Meet the Author — Bronwen Dickey

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Refreshments: 3:30    Program: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at The Oxford American and the author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon published in 2016. The book shows a deep knowledge of the history and tdickeyhe misinformation surrounding the pit bull. It  is highly entertaining and as much about human beings as it is about dogs and has been widely acclaimed. One Amazon reviewer called the book “an undeniable work of literature.”

When Bronwen Dickey brought a pit bull home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate dog, which made her wonder: How had the breed—beloved by Teddy Roosevelt and Helen Keller—come to be known as a brutal fighter?  Dickey’s search for answers takes her from nineteenth-century New York dog fighting pits to early twpit_bullentieth‑century movie sets; from the battlefields of Gettysburg to desolate urban neighborhoods. This is the illuminating story of how a popular breed became demonized—and what role humans have played in the transformation.

As serious and thought-provoking as this work is, Dickey never loses sight of the story’s real heart: our very American love of dogs, whatever their breed. “There may be no creature on earth that lends itself to as much love, hate and myth-making as the domestic dog,” she writes. “The literature of dogs has mostly become a literature of longing: for home, for safety, for acceptance and probably for some flicker of the wildness we ourselves have lost.”

Dickey’s writing has appeared in The New York Times , Slate, The Virginia Quarterly Review , Popular Mechanics, Scuba Diving, and Garden & Gun.   She has received an award for travel journalism and one of her pieces is included in Best American Travel Writing of 2009.  She has appeared as a featured guest on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and All Things Considered.  This year she was nominated for a National Magazine Award in feature writing.

Bronwen Dickey is the daughter of the late novelist and poet James Dickey.  She  lives in Durham,  North Carolina.

Friends Annual Meeting — May 7

The Friends Annual Meeting will be held before the Art Chansky Meet the Author Tea, starting at 2:45.  Sunday, May 7, Room B.

The agenda will include a brief review of Friends activities and Board and budget updates.  All are welcome.

Meet the Author — Art Chansky

Sunday, May 7, 2017  ***Note different day/date***
Refreshments: 3:30    Program: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

Game Changers: Dean Smith, Charlie Scott, and the Era That Transformed a Southern College Town is an amazing story about Dean Smith as a young humanitarian who changed the history of sports in the South and, at the same time, transformed a university and a community.

Art Chansky is well-known in Chapel Hill as a sports columnist and commentator for and WCHL radio for more than thirty years.  He’s produced movies on the Duke-Carolina rivalry.  He’s written seven books on the history of UNC Basketball and Dean Smith prior to this one,  They included March to the Top, The Dean’s List , The Dean’s List , Dean’s Domain, Blue Blood , Light Blue Reign  and The Blue Divide. 

And now, aftergame_changers all those books plus columns and feature stories about the game, he’s written a new kind of book – more sociology than basketball sports writing, although there’s plenty of that as well. Art has said that he believes “the university has not done enough to recognize the courageous path that Charlie Scott, the first black scholarship athlete at UNC, had blazed for other black athletes in Chapel Hill but also for thousands of minority students who have since attended and graduated from Carolina.”  He also feels there was a side of Dean Smith that hadn’t been fully revealed.   So he took things into his own capable hands and wrote a book about these two heroes.  His book draws on extensive personal interviews from members of a community that Art Chansky knows extremely well

This is the story of five Morehead Scholars from 1967 who all ended up on the freshman basketball team.  The Morehead Scholarship is a highly prestigious academic scholarship awarded to UNC students.  Carolina basketball teams over the years have had an occasional Morechanskyhead recipient but to have five on the same team was remarkable.  It is also the story of Dean Smith’s humanity and concern for his players to make sure they were comfortable both on and off the court, Scott said of Smith, “When you played for him, he was your coach, your disciplinarian, your teacher [and after graduation] he became a friend, a father, and a mentor.”

Art Chansky was a classmate and a student journalist covering the varsity Tar Heels for the Daily Tar Heel in 1968-70.  He knew the 1967 freshmen personally and has since attended class reunions with them.  He also knew Dean Smith whose first season as head coach was in 1961-62.  At that time, basketball was a lesser sport than football at the university, and UNC athletics was not racially integrated.