The Tully Family Auditorium-Gymnasium was buzzing with anticipation on November 5, 2019 as we welcomed Delia Owens, New York Times best-selling author of Where the Crawdads Sing. Dr. Owens shared insights into her writing process with the assembly of students, faculty, and a number of alumnae, current parents, trustees and friends.
Delia Owens received a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Georgia and earned a PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Owens is the co-author of three nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa where she lived for 23 years. Her extensive research into the behavior of lions, elephants and baboons caused her to be impressed with how similar human behavior is to that of these mammals. Specifically, these animals exhibited group behavior that reinforced the importance of being part of a group.
In her remarks to our school assembly, Dr. Owens shared that after her research, she felt that people would be interested in a fiction story that explored how a young girl would be affected if she had to grow up alone. Dr. Owens also wanted to include a murder mystery that posed the question: Why did they behave the way they did?
Two Ursuline seniors had the honor of posing questions to Dr. Owens on behalf of the high school students who had all read this book as one of their summer reading assignments. Kyla Golding '20 and Violet Lee Cadet '20 asked Dr. Owens about her writing inspirations and her author's style, which blends lyrical writing with a compelling story. After this talk, many in the assembly wanted to re-read the poems included in the book to discover the clues to the murder!
The Visiting Author Series at Ursuline was initiated 10 years ago by President Eileen Davidson. We were delighted to host Dr. Owens, and glad that she generously signed stacks of books and took time to be interviewed by our Unison school journalists.
Thank you to Chris Pope of Pope Photography for the excellent photos here.