posted September 9, 2002

Visiting Writers Series Opens With Elizabeth Berg

 Elizabeth Berg, former waitress, chicken washer, soda jerk, rock 'n' roll singer, information clerk, and registered nurse, will be opening the Hope College Visiting Writers Series on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Although well versed in a range of jobs, Berg is best known now as a bestselling author, whose book, "Open House," was selected for Oprah's book club.

Her 10th and most recent novel, "True to Form," reintroduces the young narrator from an earlier novel, "Durable Goods."

Berg launched her writing career by winning a "Parents" magazine essay contest. Five national bestsellers later, she has touched millions of readers with what reviewers describe as her wit and tenderness. "Talk Before Sleep," the story of a woman battling breast cancer, was a "New York Times" bestseller and an ABBY finalist. She has published fiction and nonfiction in "Ladies Home Journal," "Good Housekeeping" and "The New York Times Magazine."

Berg's "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" was recently adapted into a movie, called "The Next Best Thing," starring Madonna and Rupert Everett.

Berg has also written about how to write, in "Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing," a book that even includes some of her favorite recipes. "It's not so much the description of the murderer killing someone that demonstrates his evil nature," Berg writes in "Escaping," "it's the flatness in his eyes as he does it; it's the way he goes and gets an ice cream immediately afterward."

Her other novels are "The Pull of the Moon," Range of Motion" and "Joy School."

Writer and editor Beth Amos has said "Elizabeth Berg has made a name for herself by writing provocative, engaging novels that strike a deep emotional chord with women everywhere." While her novels often address issues many women are facing, her large audience shows that men are also finding her work to be engaging.

Berg's reading will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a performance by the Hope College Jazz Ensemble.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 East 8th Street. Additional information may be obtained by calling (616) 395-7893 at the Visiting Writers Series Website, www.hope.edu/vws.