Last week, first-year Bryn Mawr students got to hear from Pulitzer-Prize winning author Adam Johnson, who visited campus as the 2019 Emily Balch speaker.
Johnson's most recent book is the collection Fortune Smiles, winner of the National Book Award and the Story Prize, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for The Orphan Master’s Son, which also one the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the California Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Johnson’s other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship; he was also a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. His previous books are the short-story collection Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University
In recent years, the Balch Speaker Series has featured author and historian Jill Lepore; award-winning novelist and essayist Zadie Smith; novelist and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Karen Russell; graphic novelist Alison Bechdel; and last year's speaker, Roxane Gay.
Conceived as a complement to the Balch seminar curriculum, the speaker series brings together the entire freshman class for a conversation with an author whose work they may just have encountered in class. The format—a formal lecture followed by an informal conversation and an even more informal dessert reception—provides the perfect combination of intellectual engagement, excitement, and fun.
Taught by scholar/teachers of distinction within their fields and across academic disciplines, Balch Seminars challenge students to think about complex, wide-ranging issues from a variety of perspectives.