University of Pittsburgh
November 2, 2006

Writers H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger and Kathryn Harrison to Speak at Pitt

These events are a part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, in conjunction with the annual 412 Creative Nonfiction Festival
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH- Writers H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger and Kathryn Harrison will speak at the University of Pittsburgh as part of the University's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation's annual 412 Creative Nonfiction Festival.

A screening of Friday Night Lights (2004), directed by Peter Berg, will take place at 7 p.m.

Nov. 10 in the Alumni Hall Auditorium, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Bissinger will lead a discussion following the film, which is based on his book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (Publishing Millis, Inc., 1991). In addition, Harrison will give a reading at 6 p.m. Nov. 11, Frick Fine Arts Building, Schenley Drive, Oakland. These events are free and open to the public.

Bissinger has written two other nonfiction books, titled A Prayer for the City (Random House, 1999) and Three Nights in August (Houghton-Mifflin, 2005). Prior to novel writing, Bissinger won the1987 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting while writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer. His novel, Friday Night Lights, also inspired the new NBC television series, which debuted Oct. 3, 2006. Bissinger earned the Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and was awarded the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University from 1985 to 1986. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Harrision has published several novels, memoirs, and biographies, as well as myriad personal essays, which have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Vogue, O Magazine, and Salon. Her books include Envy (Random House, 2006), The Seal Wife (Random House, 2003), The Binding Chair (Fourth Estate, 2001), The Kiss (Harper Perennial, 1998), Saint Therese of Lisiuex (Viking Adult, 2003), and Seeking Rapture (Random House, 2003). Harrison earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English and art history at Stanford University in 1982 and the Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa in 1987. She is a frequent reviewer for The New York Times Book Review.

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, which runs through April 4, is cosponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place and the Pitt's Book Center, University of Pittsburgh Press, and Creative Nonfiction and Film Studies Programs.

The 412 Festival, which runs from Nov. 6 to 11, will include readings, craft workshops, panel discussions, and film screenings. Sponsors include Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences and Film Studies Program as well as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Chatham College MFA program, and Carlow University MFA program.

For more information on the Writers Series, call 412-624-6506 or visit For information on the 412 Festival, visit