Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen to speak in Boise, Thursday, September 27

Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Anna Quindlen will deliver the Idaho Humanities Council’s 22nd Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture on Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m., at Boise Centre West. Quindlen’s topic will be “How Reading and Writing Will Ensure Our Democracy.”

Quindlen’s lecture is part of a statewide series of IHC Distinguished Lectures in 2018 exploring the theme “Democracy and the Informed Citizen,” a special initiative supported in part by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  

Tickets are available by calling the IHC at 208-345-5346. General tickets are $65. The evening will begin with a no-host reception and silent auction at 6 p.m. at the Boise Centre West. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., with Quindlen’s talk to follow. Quindlen’s books will be available from Rediscovered Books onsite for signing afterwards.

The IHC also is grateful for additional critical support for the event from Holland & HartIdaho State UniversityBoise State UniversityBoise State Public RadioIdaho Statesman, and Idaho Public Television.

Anna Quindlen balances the political with the personal, painting a more realistic picture of modern life by placing national affairs side by side with people’s daily lives. Millions of readers have followed her astute perspectives on today’s issues, from family, work, and education to health care, philanthropy, and social justice. 

Quindlen’s topic will be “How Reading and Writing Will Ensure Our Democracy.”

Quindlen believes that reading and writing break down the walls between people, and bring down the big lies of demagoguery. That’s why a literate United States is a more tolerant and more democratic United States, and why a thirst for words may be the greatest legacy we hand down to our kids. 

Twelve of Quindlen’s books, including seven of her novels, have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her book, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, sold well over one million copies. Her latest novel, released in March, is Alternate Side is a provocative look at what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a woman at a moment of reckoning. 

One of the top “100 Outstanding Journalists in the United States of the Last 100 Years,” Quindlen began her career at age 18 as a copy girl. She spent three years as a reporter for The New York Post before moving to the New York Times in 1977. Working herway up The Times’ masthead, Quindlen wrote the “About New York” column, served as deputy metropolitan editor, and created the weekly “Life in the 30’s” column. 

In 1990, Quindlen became the third woman in The New York Times’ history to write for its influential Op-Ed page. Her nationally syndicated column “Public and Private” won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992, and then, Quindlen wrote the “Last Word” column for Newsweek for 10 years. 

Quindlen serves on the Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and is an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow. The Child Welfare League of America established “The Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families.” She holds honorary degrees from more than 20 colleges and universities. 


Since 1997, the IHC has brought top historians, journalists, novelists, and other writers to Boise for the Council’s annual event. Previous speakers have included historian Stephen Ambrose (1997), western writer Ivan Doig (1998), presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin (1999), historian David McCullough (2000), journalist David Halberstam (2001), author Frank McCourt (2002), novelist John Updike (2003), presidential biographer Robert Dallek (2004), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley (2005), NewsHour anchor and author Jim Lehrer (2006), presidential historian Michael Beschloss (2007), ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz (2008), Abraham Lincoln historian Harold Holzer (2009), prolific historian Douglas Brinkley (2010), humorist Calvin Trillin (2011), Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo (2012), National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick (2013), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson (2014), Vietnam War novelist Tim O’Brien (2015), Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham (2016), and in 2017 National Book Award Winner and New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos all of whom have inspired audiences with personal and memorable talks that have resonated long afterward.