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Author James Grady to Speak at Cavanaugh Lecture Series

Released: 01/29/2009

James Grady, an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and investigative reporter, will be the first speaker in the spring Cavanaugh Lecture Series sponsored by LSU at Alexandria, announced Dr. Richard Collins, chairman of the Department of Arts, English and Humanities.

Grady, whose first novel, “Six Days of the Condor,” was the foundation for the popular movie starring Robert Redford, will appear Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Museum of Art. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public. Grady’s topic will be “The Influence of Politics and Journalism on Writing Novels.”

Grady, also the author of “Mad Dogs,” which received Japan’s Baka-Misu literary award last year, has written more than a dozen novels. He spent four years in the mid-1970s investigating politics, crime, drug trafficking and espionage for syndicated columnist Jack Anderson in Washington, D.C., before becoming a full-time novelist and scriptwriter. His wife, Bonnie Goldstein, has been a private detective, network TV producer and writer and is the Hot Document columnist for www.slate.com.

Grady and Dr. Bernard Gallagher, LSUA professor of English, are friends and former classmates at the University of Montana. “He’s a remarkable talent with international acclaim, but he has remained one of the most hard-working, candid and genuine people that I know,” Gallagher said. “He’s especially interested in encouraging students and sharing some of the knowledge that he’s accumulated through a very interesting and successful 35-year career.”

Grady, who majored in journalism, was just 24 years old when he wrote “Six Days of the Condor.” He worked as a grave digger, rock picker, hay bucker, janitor, movie projectionist and road crew laborer before he graduated from college.

His citations include the Grand Prix Du Roman Noir from France in 2001 and the Raymond Chandler award from Italy in 2003.

The Cavanaugh Lecture Series will continue March 3 with a presentation from Dr. Tony Tremblay from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada, on Cajun traditions and their connection to Central Louisiana. Dr. Ellen Rose, a Canadian media studies professor, will discuss “Social Construction of the Computer User” on March 5.