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Bestselling Author Nick Hornby Will Speak at U of M March 22
For release: March 15, 2006
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British writer Nick Hornby, author of international bestsellers Fever Pitch, High Fidelity, About a Boy and A Long Way Down, will read from his work and answer questions March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Of coming to Memphis, Hornby says, "It's hard to convey just how powerful a hold your city has on the imagination of an enormous number of English people." His first novel, High Fidelity (later a movie starring John Cusack), features a leading man whose love for Memphis music leads him to conclude that "Al Green Explores Your Mind is as serious as life gets." His second novel, About a Boy, was made into a film starring Hugh Grant. How to be Good, published in 2002, tells the story of a woman in midlife crisis. A Long Way Down, published in 2006, follows four people who must decide whether "to be or not to be" when they meet on the top of a building as each is preparing to jump off.

Hornby also writes screenplays, short stories and a monthly book column for McSweeney's Believer. He has served as music critic for The New Yorker and published Songbook, a book of essays about popular music, in 2003. Inspired by Bono, he also is a serious philanthropist, donating the profits from Songbook and Speaking with the Angel, a short story collection he edited, to literacy and special education organizations.

Dr. Barbara Ching, director of the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities, says Hornby is an ideal visitor to the University since he is a "man of letters whose interests – music, sports, literature and how to enter adult life while maintaining a connection to these joys – touch the lives of so many of our students."

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