May 9, 1997 "Great American Portraits" Local Celebrities Present Readings from The Book of Eulogies

Contact: Jill D. Brett (202) 707-9190

On Wednesday, May 14, author Phyllis Theroux will moderate a special program of readings by well-known Americans about Americans. The spoken portraits will be drawn from her new book, The Book of Eulogies, just published by Scribners. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building. No tickets are required for this free event, part of the Center for the Book's "Books and Beyond" lecture series. The author will sign copies of the book before and after the readings.

Speakers include:

  • Clarence G. Newsome, Dean of the Howard University School of Divinity, reading from Frederick Douglasss tribute to Abraham Lincoln
  • Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) reading from his undelivered eulogy to Lewis Puller Jr., his comrade-in-arms
  • Frank Mankiewicz (former press secretary to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy) reading Kennedy's impromptu tribute to Martin Luther King on the night of King's assassination
  • Former Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.) reading from his tribute to Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey
  • Livingston Biddle reading his great-great- grandfather Nicholas Biddle's eulogy to Thomas Jefferson
  • Cokie Roberts reading a poem by her late sister, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, "Flesh of My Flesh"
  • Actress Brenda Brown-Grooms, as Fannie Lee Chaney, reading her eulogy to her son, James, who was murdered in Mississippi

Phyllis Theroux is also the author of California and Other States of Grace, Nightlights: Bedtime Stories for Parents in the Dark, and Peripheral Visions. She was a frequent essayist on "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" and lives in Ashland, Virginia.


PR 97-050
ISSN 0731-3527