Penn's Kelly Writers House Announces Fellows

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Media Contact:Russell C. Campbell | | 215-898-7798January 13, 2003
PHILADELPHIA – One was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, another electrifies the stage with avant-garde performances and the third is a renowned cultural critic and essayist. Walter Bernstein, Laurie Anderson and Susan Sontag have been named the Kelly Writers House Fellows for the spring semester at the University of Pennsylvania. Bernstein will be on the Penn campus Feb. 17-18, followed by Anderson March 24-25 and Sontag April 21-22. The Fellows program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to interact with noted authors in an informal setting. Walter Bernstein was first a regular contributor to "The New Yorker" and wrote for some of early television's finest dramatic shows. He is best known as the writer of films, among them "Fail Safe," "The Molly Maguires," "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Front," for which he received an Academy Award nomination. During the McCarthy period, he was blacklisted and could not work openly as a writer. His memoir, "Inside Out," is an account of this experience. An avant-garde performance artist with a huge popular reputation, Laurie Anderson has written and performed "Stories from the Nerve Bible," her interpretation of "Moby-Dick," and "United States." She has toured the world many times with shows ranging from relatively simple spoken-word performances to elaborate multimedia events and exhibits. Anderson has shared a stage with Cab Calloway, toured with William Burroughs, studied art history with Meyer Schapiro and covered a presidential election for NPR. Susan Sontag, art critic, essayist, theorist and novelist, is among the most influential writers and thinkers in the U.S. She first gained attention for the 1964 essay "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," the book in which it appeared with other provocative pieces. She is best known for her cultural analyses such as "On Photography" and "Illness as Metaphor," but she has written four novels, including "The Volcano Lover" and "In America," for which she won the National Book Award. During the visit of each Fellow, a reading/presentation will take place on Monday at 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday at 10 a.m. Writers House will host a brunch followed by a one-hour interview/conversation. Reservations are necessary. The Tuesday-morning programs will be webcast live worldwide. Those who wish to participate from a distance in the webcast may contact Writers House at or 215-573-9749.