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An Afternoon With Debra Dean, March 28

  • Published: February 27, 2012


  • Author Debra Dean visits Nazareth College on March 28 from 3-4:30 p.m. in Linehan Chapel (inside Golisano Academic Center)
  • Her book "The Madonnas of Leningrad" is the featured novel for “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book" of 2012
  • Dean will do a reading, followed by Q&A and a book signing

For More Information

For more information call 585-389-2614

or for Media: Julie Long 585-389-2456

An Afternoon With Debra Dean, March 28

Nazareth College is proud to be the first stop for award-winning author Debra Dean’s tour of Rochester as part of this year’s twelfth annual “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book” program sponsored by Writers & Books, Rochester’s nationally renowned non-profit literary center. The featured book of this tour is The Madonnas of Leningrad (Harper Perennial, 2007), Dean’s best-selling debut novel.  An Afternoon with Debra Dean will take place on Wednesday, March 28, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Nazareth College Linehan Chapel inside the Golisano Academic Center. It is free and open to the public. She will do a reading, followed by a question and answer session and a book signing. Copies of the book are for sale in the Nazareth College Bookstore. Nazareth College is located at 4245 East Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14618. An Afternoon with Debra Dean is sponsored by the Nazareth College Marie Callahan Reading Center Memorial Fund and the Graduate Literacy Programs. For more information about Dean and her Nazareth visit, go to or call 585-389-2614. 

Born and raised in Seattle, Wash., Dean majored in English and drama at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. After graduating in 1980, she moved to New York City where she pursued her passion of acting, performing in several long-standing plays. Dean returned to the northwest to study at the University of Oregon and pursue master’s in creative writing. The featured book of the tour, The Madonnas of Leningrad, began as a short story but after 10 summers of research and further writing became Dean’s best-selling debut novel. Her other noteworthy and award-winning works include Confessions of a Falling Woman (Harper Perennial, 2008), a collection of short stories, (Paterson Fiction Prize and a Florida Book Award) and The Mirrored World, a novel due out in summer 2012.

The Madonnas of Leningrad is a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Borders Original Voice, a #1 Booksense Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Novel, and an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year.  It has been translated into 17 languages. The book shifts from two settings, 1941 Leningrad, where the protagonist, Marina, recounts her story of surviving the 900-day seize on Leningrad during World War II, and modern day Seattle, Wash., where her granddaughter is about to be married.

The beautifully written novel commemorates the mind and memory of Marina who is an elderly Russian woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. The Madonnas of Leningrad is an elegant tribute to the value and resilience of memory by commemorating the struggles of Marina as a World War II survivor and her present-day battle with Alzheimer’s.

Writers & Books initiated “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book” program in 2001. The goal is to encourage people to connect to others in the community through reading and discussion of a shared experience of literature. Each year Writers & Books selects one book for the community to explore together, leading to an extended residency by the author. An estimated 100,000 Rochester area readers have participated in this program since its start.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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