FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 1, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Welty Gala at MUW to feature best-selling author of `The Perfect Storm’
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The community will have an opportunity to spend an evening with Sebastian Junger, the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire” at Mississippi University for Women's Welty Gala on Friday, Oct. 21.
The event, hosted by the MUW Foundation, will start at 7 p.m. in the Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope Banquet Room on campus.
As a contributing editor to Vanity Fairand as a contributor to ABC News, he has covered major international news stories in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other places around the globe. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism. Junger became a fixture in the national media when, as a first-time author, he commanded The New York Timesbest-seller list for more than three
years with “The Perfect Storm,” which later set sales records and became a major motion
picture from Warner Bros.
For over a year, Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington embedded with battle company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in the remote and heavily contested Korengal valley of eastern Afghanistan. Reporting on the war from the soldiers’ perspective, Junger spent weeks at a time at a remote outpost that saw more combat than almost anywhere else in the entire country. The professional result was twofold: his most recent book, titled “WAR”and the Academy Award nominated film for Best Documentary, “Restrepo,” that also won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the National Geographic Channel.
His reporting on Afghanistan in 2000, profiling Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah
Massoud, became the subject of the National Geographic documentary “Into the Forbidden Zone.” In 2001, his expertise and experience reporting in Afghanistan led him to cover the war as a special correspondent for ABC News and Vanity Fair. His work has also been published in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Outside and Men’s Journal. He has reported on the LURD besiegement of Monrovia in Liberia, human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, war crimes in Kosovo, the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, wildfire in the American West, guerilla war in Afghanistan and hostage-taking in Kashmir. He has worked as a freelance radio correspondent during the war in Bosnia.
Junger is a native New Englander and a graduate of Wesleyan University. Attracted since
childhood to “extreme situations and people at the edges of things,” Junger worked as a high-climber for tree removal companies. After a chainsaw injury, he decided to focus on
journalism, primarily writing about people with dangerous jobs, from fire fighting to
commercial fishing, which led to “The Perfect Storm.”
In 1998, Junger established The Perfect Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization that
provides educational opportunities for children of people in the maritime professions.
At the podium, Junger engages audiences with a powerful, emotionally compelling and vivid portrait of the impact of war. Drawing upon his prolific career of more than 20 years of international reporting, Junger shares personal anecdotes and direct experiences from the trenches of Afghanistan. A witness to some of the most heroic, disturbing and life-affirming events that represent the conflicted nature of war, Junger explores the emotional experience of combat and the impact of war on everyday lives.
Gala tickets are sold at different levels and offer opportunities for attendees to enjoy a private reception with the guest speaker along with premium seating during dinner. A book signing and question and answer session will follow the program.
For ticket and sponsorship information, call the Office of Development at (662) 329-7148.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit the endowment for the Eudora Welty Chair in Humanities. The Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation is a major sponsor of the Welty Series.