LEWISTON — Lewiston’s Franco-American Collection (FAC) will host novelist Ernest Hébert on Monday, Sept. 23. Hébert is the first featured writer of the FAC’c five Meet-A-Franco-Author programs being offered free to the area Francophiles and lovers of reading in 2019-2020.

“Ernest Hébert is the author of 12 published books,” according to Franco-American Collection Program Chairman and board member Denis Ledoux “His titles include the critically acclaimed ‘Darby Chronicles,’ seven novels of life, death and laughs in the small fictional town of Darby, New Hampshire. His inaugural novel in the series, ‘Dogs of March,’ created a stir when it was published in 1979.”

Hébert was born in Keene, New Hampshire. In his early years, his parents and relatives spoke French, his sole language until he started kindergarten and began to adjust himself to an English-speaking world.

Hébert’s program on Sept. 23 will feature reading from his as-yet unnamed memoir which turns his attention on those early years.

After years as a journalist, Hébert parlayed the success of his novels into a teaching career. He is Professor of English Emeritus in Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and is the first faculty member to be tenured as a fiction writer at Dartmouth.

Hébert has written of his method of composition: “Every once in awhile the fairy dust comes over me and I can walk on water. It’s easy to knock me down but hard to knock me out: I keeping getting up. I’m persistent.”

“We have built in a Q-and-A session,” said Ledoux, “so that the audience will have time to engage in conversation with Mr. Hébert about his experience as a Franco and as a Franco writer.”

The new Meet-A-Franco-Author programs are free and open to the public.

All programs will be held on Mondays at 7  p.m. in Room 170 at Lewiston-Auburn College, University of Southern Maine, Westminster Street.

For the subsequent program, on Nov. 25, the FAC will present Lewiston’s own Suzanne Pelletier. The poet will read from her new collection, “This Unheeded Eden.”

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