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Author And Editor George Plimpton To Speak At U.Va. March 9

Feb. 25, 1999 -- George Plimpton, award-winning writer, adventurer, humorist and editor of the Paris Review, will give a public talk Tuesday, March 9, at 8 p.m. at the University of Virginia Bookstore. His Peters Rushton Lecture is sponsored by U.Va.'s English Department.

Best known for his informative "participatory journalism" -- where he dares to take part in a professional sport or other difficult activity and then write about it -- Plimpton is praised as an elegant stylist who writes with depth and wit.

Born in New York in 1927 and educated at Cambridge, he has written classic books and essays about such activities as pitching in a post-season All-Star game in Yankee Stadium, serving as a third-string quarterback for the Detroit Lions, golfing in Pro-Am tournaments, playing in a basketball game for the Boston Celtics, boxing with former light heavyweight champion Archie Moore, and playing goalie for two professional hockey teams. He has also fought in a bullfight staged by Ernest Hemingway in 1954, and worked as a trapeze artist, lion-tamer and clown for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus.

Among other activities, Plimpton developed a stand-up comedy routine and performed it in Las Vegas, served as a percussionist with the New York Philharmonic and as a guest conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony, and appeared in a number of films. He has also hosted specials on TV and since 1973 has been honorary commissioner of fireworks for New York City.

His many writing genres have included children's fiction, history, literary criticism, sports, memoir, biography and satire. His classic "Paper Lion," about his adventures with the Detroit Lions, has been called the best book written about pro football. A sampling of his best-known pieces is collected in "The Best of Plimpton" (1991, Grove/Atlantic).

Plimpton's other great interest centers on the small, influential literary magazine he has edited since 1953, the Paris Review, which publishes work by some of the world's best writers.

For more information, call Lisa Russ Spaar, director of the U.Va. Creative Writing program, at 924-6675. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.

Contact: Rebecca Arrington. (804) 924-7189.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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