Best-selling author Simon Winchester will speak at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Hubbell Auditorium of Hutchison Hall on the University of Rochester's River Campus. Winchester's talk, "Pleasures of a Writing Life," will describe some of his adventures while researching stories as a British journalist and author.

His latest bestseller, The Map That Changed the World, is the story of 19th-century geologist William Smith, whose obsession with creating the world's first geological map led to far-reaching scientific, religious, and political implications. Originally a geologist, Winchester was a travel correspondent and freelance writer for British and American publications when he was based in Northern Ireland, Washington, New Delhi, London, and Hong Kong.

Winchester's books cover a range of subjects, including a study of the British Empire today, the colonial architecture of India, aristocracy, the American Midwest, his months in an Argentine prison on spying charges, and other experiences. His 1998 bestseller, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, is to be made into a major film.

Winchester's visit will coincide with Meliora Weekend, the annual College celebration for alumni, students, and friends. The Neilly Series, a yearlong program that is free and open to the public, is supported by a major gift from University alumnus Andrew H. Neilly and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly. For more information, contact (585) 275-4461.