National bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver to present on local dining at Virginia Tech

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Common Book cover

Kingsolver will speak at Virginia Tech as author of the 2010 university Common Book: "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle."

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 6, 2010 – Author Barbara Kingsolver will visit Virginia Tech Tuesday, Sept. 14 to discuss this year’s Common Book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.

Kingsolver and her husband and co-author, Steven Hopp, will give a presentation at 8 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium. A special event will precede the presentation from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at D2 dining center, featuring a complete menu of locally sourced or sustainably produced food. Both events are open to the public and the university community.

The Virginia Harvest Celebration dinner at D2 will showcase the late-summer harvest in Southwest Virginia, with fresh seasonal vegetables and locally raised beef, pork, and lamb sourced from the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm, other Virginia farms, or sustainable food operations. The meal will give students the opportunity to experience a night of local dining inspired by Kingsolver’s book.

While locally sourced items are increasingly available in the campus dining centers, this will be the first all-local/sustainable meal planned for D2 — a significant undertaking for the all-you-care-to-eat dining center, as more than 1,500 guests are expected for this meal. There will also be a sustainability fair outside D2 featuring student organizations, educational opportunities, and performances by a local bluegrass band. The special cost for the dinner is $14.15 cash, or $4.70 for students with a Flex dining plan.

A highlight of the evening will be Kingsolver and Hopp’s presentation in Burruss Hall Auditorium, which will conclude with an open question-and-answer session. Following the presentation, the author will sign copies of her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which explores the benefits and challenges of eating exclusively from local food sources in Southwest Virginia. The presentation is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The Common Book Project was created to engage undergraduate students in a series of discussions, class projects, and activities structured around a shared reading. All incoming students receive a copy of the Common Book, selected each year since 1998 to foster community and enrich the first-year experience.

The Virginia Harvest Celebration and the presentation in Burruss Hall Auditorium are sponsored by Dining Services, the Office of First-Year Experiences, the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships, the Office of Residence Life, and the Office of Sustainability.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Students harvest herbs at the Dining Services Garden

Students harvest herbs at the Dining Services Garden

Herbs and produce from the Virginia Tech garden

Herbs and produce from the Virginia Tech garden