The author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, “Dead Man Walking,” will be on the Martin Methodist College campus Nov. 12-13 as part of the college’s Common Reader program for 2012-13.
Sister Helen Prejean, whose 1993 best-seller was also made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Martin Hall Auditorium and again at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, also in the auditorium.
Her presentation is entitled “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues,” and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The public is especially invited to the Monday evening event. There is no admission charge.
As part of the First-Year Experience program at Martin Methodist, which helps new college students acclimate to the academic and extracurricular expectations of the collegiate experience, MMC instituted the Common Reader program for this year, assigning all new incoming students one book to read prior to arriving on campus in August. The choice for this inaugural year of the Common Reader was “Dead Man Walking,” Sister Prejean’s account of her experiences as spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, a convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison.
Her book not only made the 1994 American Library Associates Notable Book List, but it was also nominated for a 1993 Pulitizer Prize. “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States” was number one on the New York Times Best-Seller List for 31 weeks. It was also an international best-seller and has been translated into 10 different languages.
Throughout the fall semester, Martin Methodist College’s FYE program has held panel discussions, heard presentations and seen documentary films related to the death penalty as a topic for ongoing discussion, all leading up to Sister Prejean’s visit.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 1957 and received a bachelor of arts degree in English and education from St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans in 1962. In 1973, she earned a master’s degree in religious education from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada. She has been the religious education director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans, the formation director for her religious community and has taught junior and senior high school students.
For more information about her visit to Martin Methodist College, contact Greta Henglein, director of the First-Year Experience Program, at 931-424-7350.
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