Novelist Ernest Hebert Oct. 21 at PSU

October 18th, 2007 by Adam

Ernest Hebert Kicks Off Eagle Pond Authors’ Series
at PSU October 21

Ernest Hebert, the author of eight novels including the six-book Darby series, will read at the Silver Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 21, as this year’s first reader in the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series.

Hebert, who is professor of English at Dartmouth College, earned his B.A. degree at Keene State College and his M.A. at Dartmouth.

A nontraditional student, Hebert said of college, “I was just born in college, you know? That’s where I decided to become a writer. I decided to become a writer my sophomore year when I read a copy of a poem by T.S. Eliot called “Preludes.” I was so moved by that poem and I thought “if I could do this for other people, if I could make somebody feel the way that I just felt…!” So I decided to become a poet.” [Missy Dustin, in Academia].

Quickly disenchanted with the poetry scene, Hebert became a fiction writer. “For work I teach creative writing. For love I fabricate novels,” he said. Ernest Hebert’s series of novels set in Darby, New Hampshire, has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “one of the most interesting accomplishments of contemporary American Fiction. …”

His latest novel,The Old American, is set in the period of the French and Indian Wars in New England and Canada. “In 1746, Nathan Blake, the first frame house builder in Keene, was abducted by Algonkians and held in Canada as a slave. Inspired by this dramatic slice of history, novelist Ernest Hebert has written a masterful new novel recreating those years of captivity.” [Dartmouth College Press].

Hebert said fiction writing is “… recycling reality. It’s like a long lie you tell a psychiatrist. It’s a hideout for Truth. It’s beauty. It’s bullticky. It’s everything you can feel, compressed into words. It’s the music an elephant experiences in the soles of his feet that tells him there’s an earthquake a thousand miles away. It’s a reason to believe in God when reason tells you there is no God — or visa versa. It’s what I believe in and who I am.”

The New England Book Sellers Association named Hebert Fiction Author of 2006, and Spoonwood won the Independent Publisher Book Award for the Best Regional Novel of 2005 in the Northeast.

“Ernest Hebert’s novels don’t just capture New England; they’ve become part of it … and his latest is a spectacular addition to an already impressive canon. With surprising narrators and a fond nod to the power of a good story, Spoonwood chronicles how the birth of a son can lead to the rebirth of a father; and how the raw material of an ordinary man might be carved down, over time, to reveal an extraordinary heart. Don’t miss this one.” [Jodi Picoult, bestselling author]

The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series is named for poet Donald Hall’s ancestral home in Wilmot which has inspired much of his work. This series brings to campus some of the most widely read and revered authors of our time. Readings, which are supported by a generous grant from the Plymouth State University Bookstore and Follett Higher Education Group, are followed by a reception and book signing.

There is no charge for admission, but free tickets are required. Contact the Silver Center box office at (603) 535-ARTS. Box office hours are noon – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour before performances.

The next reader in this year’s series will be Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award winner Richard Ford, November 4 at 3 p.m. Additional readers will be Maria Flook, March 2; Jeffrey Lent, April 6 and Margot Livesey, May 4.

For series information contact Diane Jeffrey, director of the Silver Center, at (603) 535-2874 or by e-mail to