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Books Sandwiched In Series at Colby-Sawyer College Features N.H. Authors Discussing Natural History, Writing and Children's Literature

NEW LONDON, N.H., Sept. 18, 2009– Colby-Sawyer College will present its fall Books Sandwiched In series in October with discussions and readings with three accomplished New Hampshire writers: naturalist and author/illustrator David Carroll, novelist Ernest Hebert and children's book author David Elliott.

The series began on Wednesday, Oct. 7, with David Carroll, who read from and discuss his most recent book, Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, novelist and Dartmouth College Professor of Creative Writing Ernest Hebert will read from and discuss his books, many of which are based in small-town New Hampshire. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, David Elliott, the author of numerous picture books, chapter books and graphic novels, will discuss the art of writing for children and the challenges of re-engaging boys in reading.

All three programs begin at noon and will be held in Hicks Alumni Lounge at the Ware Campus Center. The community is invited to attend, and admission is free. Attendees may bring their lunch to the events.

Westmoreland, N.H., resident Ernest Hebert will discuss his writing and read from his recently completed novel, tentatively titled Hands On, about Jacques Landry, a New Hampshire man of Franco-American heritage who dooms himself to a life of menial labor. His brief but passionate love affair with a Louisiana woman of similar heritage—with whom he shares a psychic connection to the tragic history of their shared Acadian ancestors who were exiled from Canada—is revived amid the chaos of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

Hebert has published eight novels, most of which are focused on small town New Hampshire life, and two non-fiction books. Six of his novels revolve around characters in the fictional town of Darby, New Hampshire. A current theme in his work is native versus newcomer. His novels include Spoonwood (2005), winner of the IPPY Award for Best Regional Novel in the Northeast; The Old American (2000);Mad Boys (1993); The Kinship (1993); Live Free or Die (1990); The Passion of Estelle Jordan (1987); Whisper My Name (1984); A Little More Than Kin (1982); and The Dogs of March (1979). Hebert was named Fiction Author of the Year by the New England Booksellers Association in 2006.

Hebert is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Dartmouth College, where he has taught creative writing courses for 21 years. He earned a B.A. from Keene State College and attended Stanford University.

David Elliott, a Warner, N.H., resident who has written dozens of books for children in the last decade, will discuss the art of writing for children and the challenges of re-engaging boys in reading. He will read from his most recent picture book, Finn Throws a Fit!, which recently earned a starred review in Publisher's Weekly. The review praises the book's perfect rendering of a toddler's tantrum “in all its magnificence,” suggesting that “small readers will giggle at the realization of their angry feelings—complete with rippling lengths of toilet paper, floods of tears and flying crockery—while parents will blanch at the brilliant exposition of the power their children hold over them.”

One of Elliott's picture books, And Here's to You! —a lively, rhyming tribute to the furry, feathered and four-legged “people” that children love—made The New York Times' best-seller list for children's books in 2007. In 2008, he produced his first chapter book for older children, Jeremy Cabbage and the Living Museum of Human Oddballs and Quadruped Delights, which was sold to a major publishing house, Alfred A. Knopf, and then optioned as a motion picture to Fox 2000, part of the Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox. Many of Elliott's books are full of funny, lovable oddball heroes like Roscoe Wizzle, Evangeline Mudd and Hazel Nutt, who triumph over all through the power of their imagination, love of adventure and wacky sense of humor.

Elliott teaches in the Humanities Department and serves as director of International Student Services at Colby-Sawyer College. He earned a B.A. at Ohio State University and M.A. at the School of International Training.

The first auhor of the series, David Carroll, discussed his latest work, Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook, in which he paints in vivid and detailed prose and illustrations the evolving life of a New Hampshire wetland. He chronicles his favorite species, the turtle, along with the many other animals, insects, trees and plants that inhabit the natural habitats which he believes are too often sacrificed to the modern gods of progress.

A 2006 MacArthur Foundation Fellow in Environment and Conservation and recipient of the accompanying “genius award,” Carroll has published four other books on various aspects of natural history and wildlife preservation, including Swampwalker's Journal (1999), which won the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished work of natural history; Self-Portrait with Turtles (2004), Trout Reflections (1993) and The Year of the Turtle (1996). A naturalist for more than 40 years, Carroll records the ecology of the forests and wetland habitats around New England, especially those near his home in Warner in central New Hampshire.

Freshwater turtles are the primary focus of Carroll's studies, particularly the increasingly rare spotted and wood turtles. Through his writing, fieldwork, artwork and lectures, he reflects the beauty, history and inherent value of swamps, marshes, bogs, kettle ponds and rivers. His deep understanding of the plants and animals that inhabit these natural habitats makes him a valuable resource for scientists and conservationists and provide a meticulous record of the vibrant life that thrives in areas threatened by human encroachment.

Carroll received a B.F.A from Tufts University and studied painting at School of the Museum of Fine Arts. His artwork has been exhibited at such institutions as the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. He is an active lecturer and consultant to conservation institutions throughout New England.

For more information about the Books Sandwiched In series, contact Librarian Carrie Thomas at

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000