Dubus was Guest Speaker at Tea
Nearly $3,000 was raised for student scholarships during the Women of NECC’s annual membership tea featuring Newbury author Andre Dubus III on Wednesday, Oct 24, in the Northern Essex Community College Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus.
Well over 130 guests attended the event. Raffles included two tickets to see Oprah Winfrey when she speaks at UMass/Lowell as well as a Calvin Klein Designer bag, a fur-trimmed stole donated by Dino Furs, a bracelet watch, scarves from Paris, and gift certificates to area restaurants and stores.
This was Dubus’s second appearance at Northern Essex. “Gone So Long,” Dubus’s first novel in 10 years was published this fall.
“I am a huge fan of Northern Essex and other community colleges in the nation. You’re a stepping stone for those who might not otherwise have a chance,” said Dubus.
The 59-year-old, married father of three, regaled the audience with stories and musings on …well…just about everything including cell phones – he doesn’t own one; himself – he is intolerant of violence particularly violence toward women; on the books he has written – he goes into an almost post-partum like state after finishing a book; and on what makes a good writer – curiosity and not necessarily talent.
While noting that curiosity is the prime indicator of a strong writer, Dubus quoted American poet Mary Oliver who said “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
Dubus read a few pages from his latest novel “Gone So Long,” which explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become and probes the limits of recovery and absolution. He then fielded questions from the audience and followed up with a book signing.
The food, which was prepared and served by The Party Connection included chicken marsala, rice pilaf, salad, roasted root vegetables and rolls. Flower arrangements were donated by Flowers by Steve.
The Women of NECC is a volunteer organization dedicated to assisting NECC and its students. The organization generates funds for student scholarships and special projects by conducting a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, including a Fall Membership Tea, a Holiday Party and a June Gala Open House event.
For additional information or to make a donation, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 978-556-3789.