Pulitzer-winning author Anthony Doerr to speak at University of Portland on February 27

College of Arts and Sciences



Residence Life

Garaventa Center

February 3, 2017

Acclaimed author Anthony Doerr will speak at the University of Portland about his award-winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 27 in the Buckley Center Auditorium. Doerr appears as part of the University’s annual Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writer Series and as part of the 2017 ReadUP celebration of literature in which the entire campus community, including students, faculty, and staff, are encouraged to read one book together.

During the evening event, which is free and open to the public, the University will recognize Doerr with an honorary doctorate.  

Doerr’s 2014 novel All the Light We Cannot See, centering around a blind French girl and a young German soldier whose paths cross during World War II, illuminates the good that can still prevail even against the darkest times. The novel has won numerous literary awards, including the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Previously, Doerr published The Shell Collector (2002), a collection of short stories, many of which take place in Africa and New Zealand, where he has worked and lived. A memoir, Four Seasons in Rome (2007) and the novel About Grace (2004) followed. In 2010 Memory Wall, a collection of stories set on four continents, won the acclaimed Story Prize. His short fiction has also earned him four O. Henry Prizes and been anthologized in The Best American Short StoriesThe Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories.

In addition to the recognition for All the Light, his awards and honors include the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the National Magazine Award for Fiction. From 2007 to 2010, he was the writer-in-residence for the state of Idaho.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr graduated from Bowdoin College in 1995 in Brunswick, Maine with a BA in History, then went on to earn his MFA in Fiction Writing in 1999 from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He currently lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife Shauna Eastman, who he met at Bowdoin College, and their twin boys.

Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writer Series

The annual Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writers Series was founded in 1988 by Rev. Arthur Schoenfeldt, C.S.C., of the University's Holy Cross community, and his sister, University regent Suzanne Schoenfeldt Fields, in honor of their late parents. The Schoenfeldt Series is designed to honor and celebrate the best of American literature by bringing some of the finest writers in the United States to campus. Twice each year (usually in February and October), Schoenfeldt guest writers offer a public reading and also visit students and faculty during their time on The Bluff, especially those in literature, science, and journalism classes.


Free copies of each year's ReadUP selection are distributed by the Clark Library, and book discussion groups are formed in the residence halls and at faculty/staff brown bag lunches. The campaign culminates with a public lecture and discussion by the book's author, sponsored by the Schoenfeldt Distinguished Visiting Writers Series.  ReadUP is sponsored by Clark Library, Office of Residence Life, Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writers Series, Office of the Provost, Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture, and the Office of Marketing and Communications. 


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