Francisco Goldman, award-winning novelist and journalist, will be the featured speaker at the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fall 2011 Distinguished Writers Series Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 Wellesley College. Goldman’s new book “Say Her Name,” which was featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, is an autobiographical novel that is based on Goldman’s short marriage to Aura Estrada, a fiction writer who died in a bodysurfing accident in 2007, two years into their marriage, when she was 30. The reading, followed by a discussion hosted by novelist and M.I.T. professor Junot Díaz, takes place in the Newhouse Center’s inviting space andis free and open to the public.


A great way to discover new books, talk to authors about their work and meet fellow book-lovers in a setting like no other, the Distinguished Writers Series welcomes the public, together with students, faculty and staff, to the Wellesley College campus.  Located just 12 miles from Boston and accessible by public transit, Wellesley’s idyllic surroundings provide a nearby retreat for the senses and inspiration that lasts well after a visit.  


For more information, visit or call 781-283-2698.  Wellesley College is located at 135 Central Street, Wellesley, MA.  For driving and public transit directions to the campus, please visit 




clip_image002.jpgFrancisco Goldman’s heritage stems from his American Jewish father and his Guatemalan mother. Born in Boston, he was raised in Eastern Massachusetts and began his writing career covering the Central American wars in the 1980s, first for Esquire and later for Harper’s.


Goldman is the author oft hree novels: “The Long Night of White Chickens,” which won the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award; “The Ordinary Seaman,” which was a finalist for the International Dublin Literary Prize, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner award and was named one of the “Best Hundred American Books of the Century” by Hungry Mind Review; and “The Divine Husband.” 


Goldman is also the author of the non-fiction book, “The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?” which was named the Best Book of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Economist.  Goldman has been a contributing editor for Harper’s magazine and his fiction ,journalism and essays have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine.  He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation grant and the T.R. Fyvel Freedom of Expression Book Award, and was a fellow at the American Academy of Berlin and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.


In 2005, Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda.  The month before their second anniversary, Aura broke her neck while body surfing on a beach in Mexico.  Blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, Goldman wanted to die too.  Instead, he wrote “Say Her Name” —a deeply personal novel about Aura and his life with her, balancing the glorious gifts of their brief shared journey against his unspeakable loss.


The New York Times Book Review praised the work for being, “passionate and moving . . . beautifully written . . . the truth that emerges in this book has less to do with the mystery of [Aura’s] death…than with the miracle of the astonishing, spirited, deeply original young woman Goldman so adored…So remarkable is this resurrection that at times I felt the book itself had a pulse.” And, O Magazine called it “a heartbreaking novel of loss and grief.”


Goldman teaches creative writing and literature one semester a year at Trinity College.  He has taught workshops at the New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena, Colombia. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and Mexico City.  


LISTEN to Goldman read from his newest book, “Say Her Name,” at Trinity College.




Founded in 2003 by a generous gift from Susan Marley Newhouse ’55 and Donald Newhouse,the Newhouse Center for the Humanities generates and supports innovative, world-class programming in the humanities and arts. The Newhouse Center’s mission is to create a dynamic and cosmopolitan intellectual community that extends from Wellesley College to the greater Boston-area community and beyond. 


Formore information, visit www.newhouse-center.orgor call 781-283-2698. 




TheWellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum andCultural Center are integral components of the college’s liberal arts education.  Various departments and programs from across the campus have enlivened the community with world-class programming — classical and popular music, visual arts, theater, dance, author readings, symposia and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers — most of which are free and open to the public.


Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from 50 states and 75 countries.