Denison Presents Award-Winning Author of Anti-Hero Biography
Date of Event: November 30, 2006
Posted: November 17, 2006
Alexander Masters, whose first book won the 2005 Whitbread Book-of-the-Year in the biography category, will speak at Denison on his subject's life. Masters' topic is "Stuart Shorter: Hostage Taker, Panhandler, Sociopathic Street Raconteur -- an Important Man." Masters lecture is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 30) in Cleveland Annex Room 104 and is free and open to the public. The Provost's Academic Lecture Fund and the art department are sponsors of this lecture.
Masters is a Cambridge University physics graduate. He was studying for a master's degree in mathematics at the Open University and working as an assistant at a hostel for the homeless in Cambridge when he met Shorter. As the two men work on a campaign to release two charity workers from prison they develop a close friendship. Shorter is a homeless sociopath from the streets of Cambridge.
Masters began his biography of Shorter, "Stuart: A Life Backwards," with Shorter's collaboration. Like a murder mystery the book unravels the factors behind the death of the man and of the happy-go-lucky boy he was as a child. Due to the close friendship that developed between Masters and Shorter, answers to uncomfortable questions that most people have a great difficulty asking or answering got exposed. "How do you spend your days? Why don't you have a home? Why don't you stop drinking? Why are you living on the streets? Why don't you just pull your socks up and get a proper job?"
For his work, Masters also won an Arts Council Writers' Award and was among the finalists for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Biography. He also has written a screenplay adaptation, filmed in 2006 for the BBC and HBO, for broadcast in 2007.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Provost's Academic Lecture Fund and the art department presents Alexander Masters to speak on "Stuart Shorter: Hostage Taker, Panhandler, Sociopathic Street Raconteur -- an Important Man"; 6 p.m., Thursday (Nov. 30), Cleveland Annex Room 104 (201 N. Mulberry Street). Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-6596 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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