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March 25, 2014

Pulitzer-contending ISU prof Shelden’s focus on biographies in speakers series finale

TERRE HAUTE — Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Shelden will close out the 2013-14 University Speakers Series at Indiana State University.

A biographer and professor of English at Indiana State, Shelden’s books give new life to historical figures, according to an ISU press release.

From “George Orwell: The Authorized Biography,” a New York Times Notable Book for which he was a Pulitzer finalist, to his clever and witty tale of Mark Twain’s final years, “The Man in White,” Shelden gives audiences a glimpse into the men behind the legends.

The Twain biography was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by the Christian Science Monitor and the Library Journal.

During his presentation at 7 p.m. on April 3 in University Hall, Shelden will share stories about the private lives of some of the biggest names in history.

In addition to his biographies of Orwell and Twain, Shelden has published works on Graham Greene and, most recently, Winston Churchill.

The latter book, “Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill” has been praised by critics as a vivid portrait of “the young Churchill at his best, a great foretelling of what was to come when Britain and the world needed him most.”

The film rights for the book have been optioned to Carnival Films, the UK producers of “Downton Abbey.”

In addition to his teaching in the Indiana State English department faculty, Shelden worked for a decade as the fiction critic for the Baltimore Sun and served as features writer for London’s Daily Telegraph for more than 10 years. His work has also appeared in The Shakespeare Quarterly, Victorian Studies and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Like all University Speakers Series events, Shelden’s presentation is free.

 

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