LogosNow

Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

Back to Article
Back to Article

Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

Maggie Tattersfield, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Daniel James Brown stopped by the Francis Bond-Davis Theatre on the afternoon of September 11th, 2017 to discuss his 2013 narrative nonfiction novel, The Boys in the Boat about the US 1936 Olympic rowing team. Introduced by senior rower Marguerite Trost, Mr. Brown shared his inspiration for the book, philosophized on rowing, and discussed what the book means to him.

 

Mr. Brown has published seven nonfiction books, and he says that his ultimate goal is to bring historical stories to life. Brown shared the origin story of The Boys in the Boat: Judy Willman, daughter of Joe Rantz, introduced Brown to Rantz. After just one conversation, Mr. Brown asked, ‘Joe, can I write a book about your life?’ to which Mr. Rantz responded, ‘No… But you could write a book about the boat.’ Mr. Brown understood what Mr. Rantz said; he wrote about the members of the boat.

 

On rowing, Mr. Brown said that “pain is just part of the equation,” and that the sport requires a sort of mental toughness. Rowing is an extreme physical challenge, according to Mr. Brown. The University of Washington rowing team succeeded, according to Mr. Brown, because of four factors: adaptability, perseverance, earnestness, and trust.

 

The book, Mr. Brown noted, is a metaphor for any team endeavor and a metaphor for success. When it comes to its context in history, the boys in the boat are the the perfect metaphors for what the generation of the Great Depression and World War II did. They were “building teams and building legacies,” Mr. Brown said.

 

On Mr. Brown’s speech, Senior Rower Marguerite Trost said, “Daniel James Brown was just as eloquent in person as in his book. As a rower, I have immense gratitude for his ability to bring the magic of rowing into the beautiful, gritty prose it merits. He has an incredible understanding of the greater rhythms of human life and interaction that a boat embodies.”

 

After his speech, Mr. Brown answered a few questions. Sophomore Maggie Sullivan asked why Mr. Brown chooses to write narrative nonfiction. He explained that he loves telling a true story, and he writes it because he loves reading it. He recalled a conversation with a fellow nonfiction author in which they agreed that they love having a framework of facts to work with.

 

Senior Julia Jane Eskew asked what the hardest part about writing the story was, and Mr. Brown responded that the research was the hardest part. He said, “It’s like writing a four year term paper.”

 

Juniors, as you write your term papers this year, just be glad it is not a four-year-long process!

 

Thank you to Mr. Brown for sharing your book with the Harpeth Hall student body and faculty; your stories and metaphors for success inspire us all.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Campus

    Fall Buzz

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Contemporary Issues

    The Cost of Controversial Campaigns

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Contemporary Issues

    Update on Kaepernick

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Campus News

    Spindel at TedxNashville

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Campus News

    Charlotte’s Winterim in Lisbon

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Campus News

    Winterim Profiles: Lia Hayduk, Margaret Rogers

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Balmer Strong

    Dr. Balmer Tribute

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Campus News

    Harpeth Hall’s New Garden: A Way to Build a Community and Serve Others

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Balmer Strong

    Harpeth Hall Pays Respects

  • Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown

    Artists' Corner

    AP Studio Art Concentrations

Navigate Right
The news site of Harpeth Hall
Speaker Spotlight, Daniel James Brown