Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger will discuss his experiences as a non-fiction writer. The free public talk Friday Night Lights and Other Sports in America will be held on Wed., Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. in the Library Conference Center, room 105.
Bissinger's first non-fiction book "Friday Night Lights," which analyzes the impact of Friday-night high school football on small-town life, has sold over a half-million copies and is a New York Times best seller. In his well-received "A Prayer for the City," Bissinger followed then Mayor Ed Rendell (now Pennsylvania's governor), his chief of staff and four other Philadelphians through four years of Rendell's leadership, dealing with the staff, the press, the constituents and the feds. The book does not end with the eradication of the city's many social ills, but it does end with a second term, and with hope. Most recently, Bissinger has worked on television, producing and writing screenplays for dramas such as "NYPD Blue."
Bissinger is one of the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. Author of the acclaimed Friday Night Lights (a best-selling book made into the recent hit movie), Bissinger has been the winner of such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award, the National Headliners Award, and nearly two dozen other national, state and local awards.
Remarkably varied in his writing skills, Bissinger has been a reporter at some of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers; a magazine writer with published work in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated; an author with two highly acclaimed non-fiction books to his credit, and a co-producer and writer for the ABC television drama NYPD Blue.
In 1988 Bissinger moved to Odessa, Texas, to write Friday Night Lights, a book about the impact of high school football on small-town life. The bestselling book, published in 1990, has sold close to 800,000 copies in both hardcover and paperback and has never gone out of print. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for 15 weeks when it was first published in hardcover and reemerged on the Times’ non-fiction paperback besteller list last Fall.
Bissinger has been awarded numerous honors for his work, which centers on ethics and ambition. As a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, Bissinger’s work has included a wide range of subjects, including Pete Rose; the brutal killing of a gay soldier at an army barracks in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and the first in-depth profile of Los Angles police detective Mark Fuhrman in the aftermath of the O.J. Simpson trial. Another of his pieces for the magazine, “Shattered Glass,” about young Washington journalist Stephen Glass, formed the basis for the highly acclaimed film “Shattered Glass” that was released in 2003.
His newest book, Three Nights in August, about major league baseball and the timeless beauty of the game through the eyes of its most innovative manager, St. Louis Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa, was published this past March, 2005 by Houghton-Mifflin. Don’t be surprised if this book sparks a movie as well.
This event is sponsored by the IU Northwest Student Activities Board. For more information contact the IU Northwest Office of Student Life at 219-980-6746.