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August 30, 2010

Author Steve Luxenberg to Speak at UMBC

Chelsea Haddaway

Join Steve Luxenberg at UMBC on September 15 as he discusses his book Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret.

As an investigative reporter, Luxenberg was used to unearthing other people’s secrets. But when he followed the trail that led to the truth about his own family, he discovered the emotional consequences of stigma and secrecy.

Annie's Ghosts tells the story of two sisters, born two years apart to immigrant parents, growing up in Depression-era Detroit. Beth, Luxenberg's mother, escaped eight years of low-paying jobs and her family's walk-up apartment by marrying and moving away from the neighborhood that she equates with broken promises and broken lives. Annie, who was committed to Eloise Psychiatric Hospital at age 21, was his mother's secret.

Luxenberg used his skills as an investigative journalist to uncover his mother’s motivations for hiding her sister’s existence, and his talk, "Lost in the Unknown: Family Secrets and Their Consequences," will detail the research that led to the unveiling of the secret. Annie’s Ghosts reveals a writer’s difficulty in ferreting out the buried facts when memories have dimmed and records no longer exist.

Luxenberg, an associate editor at the Washington Post, has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter. His journalistic career began at the Baltimore Sun, where he worked for 11 years. He joined the Washington Post in 1985 as deputy editor of the newspaper's investigative/special projects staff, headed by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. In 1991, he succeeded Woodward as head of the investigative staff. Post reporters working with Luxenberg have won several major reporting awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory journalism.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 pm on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. It is free to the public and sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and The Retriever Weekly. This lecture is part of the Fall Humanities Forum. For information about Arts and Culture events at UMBC, visit our Arts and Culture Calendar.

-- From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Library.
-- From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Library.
-- From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Library.
-- Visitor parking is available in the Walker Avenue Garage. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.
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Posted by chelseah at August 30, 2010 4:01 PM