Kim, Erdrich ’76, Featured in New Book by Bill Moyers



Interviews with President Jim Yong Kim and novelist Louise Erdrich ’76 appear in Bill Moyers’s new book.

President Jim Yong Kim’s global health work, and his decision to come to Dartmouth College, are featured in a new book by journalist Bill Moyers. The recently published work, Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, also includes an interview with Dartmouth graduate and award-winning author Louise Erdrich ’76.

Publishers Weekly says the book offers “challenging, engaged conversations (that) reward the reader’s serious attention. There are no sound bites here, just food for thought.” The book contains interviews from Moyers’s third PBS series, which ran from 2007 to 2010. Kim was interviewed on the show just days before he was inaugurated as Dartmouth’s president, in September 2009.

“There’s always a sense in young people that they want to do something great, but a lot of them don’t think they can make a difference. That’s really why I am at Dartmouth, to tell young people, ‘A few committed souls can change the world,’ you know, the famous Margaret Mead line,” Kim tells Moyers. “I am at Dartmouth to give them that message.”

Moyers says that when Dartmouth’s trustees picked Kim to lead the college, “they knew he would bring the woes of the world with him to the idyllic New Hampshire campus, and they were more than okay with it. They were, in fact, counting on him to challenge Dartmouth’s students.”

Erdrich, interviewed in April 2010, talks about writing, her Native American heritage, and her latest novel Shadow Tag, which was published earlier that year.

She describes the work of writing as “a small, incremental, persistent, insect-like devotion to putting one word next to the next word. It’s a very dogged process. I make myself go upstairs, where I write, whenever I can.”

Moyers, who gave the commencement address at Dartmouth in 1993, calls Erdrich “the quintessential American,” and says her writing has so captivated him that he will “happily give up a couple of consecutive nights of sleep” to finish an Erdrich story.

Susan J. Boutwell