CORVALLIS - Novelist Suzanne Berne will read from her critically acclaimed debut novel, "A Crime in the Neighborhood" during an appearance on Thursday, April 23, at Oregon State University. The free, public event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in OSU's Memorial Union lounge.

"A Crime in the Neighborhood" is the suspenseful story of a child's 10th summer. Set in a Washington, D.C., suburb against the backdrop of Watergate, the novel probes the nature of betrayal and crimes public and private.

"The novel explores not only a turning point in one person's history, but a whole nation's loss of innocence," said Marjorie Sandor, an assistant professor of English at OSU.

The debut novel was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Award and was included in the New York Times' list of Notable Books for 1997.

Berne has written several stories and essays that have appeared in the Sunday magazines of the New York Times and the Boston Globe, Ms. magazine, and Ploughshares. She is a frequent reviewer for the New York Times Book Review.

A resident of Watertown, Mass., Berne has taught writing and literature at Harvard, Radcliffe and Wellesley, and is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Her OSU appearance is part of the 1998 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the Department of English.

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Marjorie Sandor, 541-737-1648