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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
February 24, 2003

Carnegie Mellon University English Professor Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Go to Israel

PITTSBURGH—Jane Bernstein, associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture for five months at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv.

Bernstein will be an artist-in-residence at Bar-Ilan, which has the only creative writing program in Israel, in the spring semester, 2004. Bernstein said her work will be particularly relevant in Israel, a nation wracked by turmoil and political violence.

"It is important to remind people that art matters during tumultuous political times," Bernstein said. Bernstein is the author of the memoir "Bereft" about her life in the wake of her sister's murder in 1966. She also wrote another memoir, "Loving Rachel," and the young adult novel "Seven Minutes in Heaven," which was adapted from the screenplay she co-wrote for the Warner Brothers movie of the same name.

Bernstein's essays and short fiction have appeared in publications including Ms., Prairie Schooner, Poets & Writers, The New York Times Magazine and Creative Nonfiction.

"Jane is a gifted writer both of fiction, non-fiction and, in particular, the memoir, where the writer is challenged to pull together the diffuse elements of his or her life into a narrative," said David Kaufer, head of the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon.

"In this regard, Jane is leaving behind a lifelong chronicle of the many challenges she has faced raising a severely retarded daughter, Rachel. This chronicle has been an inspiration both to medical doctors who treat such children and to their parents," Kaufer said.

Bernstein also recently received a 2003 Individual Artist Fellowship for literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. This carries a $5,000 award. Bernstein previously won an arts council fellowship in media arts for a screenplay based on the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.


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