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Book Notes: Walter’s ‘Ruins’ big-screen bound

SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2013

“Beautiful Ruins,” Jess Walter’s bestselling and acclaimed 2012 novel, is headed to the silver screen.

Oscar-nominated Todd Field (“In the Bedroom,” “Little Children”) will direct and will work with Walter to adapt the novel into a screen play.

Walter, of Spokane, said in an email he’s excited about the project.

“(Field) takes great care in choosing what he’ll work on: two films, three Academy Award nominations. He’s a very thoughtful and smart filmmaker,” Walter said. “I think both ‘In the Bedroom’ and ‘Little Children’ are terrific, and, from a novelist’s point of view, both are interesting literary adaptations.”

The two have met a few times in Los Angeles, and first connected when Field called Walter to say he liked “Citizen Vince,” Walter’s 2005 breakthrough novel. They are just starting work on the “Ruins” adaptation.

“Todd seems, as I am, eager to capture the tone, humor and some of the scope of the book, which are important to me,” Walter said. “Having adapted one of my own novels before (“The Financial Lives of the Poets”) I know they are very different storytelling styles but I think we’ll be able to translate it pretty well.”

Speaking of “Financial Lives,” plans to have Michael Winterbottom (“24 Hour Party People”) direct a screen version have apparently fallen through.

“ ‘Financial Lives of the Poets’ is still alive,” Walter said. “From what I understand, they’re talking to directors, so … we’ll see.”

Historian talks Muir

Jim Hunt, professor emeritus of history at Whitworth University, will read from his book “Restless Fire: Young John Muir’s Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf in 1867-68” at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Whitworth’s Music Building Recital Hall.

In addition to the reading, Hunt will share details of Muir’s journey using images from his original journals and photographs, and photos Hunt took as he retraced Muir’s steps in 2007.

Hunt taught American, Latin American and world history at Whitworth for more than three decades.

Call (509) 777-3253 for more information.

Still Getting Lit

Today is the final day of Get Lit!, the annual literary festival sponsored by Eastern Washington University.

In conjunction with Get Lit!, Lost Horse Press of Sandpoint will celebrate 15 years of publishing with readings by poets David Axelrod, Christi Kramer, Jodi Varon, Katrina Roberts, Stan Rubin, Carolyne Wright and Maya Zeller; and jazz by guitarist Leon Atkinson and pianist Burton Greene. The fun begins at 2 p.m. at the Peacock Lounge of the Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St.

Other Get Lit! events today include an 11:30 a.m. program at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., by Rebecca Stead, author of the 2009 Newberry Award winning “When You Reach Me.” Her most recent children’s book is the 2012 New York Times bestseller “Liar & Spy.”

The festival concludes with an Inland Northwest faculty reading, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Barrister Winery, 1213 Railroad Ave. The authors to appear include: Christopher Howell, Rachel Toor, Nance Van Winckel and Gregory Spatz of EWU; Jessica Halliday of Gonzaga University, Nicole Sheets of Whitworth University, and Jonathan Frey of North Idaho College.  Laura Read will be honored with the EWU Outstanding Alumni award.

All events are free. For more information, visit getlit/home.xml.

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