Award winning writer Rich Cohen to be featured in Southeastern's ‘Common Read’ program

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Rich Cohen
by: Rene Abadie

HAMMOND – New York Times bestselling author Rich Cohen will visit Southeastern Louisiana University Monday, March 24, as part of the institution's spring Common Read program.

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Southeastern Writing Center, and the Student Government Association, Common Read provides students and community members the opportunity to read the works of an important contemporary author and then actually meet the writer..

Events that day include student presentations on Cohen's work at 9:30 a.m. and an 11 a.m. question and answer session with the author. At 7 p.m. Cohen will perform a reading of his own work, followed by a question and answer session, book signing and reception. All events are open to the public and will be held in the Student Union Theatre.

Among his works is "The Fish that Ate the Whale," a biography of Samuel Zemurray, a Russian immigrant who came to New Orleans and rose from a fruit peddler to president of the United Fruit Co. The book details Zemurray's role as a powerbroker, working behind the scenes with mercenaries, CIA agents, Central American governments and American elected officials and statesmen.

A native of Chicago and a resident of Connecticut, Cohen has written 10 books and a host of magazine articles for publication such as "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic," "Harper's Magazine," and "Vanity Fair," where he is a contributing editor. He has won the Great Lakes Book Award and the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award, and his stories have been included in "The Best American Essays" and "The Best American Travel Writing."

"For several years now, we've sponsored a Common Read program, featuring a prominent, contemporary author, and it always serves as an exciting experience for our students," said Department of English Head David Hanson. "By meeting and talking with an author who they're studying intensively in class, students gain a rare opportunity to see deeply into an author's life of writing."


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