Book Notes: Hunt, Kirkpatrick, Dagg unite to tell Estby story

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2011

Many local readers already are familiar with the Helga Estby story. She was the woman who walked all the way from Spokane (Mica Creek, actually) to New York City in 1896 with her 19-year-old daughter, in order to win a $10,000 contest.

Spokane author Linda Lawrence Hunt told the story vividly in her popular 2003 book “Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America.”

Now, you can hear two other authors talk about different perspectives on the same story.

At two locations next weekend, Hunt joins Jane Kirkpatrick and Carole Estby Dagg for readings and discussions about this incredible story, and about all three books.

Kirkpatrick’s book is a work of historical fiction, “The Daughter’s Walk” (WaterBrook, $14.99), which focuses on the daughter’s experience and “picks up where the facts of the Estbys’ walk leaves off.”

Dagg’s “The Year We Were Famous” (Clarion, $16.99) is a retelling of the story also focused on the daughter, aimed at the young adult market. Publishers Weekly said that “Dagg masterfully recreates the wild adventures and hardships the women faced.”

For Dagg, this is also a family story. She’s the great-granddaughter of Estby.

All three will get together for two events, the first at the Rockford Historical Museum, 10 S. First St., Rockford, Friday at 2 p.m.

The big Spokane event will be at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., Saturday at 2 p.m. The authors will discuss their books and sign copies. Both events are free.

Get Lit! still alive

Most of Get Lit! 2011 is now history – but not all.

One more ticketed event remains, and it should be a good one: poet Matthew Dickman, today, 11:30 a.m. at the Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St.

You’ve read his poetry in the New Yorker. Tickets are $15 at the door.

‘Seven Frontier Women’

Eight significant women are spotlighted in the new local history book “Seven Frontier Women and the Founding of Spokane Falls” (Tornado Creek Publications, $24.95).

Seven are profiled in the book and one wrote it.

Barbara F. Cochran finished the manuscript in the mid-1980s but died in 1987, before it could be published.

Her family persevered and now Tony and Suzanne Bamonte of Tornado Creek Publishing have edited it and issued it in a handsome, 304-page volume with 154 photos.

It profiles the city’s founding mothers: Susan Crump Glover, Anna Stratton Browne, Jennie Clarke Cannon, Clara Smiley Gray, Alice Ide Houghton, Mary Archard Latham and Carrie Adell Green Strahorn.

It was worth the wait. The book is filled with detailed information about a side of Spokane that has been relatively unexplored. Look for it in local bookstores.

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