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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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If you knew Edward, Martha Van Schaack tell Kelly

Kelly DiNardo is looking for some people who know Spokane. What the Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer wants is information about the late Edward Van Schaack. And why does she want it? I’ll let her explain:

“I am writing a biography of burlesque dancer Lili St. Cyr for Billboard Books, an imprint of Watson Guptill. The book is due to my editors next summer and will probably be out in the fall of 2006 or spring 2007.

“Lili was born Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis to Idella Peseau and Edward Van Schaack. Edward joined the military and never really knew Lili. Apparently, Edward ended up in Spokane and lived there for 25 years. He died Sept. 16, 1962, and is buried in Greenwood Memorial Terrace.

“Edward was a member of the WWI Veterans Barracks 87. He was survived by his wife Martha who worked at the Spokane Elks Club. I don’t believe they had any children, but I am not sure. His obituary in The Spokesman-Review does mention Lili by her given name. I realize it’s quite a long shot, but if there is anyone in Spokane who knew Edward or Martha Van Schaack I would love to talk to them.”

You can contact DiNardo through her Web site at www.kellydinardo.com, by e-mail at kelly@kellydinardo.com or by post at Kelly DiNardo, 624 Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.

Lost Horse news

Christine Holbert, owner of Sandpoint’s Lost Horse Press, received some good news the other day. It was from Suzanne Pettypiece, managing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Pettypiece’s e-mail, which Holbert forwarded to me, announced that the magazine is doing an article on the press for its upcoming issue. Never one to dodge an issue, Holbert had this reaction: “Now maybe we will finally sell some books, eh?”

By the way, if you want to get the latest on what Lost Horse is doing, go to the press’s Web site at www.losthorsepress.org.

Mitch says goodbye

Fans of the literary readings at Auntie’s Bookstore may be sad to hear the following: Mitch Finley is leaving.

The longtime coordinator of the readings series has taken a job as staff writer at the Inland Register, which advertises itself as the “Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane.” This, of course, is the perfect position for someone who has written 30-odd books on his favorite topic – his Catholic faith.

The Register’s gain is Auntie’s loss.

More awards

I’ve already mentioned several regional writers who received mention in Foreword Magazine’s 2004 Book of the Year Awards. Here’s another: Spokane writer Gail Goeller, author of “Coming of Age With Aging Parents: The Bungles, Battles and Blessings” (Patina Productions, 264 pages, $16), received an Honorable Mention in the Family and Relationships category, which included 12 books in all. Overall, Foreword’s 2004 awards included 576 books in 49 categories.

•Spokane’s Conover-Patterson Publishers, publishers of Frances Conover Church’s book “Diary of a WWI Pilot” (288 pages, $19.95), was one of four finalists in the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Awards in the Autobiography/Biography/Memoirs category. The winner was “Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography,” by William F. Buckley.

The Benjamin Franklin Awards are sponsored by PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. For a complete list of the finalists and winners, go to www.pma-online.org.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

The reader board

•Poetry reading, 3 p.m. today, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington (838-0206).

•Krist Novoselic (“Of Grunge and Government: Let’s Fix This Broken Democracy”), Sheridan Prasso (“The Asian Mystique”), readings, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•W.B. DeLong (“Voices of the Living Grail”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore; signing, 12:30 to 3 p.m. today, Valley Hastings, 15312 E. Sprague Ave. (924-0667).

•Rich Landers (“100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest: Eastern Washington, Northern Rockies, Wallowas”), Mark Sprangle, presentation of the documentary film “Being Caribou,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division St. This event is a benefit for the Lands Council. Suggested donation: $5 (838-4912).

•David Vann (“A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

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