Indiana State University Newsroom

Jeannette Walls to speak at ISU Oct. 16

October 8, 2012

Author Jeannette Walls will take the stage Oct. 16 in Indiana State University's Tilson Auditorium in conjunction with the University Speakers Series. She will discuss her best-selling book, "The Glass Castle," which is also Indiana State's Fall Read.

Critics have called Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, "spectacular," "extraordinary," "incredible," and "riveting." It has been a New York Times best-seller for more than four years, has sold 3.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, been translated into 22 languages, and is being made into a movie by Paramount. It was named one of the "Top 10 Books of the Decade" by Amazon, and has won numerous awards including the Christopher Award, the American Library Association's Alex Award, and the Books for Better Living Award.

In "The Glass Castle," Walls describes growing up in the desert of the American Southwest and then in a West Virginia mining town with her three siblings and the brilliant, unorthodox, irresponsible parents who manage at once to neglect them, love them, and teach them to face their fears.

Despite all her hardships, Walls developed the determination to leave West Virginia on her own at 16, move to New York City, enroll in Barnard College and eventually become a well-known columnist for New York magazine and and a television personality.

This inspirational book has been taught at universities in courses on literature, psychology, parenting, child development, and poverty. Walls speaks about overcoming hardship and the keys to turning adversity to your advantage.

Her follow-up to "The Glass Castle," "Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel," was released in October 2009, and was an immediate New York Times best-seller.

In conjunction with themes found in "The Glass Castle," there will be two opportunities for patrons to assist those in need. The Fall Read Program will be accepting canned food donations for Catholic Charities. The Office of Community Engagement will be accepting cash donations to fund construction of 58th Habitat for Humanity House, which is being built by Indiana State.

A reception and book signing will follow Walls' presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.

Now in its 32nd season, the University Speakers Series has brought the likes of Ralph Nadar, Gerald Ford, Sister Helen Prejean, Amy Tan, Nancy Grace, Andy Rooney, Robert Ballard, Carole Simpson, Marlee Matlin, Maya Angelou, Jim Lovell, Garrison Keillor, Bob Woodward, Robert Osborne, Mitch Albom and Andrew Young, John Dean, Erin Gruwell and Michele Norris to the campus of Indiana State.

More information about the 2012-13 University Speakers Series can be found at  or by calling 812-237-3783.


Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812-237-3783 or