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St. Norbert College President Publishes New Book

From St. Norbert College, April 23, 2015
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College, has published "Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker." (2015-Random House)

This fascinating biography reveals the untold story of the legendary New Yorker profile-writer--author of "Joe Gould's Secret" and "Up in the Old Hotel"--and unravels the mystery behind one of literary history's greatest disappearing acts.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Joseph Mitchell was Southern to the core. But from the 1930s to the 1960s, he was the voice of New York City. Readers of The New Yorker cherished his intimate sketches of the people who made the city tick--from Mohawk steelworkers to Staten Island oystermen; from homeless intellectual Joe Gould to the colorful denizens of McSorley's, the city's most famous saloon. Mitchell's literary sensibility combined with a journalistic eye for detail, produced a writing style that would inspire new journalism luminaries such as Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, and Joan Didion.

Then, all of a sudden, his stories stopped appearing. For 30 years, Mitchell showed up for work at The New Yorker, but he produced . . . nothing. Did he have something new and exciting in store? Was he working on a major project? Or was he bedeviled by an epic case of writer's block?

For more information, go to the publisher's description page at: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/96188/man-in-profile-by-thomas-kunkel. Kunkel's book will be available in the St. Norbert College bookstore on April 28.

Thomas Kunkel Bio:

An author, journalist and educator, Thomas Kunkel is the seventh president of St. Norbert College. He joined the college in 2008.

Kunkel is the author or editor of six books. His other works include "Genius in Disguise" (1995), the critically acclaimed biography of The New Yorker's founding editor, Harold Ross; "Enormous Prayers: A Journey into the Priesthood" (1998), an ethnographic portrait of 28 Catholic priests; and "Letters from the Editor" (2000), a compilation and analysis of Ross' letters.

During his tenure at St. Norbert College, Kunkel has overseen the construction and renovation of more than $100 million in campus facilities and infrastructure, including the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, Michels Commons, Schneider Stadium, the Mulva Library, Gries Hall, the Ariens Family Welcome Center, Todd Wehr Hall and the Cassandra Voss Center. He is a member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.

Before coming to St. Norbert, Kunkel served for eight years as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he also served as president of the American Journalism Review and as editor and director of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper.

Kunkel spent much of his early career in newspaper management, working for such organizations as the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, the New York Times and the Cincinnati Post.