Award-winning author Cathryn J. Prince to visit the Fairfield University Bookstore


Image: Cathryn PrinceFairfield University alumna Cathryn J. Prince, winner of the Connecticut Press Club's 2011 Book Award in Non-Fiction, will read from her latest book, Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and the American Studies Department.

In Death in the Baltic, Prince tells the harrowing story of the worst maritime disaster in modern history, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. A former Nazi cruise ship, the vessel was carrying more than 10,000 German civilians out of harm's way as the Russian Army closed in on the Third Reich in January 1945. Soon after the boat left port, it was struck by three Soviet torpedoes and about 9,400 women, children, elderly and ill - six times the number lost on the Titanic - were killed, many thrown into the frigid waters.

Prince interviewed survivors and studied letters and diaries of those who perished to reconstruct this little-known moment in history. The results received high praise from reviewers.

"Prince has scoured the planet for survivors, treating their harrowing stories with gentle empathy, from the first sickening bolts of the torpedoes to the chaos and terror of the ship's swift sinking as passengers fell into the freezing water," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic. "An engaging study of a shocking tragedy."

Prince was a longtime contributing correspondent to The Christian Science Monitor, and she also writes for Weston Magazine, Ridgefield Magazine, Child, and Brain, among other publications. In addition to the Connecticut Press Club award, she won honorable mention in the general/non-fiction category at the 2011 New England Book Festival Book Awards. She holds a master's degree in American Studies from Fairfield University.

For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Hastings, ehastings@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 13, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 22