Dr. Arthur Caplan

by Ken Horner

As the Third Annual Chestnut Hill Book Festival draws nearer, the Local would like to spotlight a few of the authors with ties to Chestnut Hill and other areas of Philadelphia who will be appearing at the event:

Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. – Currently the Emmanuel and Robert Hart Director of the Center for Bioethics and the Sydney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, Caplan has been a resident of Philadelphia since he arrived at Penn in 1994.

Specializing in transplantation research ethics, genetics, reproductive technologies, health policy and general bioethics, Caplan has written or edited 29 books and more than 500 articles that have been published in well-known medical journals. His most recent books include  “The Penn Guide to Bioethics” in 2009 and “Smart Mice, Not-So-Smart People” in 2007.

In addition to the plethora of works Caplan has had published, he has also served on numerous national and international committees too long to list here.

Caplan is a regular columnist for MSNBC.com and also has a list of awards as long as the one previously mentioned.

His trophy collection includes the title of “Person of the Year 2001” from USA Today, a designation as one of the ten most influential people in science by Discover magazine in 2008 and the honor of being named one of the 50 most influential people in American health care by Modern Health Care magazine, among others.

Caplan will be appearing at Stagecrafters Theater, 8130 Germantown Ave., between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

S. A. Williams – After a successful career in radio and network television, including the founding of a media-buying company in Philadelphia, S. A. Williams will be appearing at the festival a year after the publication of her first novel, “Anna’s Secret Legacy.”

A World War II love story, Williams’ novel follows a female scientist who unravels a molecular formula that could save her sister’s life. Vowing to keep the formula out of the wrong hands, she becomes the secret weapon everyone wants as the Nazis begin invading Europe.

Besides the success of her novel, Williams has also been honored by Billboard Magazine for the voice-over talent she lent to both radio and TV commercials. She was a keynote speaker at the American Bankers Association convention on “The Changing Landscape of Media.”

Williams will be featured alongside authors Cordelia Biddle and Simone Zelitch in a panel on historical fiction between 3:15 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at Roller’s Restaurant at the Flying Fish, 8142 Germantown Ave.

Emilie Harting – Harting is best known for her work as a freelance writer and as a professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Harting has written literary guides to both the British Isles and New England, both of which were translated into Japanese. Currently, her work focuses on ecotourism, hiking vacations and local culture.

Her travel articles have appeared in publications such as Ladies’ Home Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harting is scheduled to appear alongside fellow travel writers Joann Greco and Reid Bramblett from 1 until 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at Roller’s Restaurant at the Flying Fish.

Elijah Anderson – After a storied stint at the University of Pennsylvania that began in 1975, Anderson, one of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers, was awarded the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professorship in Sociology at Yale University where he now teaches and directs the Urban Ethnography Project.

Anderson has written and edited numerous books, articles and scholarly reports on race in American cities.

His most popular works include “Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City” (1999), “Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community” (1990) and “A Place on the Corner: A Study of Black Street Corner Men” (2003).

Anderson’s many accolades include winning the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, serving on the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and as vice-president of the American Sociological Association, and acting as a consultant to a variety of government agencies, including the White House, the United States Congress and the National Science Foundation.

Additionally, Anderson has worked for a wide range of professional journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, City & Community and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Anderson can be found at Stagecrafters Theater between 3:15 and 4:15 p.m. Sunday, July 10.

Iain Pollock – Chestnut Hill Academy’s own middle school English teacher, Pollock was the recipient of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, an award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets, for his book of poetry “Spit Back a Boy.”

An alumnus of the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University, Pollock’s poems have appeared in publications such as American Poetry Review, Boston Review and Callaloo.

Pollack will be appearing at Roller’s Restaurant at the Flying Fish between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9.