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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Book Notes: Up-and-coming authors find literary home at Ecotone

Ecotone, a literary journal based at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, was founded in 2005. Since then, twice a year, the journal has published fiction, nonfiction and poetry by up-and-coming authors and established award winners.

Just this past week, Ecotone released a collection of stories, “Astoria to Zion: Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade.” The writers who are featured include Rick Bass (“Why I Came West”), Edith Perlman (“Binocular Vision”), Steve Almond (“God Bless America”) and Shawn Vestal (“Godforsaken Idaho”).

Vestal is a columnist at The Spokesman-Review who released his debut story collection last year. “Winter Elders,” one of the stories in “Godforsaken Idaho,” also appeared in Ecotone, and was selected for inclusion in “Astoria to Zion.” In it, Vestal tells the story of a man who has left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is stalked by a particularly aggressive church elder bent on bringing him back into the fold.

“Astoria to Zion” features an introduction by Ben Fountain (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”) and was published by Lookout Books. It lists for $18.95.

Willow Springs has sprouted.

Speaking of literary journals, with the coming of spring comes the release of Willow Springs, the Eastern Washington University journal. Issue 73 features poetry by Liz Kay, Gary Copeland Lilley, Marty McConnell, Joseph Millar, Carrie Shipers, W. Todd Kaneko, Tony Hoagland, Ryan Hibbet and Monica Burchfield. There’s fiction from Karen Wunsch, and nonfiction from Matthew Gavin Frank, Diana Joseph and Stacey Richter. The issue also features interviews with both Joyce Carol Oates and Major Jackson.

For more information or to order a copy, visit Also look for copies at area bookstores.

Author alert

New York Times best-selling author Robin Oliveira will be in Spokane next weekend to read from her new book, “I Always Loved You,” which details the relationship between Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas in Belle Epoche Paris in the years after the American Civil War.

As the Chicago Tribute noted in its Printers Row Preview in January: “Combining in-depth research with an ability to describe the complexities of the creative human spirit, Oliveira captures the passion and determination of artists who soldiered on despite being ridiculed as ‘idiot rebels’ and bottom feeders of the art world. She vividly portrays the angst, frustration and disappointments that, despite their genius, were part of their creative process.”

Oliveira’s previous book, “My Name is Mary Sutter,” was a Times best-seller about an American woman during the Civil War who wanted to become a surgeon.

Oliveira will read at Auntie’s Book Store at 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit or call (509) 838-0206. Auntie’s is located at 402 W. Main Ave.

Galileo lecture scheduled

Brian Clayton and Eric Kincanon, professors of philosophy and physics, respectively, at Gonzaga University, will discuss the work and influence of Galileo Galilei in a “What Can We Learn” lecture Tuesday.

Clayton will discuss the contrast between the Galileo legend and historical reality, while Kincanon will discuss Galileo’s contributions to modern science.

The lecture will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Wolff Auditorium of Jepson Hall. The free event is part of an ongoing lecture series sponsored by the GU College of Arts & Sciences and its Powers Chair of the Humanities.

For more information, call (509) 313-6750 or email Wayne Pomerleau at

Alexie returns

Tickets are now on sale to hear Sherman Alexie talk in a benefit for the Salish School of Spokane.

The school’s Coyote Speaks program will be held at 7 p.m. May 3 at Spokane Falls Community College.

Alexie, a member of the Spokane Tribe, is a best-selling author and poet whose works include “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” and the National Book Award-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”

Tickets are $20 for the public, and $10 for SFCC faculty, alumni and students, and available through TicketsWest, or (800) 325-SEAT.

The Salish School of Spokane was founded to preserve the native language of the Spokane, Kalispel, Coeur d’Alene and Colville peoples.

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