Spectrum to host talk by adventurer Tori Murden McClure

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Adventurer Tori Murden McClure will speak at Pitt-Bradford Sept. 19 as part of a shared reading of McClure's book by members of the university and Bradford communities.


McClure will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater, located in Blaisdell Hall. Her talk is free and open to the public.


McClure is the author of “A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean,” her memoir of being the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.


The book deals with her uncompleted first attempt to row across the Atlantic, how she survived a hurricane in a 23-foot rowboat on the open ocean, and her feelings of failure for not being able to complete the journey.


Into the narrative of her first crossing attempt and her later successful crossing, she weaves stories from her childhood in Uniontown facing down those who bullied her older, but deaf and intellectually disabled, brother. She writes about her academic journeys through the private Louisville (Ky.) Collegiate School (which she attended on scholarship), Smith College, Harvard Divinity School and law school.


She wrote her memoir while a student in the Master of Fine Arts program at Spalding University in Louisville, where she has served as president since 2010.


Before rowing the Pearl across the ocean, she was the first woman and first American to cross-country ski across the South Pole and the first woman to climb Lewis Nunatak in Antarctica.


Students from Pitt-Bradford's Freshman Seminar, composition, and creative writing classes are reading Murden's book this semester. It has also been chosen as this year's One Book Bradford selection.


One Book Bradford will hold a community book review at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, led by Rick Lutz, a retired Bradford Area School District English teacher who has paddled for long distances alone in his kayak.


Copies of “A Pearl in the Storm” are available in the The Panther Shop on campus.


For disability needs related to McClure's talk, contact Carma Horner, disability resources and service coordinator at 814-362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu


McClure's visit is co-sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford Spectrum Series, Freshman Seminar, the Writing Program, the Composition Program and the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies program.


For more information, visit www.APearlintheStorm.com.