The power of Sojourn

2006 Literary Sojourn authors and reading list are released

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There are alternatives to choosing your reading material from The New York Times' bestseller list.

The power of the press was up against the power of the Literary Sojourn again this year as organizers of the annual event selected the authors who will participate in October's event.

The Literary Sojourn Author Study

6 p.m. June 20, July 11, August 8, Sept. 5, Oct. 3

The library house next to Bud Werner Memorial Library

Free

879-0240, ext. 307

"The Sojourn makes reading in Steamboat so much more diverse," said Michelle Dover, facilitator of the Literary Sojourn Author Study. "There are so many authors out there. People look at the Sojourn for something rich to read that's not so mainstream."

This year, the Literary Sojourn committee picked authors who want to reveal their writing and their lives so that Sojourn participants "will walk away having shared something with the author," Dover said.

The authors who will be featured this year are Geraldine Brooks, Myla Goldberg, Erik Larson, Stewart O'Nan and Lisa See.

The Literary Sojourn is Oct. 14 at the Steamboat Sheraton Resort.

Participants can get a head start by attending the Literary Sojourn Author Study, which will meet on five occasions before the Sojourn to discuss a book by each author.

The Author Study schedule is as follows:

June 20, "A Prayer for the Dying" by Stewart O'Nan. The book explores the life of a man who is a constable, deacon and undertaker in post-Civil War Wisconsin. He struggles to help his wife, baby and community deal with the tragedy of the plague and the wavering of his own faith.

July 11, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. The book is a story about the platonic love between two women in rural 19th-century China. The friends deal with the rigid codes of conduct for women and societal classes, endure misunderstandings, forgiveness and acceptance.

Aug. 8, "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks. The novel takes place in London in 1666 and is told through the eyes of an 18-year-old maid. Dealing with the onslaught of the bubonic plaque, she confronts the loss of her family, the deterioration of her community and the enticement of a forbidden love.

Sept. 5, "Bee Season" by Myla Goldberg. It is the story of a family deeply involved in Jewish mysticism. Eliza is the 9-year-old daughter who has been overlooked because of her gifted and talented brother. Her father becomes obsessed with her only after she wins a spelling bee. The brother then joins the Hare Krishnas and the mother descends into madness.

"Every family should read this before having kids," Dover said.

Oct. 3, "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. The nonfiction novel about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair is interspersed with the story of a murder. It follows architect Daniel Burnham as he attempts to rebuild a desolate part of Chicago with the help of some of the great minds of his time.

For more information about the Literary Sojourn Authors Study, call Dover at 879-0240, ext. 307, or visit www.literarysojourn.org.

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