Catlin Gabel Begins Its 2002-2003 Distinguished Writers Series

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Press Release

Sep 24, 2002

For Immediate Release

Contact: Langley Allbritton


Catlin Gabel Begins Its 2002-2003 Distinguished Writers Series

Accomplished Author Robert Sullivan Promises To Show Students Writing Can Be A Whale Of A Good Time

Catlin Gabel, an independent, coeducational day school, commences its 2002-2003 Jean Vollum Distinguished Writers Series with well known author Robert Sullivan. On Wednesday, September 26, at 10 a.m., Sullivan, an accomplished essayist and contributor to The New Yorker, will discuss his career and the research and writing of his latest work, A Whale Hunt: Two Years with the Makah and their Canoe.

Robert Sullivan’s A Whale Hunt, began as a short magazine article but grew into a two-year undertaking during which Sullivan spent countless hours with the Makah whaling crew watching and recording as they worked to revive an ancient practice.

For centuries the Makah Indians defined themselves through hunting gray whales. When commercial whaling drove the gray whale to near extinction in the 1920s, the Makah voluntarily discontinued their tradition and hung up their harpoons until 1994. When the gray whale was taken off the endangered species list, the Makah decided to hunt again. Unfortunately, all the old whalers had died and no one knew how to hunt for whales.

Intrigued by the story and the challenges the Makah Indians would need to overcome, journalist Robert Sullivan set off for Neah Bay, located in the corner of Washingtons Olympic Peninsula.

About Robert Sullivan

Robert Sullivan is the author of The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City (Anchor), and of A Whale Hunt: Two Years with the Makah and their Canoe (Scribner). He has written for various magazines, including, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler and Vogue, where he is a contributing editor. He is currently working on a book about rats in general and rats in New York City in particular. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children.

About Catlin Gabel’s Jean Vollum Distinguished Writers Series

Named after its founder and benefactor, the Jean Vollum Distinguished Writers Series was designed to inspire students, teachers and parents. Vollum believes that exposure to writers with diverse backgrounds, experiences and motivation provides young writers with the knowledge that no matter where they come from, they have something important to say.

About Catlin Gabel

Catlin Gabel School is an independent, co-educational day school, dedicated to student individuality, academic excellence, multiculturalism and life-long learning. The school’s dynamic pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade curriculum combines academics with arts, physical education and a strong sense of community service. Catlin Gabel is independently governed by a Board of Trustees and is not