2006 Archive

"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls

About the Book
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town. Rex drank, stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story.

About the Author
Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona and her family lived in various southwestern towns before settling in Welch, West Virginia when she was 10. She graduated from Columbia University's Barnard College with honors and went on to become a reporter for New York magazine, Esquire, USA Today and MSNBC.com. She has appeared regularly on television, including the Today Show, CNN and Prime Time Live. Walls currently lives in northern Virginia and is married to writer John Taylor.

2006 Calendar of Events

Fundraising Reception for Jeannette Walls
Wednesday, August 23; 5:00- 6:30p.m.
Cowles House, Michigan State University
Tickets are $50.00 per person. All proceeds benefit the One Book, One Community program.

An Evening with Jeannette Walls
Wednesday, August 23; 7:30 p.m.
East Lansing Hannah Community Center

Jeannette Walls: University Welcome for Incoming MSU Students
Thursday, August 24; 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
Wharton Center for Performing Arts, MSU Campus

“Inside the Glass Castle”: Freshmen Seminar
Friday, August 25; 9-11 a.m.
Jeannette Walls will join with students registered for this freshmen seminar to answer questions and discuss "The Glass Castle."

Writing Workshop: That Place Called Memory: Revisiting and Writing About Childhood
Tuesday, September 5, 12, and 19; 7-9 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, Community Room
Dr. Anita Skeen of MSU's College of Arts and Letters will lead a three-part writing workshop in which participants will go back and revisit some of their own childhood memories.

MSU Friday Night Film Series; "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
Friday, September 8; 7 p.m.
MSU Main Library, Room W 449

Fact or Fiction: The Controversy over Memoirs (panel discussion)
Wednesday, September 13; 7 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, Community Room

Songs of Hope: Families Helping Spartans
Friday, September 15; 5 – 7:30 p.m.; MSU Union lawn
MSU Union lawn (Rain location – Gold Rooms, 2nd floor, MSU Union)
Family Fun Fest for all ages featuring music, crafts, games and prizes, and the music of folksinger Josh White Jr.

RHA Movie: "Crooklyn" (a Spike Lee film)
Friday Sept. 15, Sat. Sept. 16, Sun. Sept. 17; 7:10 p.m. & 9:20 p.m.
Wells Hall, MSU Campus

Inside The Glass Castle
Wednesday, September 20; 7 – 8:30 p.m.
East Lansing Hannah Community Center, Banquet Room, 819 Abbott
A discussion of the themes, events and other dimensions of this book.

One Book, One Community Finale Event
Thursday, September 28; 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, 333 East Grand River; downstairs library
Lauralee Summer, author of memoir "Learning Joy from Dogs Without Collars," will speak and announce the winners of the Barnes & Noble essay contest.

Writing Workshop Reading at Schuler Books
Wednesday, October 25; 7:30 p.m.
Schuler Books, Eastwood Towne Center