to host William Maxwell 100th birthday celebration
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[August 06, 2008]
Join the city of Lincoln on Aug.
16 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of noted author William
Maxwell's birth. Maxwell is Lincoln's literary favorite son, not
only because he was born here, but because he frequently referred to
the community in his works.
The city will celebrate Maxwell's birthday at the Logan County
Courthouse rotunda in downtown Lincoln from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Marilyn Hollman will be the featured speaker. There will also be a
visual display and video presentation chronicling Maxwell's life and
Hollman holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has been
the co-director of the Chicago Area Writing Project for the past 10
years. Having grown up in the small town of Dumont, Iowa, she
"connected with Maxwell through his Midwestern stories."
This event is free to the public. Cake and lemonade will be
A self-guided brochure of Maxwell sites will also be available at
the courthouse, the Lincoln Public Library, the Abraham Lincoln
Tourism Bureau of Logan County and online at
Maxwell wrote six highly acclaimed novels, a number of short
stories and essays, children's stories, and a memoir, "Ancestors"
(1972). His award-winning fiction, which is increasingly seen as
some of the most important of the 20th century, has recurring themes
of childhood, family, loss and lives changed quietly and
irreparably. Much of Maxwell's work is autobiographical, concerning
the loss of his mother to the flu pandemic of 1918, when he was 10
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Previous to becoming a literary success, Maxwell graduated from the
University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in 1930 and from
Harvard with a master's in 1931. Most famously, he was The New
Yorker magazine fiction editor from 1936 to 1976. While at The New
Yorker, Maxwell worked with such writers as Vladimir Nabakov, John
Updike, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, Frank O'Connor, Frank O'Hara
and Eudora Welty.
After retiring from The New Yorker, Maxwell concentrated on his
writing and in 1980 won a William Dean Howells Medal for his most
famous work, "So Long, See You Tomorrow."
Maxwell died in New York on July 31, 2000, at the age of 92.
[Text from file received from
Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of
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