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Shawn Levy to speak at cultural forum

Shawn Levy will speak about the process of choosing, researching and writing a book, as compared with working for a newspaper, when he appears at the Ledding Library Cultural Forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the Pond House.

Levy, who lives in Portland, has written seven books of biography and cultural history, including The New York Times bestsellers “Paul Newman: A Life” and “Rat Pack Confidential.”

by: SUBMITTED - LevyHe has been writing for The Oregonian since 1992, and served as film critic from 1997 to 2012. Prior to that, Levy was senior editor of American Film magazine and associate editor of Boxoffice magazine.

He reviews movies for KGW-TV and blogs at shawnlevy.com. Levy’s latest book, “De Niro: The Life and the Work,” will be published by Crown in 2014.

Levy has written about film, pop culture, books and sports for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Hollywood Reporter and many other publications.

A native of New York City, he was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Irvine.

Levy said he chose to write about Newman, because the man was “a personality who was bigger-than-life in a number of areas: film, auto racing, charity, food manufacture and production. Yet he hadn’t been the subject of a truly in-depth biography in well over a decade. I researched him as a historic figure, using archives, libraries and such, but also as a living man, speaking to people who knew and worked with him.”

As he did his research, Levy said he was struck by “the immense fondness that so many people who encountered Newman still carried for him. There were very, very few negative impressions left in the world. He seemed to have a golden touch with people. And he had the energy of a half-dozen men for all of his activities.”

Levy said he was invited to participate in the Ledding Cultural Forum and immediately said yes, partly because he adores libraries, using them all around Portland and any place appropriate to his work.



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