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Author and speaker Tom Bissell

Writer Tom Bissell to read from his work on Vietnam legacy Jan. 16

January 3, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - On Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m., Tom Bissell, author of "The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam," will read from his recent work in the Middlebury College Château Grand Salon, located on Château Road off College Street (Route 125). The event, presented by the Middlebury College Department of English and American Literatures, Atwater Commons, and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, is free and open to the public.

In 2005, Bissell traveled with his father, a former Marine captain, to revisit scenes of the older man's Vietnam War experience. The book is a record of that journey, as well as a fresh and sharp account of the turning point in United States foreign relations. The author highlights disturbing parallels with our current involvement in Iraq and the abridgment of democratic ideals, while dissecting the mysterious silence that falls between war veterans and their children.   

In the New York Review of Books, author Robert Stone called the book "fine and wise" and wrote, "It belongs with the best of Vietnam meditations. Its wisdom ought to be a guide for us in the future."

Bissell has also written "God Lives in St. Petersburg," a collection of stories, and "Chasing the Sea," about his travels and Peace Corps experience in Uzbekistan. His writing has appeared in Harper's, The Boston Review, Men's Journal, The Believer, McSweeney's, The New York Times Book Review, and many other publications. He was a Bread Loaf Scholar and Fellow, a winner of the Rome Prize and a Black Mountain Fellowship, and he currently teaches at Bennington College.

For more information, contact Associate Director of the Middlebury College Fellowships in Environmental Journalism Christopher Shaw at 802-443-5567 or