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SLCL Presents Acclaimed Journalist and Bestselling Author Susan Orlean

Press Release

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 10:00a.m.


St. Louis County Library Foundation presents acclaimed New Yorker writer and bestselling author Susan Orlean for a discussion of “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend.” The event will be held on Thursday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The program is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Books for signing will be available at the event from Barnes & Noble.

One of the most acclaimed nonfiction books of 2011, Susan Orlean’s New York Times bestseller “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend” is “an unforgettable book about the mutual devotion between one man and one dog” (The Wall Street Journal).

Author of “The Orchid Thief,” Susan Orlean presents a sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has been hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post, spent nearly ten years researching and reporting her most captivating book to date: the story of a dog who was born in 1918 and never died.

It begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved Warner Bros. from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s number one box office star.

During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era. The canine hero’s legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog’s legend will never die.

At its core, “Rin Tin Tin” is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean’s first original book since “The Orchid Thief” is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—a dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers.

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit