Literary Arts is pleased to present an evening with Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses (1991), on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Ms. Ackerman's lecture is the second in the six-part Portland Arts & Lectures series. To purchase single or partial-series tickets visit www.literary-arts.org or call 503.227.2583.
Written with the heart of a poet and the mind of a scientist, Diane Ackerman's essays, poems and novels resonate with a broad audience. Her latest book, The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story (2007), chronicles the true story of a couple who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi capture by hiding them away in empty cages at the Warsaw Zoo during World War II. Jan Zabinski, who was the director of the zoo, and his wife, Antonina, risked their lives as they kept life-saving watch over their many secret guests. Although Ackerman has written many books to much praise, she considers The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story the book she was "born to write."
Ackerman earned her M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. from Cornell University and has received many prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the John Burroughs Nature Award. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her -dianeackerone. She describes her writing as being about "nature and human nature. And most often about that twilight zone where the two meet and have something they can teach each other."