at 12 p.m. in Memorial Union’s Totman Room. The 90-minute forum will feature insight and opinions on last year’s elections at both state and national levels.

Tierney now serves as director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia University Law School, where students recognized him as the Public Interest Law Professor of the Year in 2006. He will be part of a panel that includes members of the UMaine chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.