2013 Borowitz Lecture Features Mystery Novelist Joanne Dobson
Novelist, essayist, teacher, and speaker Joanne Dobson is the Kent State University Libraries’ 2013 Borowitz Lecturer. She will be presenting on bibliomysteries—mystery stories in which books or manuscripts are significant features of the plot, as in her own novel The Maltese Manuscript (2003). For many years, Dobson was a professor of English at Fordham University. She has also taught at Tufts University and Amherst College. Her scholarly work focuses on Emily Dickinson, popular American women’s literature, and the history of the book. In 1989 she published Dickinson and the Strategies of Reticence: The Woman Writer in Nineteenth-Century America. Her scholarly edition of E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand was published in 1988.
Dobson is well-known for her series of mystery novels set at a fictional New England liberal arts college and featuring Professor Karen Pelletier, who, in the midst of teaching and working toward tenure, finds herself involved in a number of campus murder mysteries, all of which intersect with scholarly research, manuscripts, and academic politics. To date the series includes six novels: Quieter Than Sleep; The Northbury Papers; The Raven and the Nightingale; Cold and Pure and Very Dead; The Maltese Manuscript; and Death Without Tenure. Dobson’s latest novel, Face of the Enemy, is the first book in the New York in Wartime series, co-authored with Beverle Graves Myers.
The Borowitz Lecture is a program of the Kent State University Libraries and is held in honor of the Borowitz Crime Collection located in the Department of Special Collections and Archives. This year’s lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 9, at 3:00 p.m. in the Read Special Collections Classroom, room 1018 of the Kent State University Library. The event is free and open to the public. In tandem with this lecture, Special Collections and Archives is currently featuring selected examples of the bibliomystery genre in its exhibit Bibliomysteries: Bound by Crime. The exhibit will be open for viewing before and after the Borowitz Lecture. For more information, please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives at 330-672-2270 or visit the department online at www.library.kent.edu/specialcollections.