New York Times Staff Writer Speaking Feb. 28 at UM

Taffy Brodesser-Akner's first novel, 'Fleisham is in Trouble,' published last June

Taffy Brodesser-Akner

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will welcome a New York Times journalist and author who is known for writing award-winning celebrity profiles for a Feb. 28 discussion on campus.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who has worked as a freelance writer and contributor for GQ and is a staff writer at The New York Times, will speak in the Overby Center Auditorium at 11 a.m. Her profiles of celebrities have won her the New York Press Club Award and Mirror Award.

The lecture is part of the Willie Morris Writers Series, said R.J. Morgan, an associate professor of journalism who is helping organize the event.

“When Willie Morris was a writer-in-residence here, one of the most powerful things he did was to bring in a long, long list of other fantastic writers and have them speak to his students,” Morgan said. “Anytime you can add new voices and perspectives to the mix like that, you dramatically improve the quality of your school, and your students and their abilities.

“That’s our goal with this speaker series, and Taffy is certainly a voice we’re excited to have join us in conversation.”

The Willie Morris Writers Series event is free and open to the public. ESPN’s Wright Thompson will share the stage with Brodesser-Akner and guide the conversation.

Morris had both a desire and the ability to bring the brightest stars of the literary journalism world back home to Mississippi, Thompson said.

“Following his example is the guiding light of the lecture series created by Ole Miss in his name,” he said. “Taffy Brodesser-Akner is the kind of writer and person Willie would have loved to see in Oxford.

“She’s the best profile writer going, and her novel won commercial and universal critical praise as cutting-edge, modern literature that helps all of us understand the world, and ourselves, a little bit better.”

Brodesser-Akner’s first novel, “Fleishman Is in Trouble,” was published in June 2019 by Random House. After her talk, she will sign copies of the book at 2 p.m. at Square Books. Contact the store for more details.

For assistance at the lecture related to a disability, contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or

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