112th: Thomas Henry Haines and Mindy Lewis
Join us at Book Culture on Monday, November 18th at 7pm for a reading and conversation of A Curious Life: From Rebel Orphan to Innovative Scientist, on the life of Thomas Haines. Haines will be joined by co-author Mindy Lewis.
The funny, moving, and surprising story of how Thomas Haines—who grew up in the famed Graham School orphanage—became a prominent scientist, social activist, New York City landlord, educator, and founder of the City University of New York Medical School.
A Curious Life chronicles the remarkable life of preeminent biochemist Thomas Haines. Born in 1933, Haines was barely four when he was sent by court order to The Graham School, an orphanage in Hastings-on-Hudson NY founded in 1806 by Isabella Graham and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. His trajectory is a series of radical reversals: from penniless orphan to innovative scientist and educator; from right-wing McCarthyite to left-wing activist; founder of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of The City University of New York, a medical school designed to bring in low-income and minority students; New York City landlord; husband of a successful artist whom he nursed through a long illness; father of a brilliant and prominent daughter. Now eighty-six, Haines is Professor Emeritus at the Rockefeller Institute and the only alumnus of the Graham School to serve on its board. A diminutive dynamo in a bow tie, Dr. Haines recently participated on a panel at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and jogs every morning at four a.m. in Central Park. Above all a formidable storyteller, Haines provides an intimate look at his relationships and conveys the excitement of a life in science.
Thomas Henry Haines is a Visiting Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University. Since 2007, Dr. Haines has been a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry of City College of New York. In the early 1970s, he worked under City College President Robert E. Marshak to establish The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, where he taught biochemistry for thirty-five years. Dr. Haines specializes in the study of lipids and biological membranes. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from City College in 1957, his M.S. in Education from City College in 1959, and his Ph.D. from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 1964. Dr. Haines and his wife Polly Cleveland live on Manhattan’s West Side close to Central Park, where he enjoys running each morning. He also serves on the board of Graham Windham Services to Families. More about Dr. Haines can be found online: http://thomashaines.org
Mindy Lewis is the author of Life Inside: A Memoir (Washington Square Press), the editor of DIRT: The Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House (a Seal Press anthology), and winner of New Letters 2015 Best Essay Award. Her essays, articles, and book reviews have been published in Newsweek, New York Times Book Review, Lilith, Body & Soul, Poets & Writers, Arts & Letters Journal, New Letters, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, in anthologies and online. She teaches at The Writer’s Voice in New York City. Visit her website: www.mindylewis.com