Local biographer Charles Shields appointed to Mary Washington post

From the University of Mary Washington:


 The University of Mary Washington announces the appointment of noted biographer Charles J. Shields as associate director of the University’s popular Great Lives public lecture series.

Shields is the author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (2006) the first biography of novelist Harper Lee, and a New York Times bestseller. Shields’ next book, And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Henry Holt & Co) will be released in November 2011. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review in its fall roundup earlier this month.

The Great Lives series began under the aegis of the Chappell Lecture Series, endowed by a grant from John Chappell of Philadelphia, whose late wife Carmen Culpeper Chappell was an alumna of the Mary Washington class of 1959. Distinguished Professor of History William B. Crawley, Jr. has directed the Great Lives series since its inception in 2004.

Biographers who have recently participated in the Great Lives series include Gary Giddins, Satchmo: The Genius of Louis Armstrong; Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life; T.J. Stiles, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt; Douglas Brinkley, Rosa Parks: A Life; and Kitty Kelly, Oprah.

In addition to his writing, Shields serves as Vice President of Biographers International Organization (BIO), the first international organization to represent the everyday interests of practicing biographers: those who’ve already published the stories of real lives, and those working on biographies— in every medium, from print to film.

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