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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Marilynne Robinson honored with Library of Congress American fiction prize

Marilynne Robinson, the lauded essayist and novelist who was born and raised in North Idaho, will be honored with a program next month at the Library of Congress.

“Fiction, Faith and the Imagination” will be held April 3 to celebrate Robinson winning the 2016 Prize for American Fiction; the panel will include the novelists Robinson, Geraldine Brooks and Paul Harding – all Pulitzer Prize-winners – physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, and moderator Steven Knapp, president of George Washington University.

Robinson is the eighth winner of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. The award, created in 2009, is designed to honor literary writers whose works are “distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination,” according to a news release. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctrow, Louise Erdrich and Phillip Roth.

Robinson was born in Sandpoint in 1943 and graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School. She’s published four highly acclaimed novels, “Housekeeping” (1980), the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gilead” (2004), “Home” (2008), and “Lila” (2014), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. She also has won the 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by former President Barack Obama.

Robinson teaches at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.

For those who can’t attend the April 3 panel discussion in Washington, D.C., it will be live-streamed on the library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Return of the ‘Fairy Tales’

Lilac City Fairy Tales returns later this month with a new theme, “The Weird Sisters,” and a host of local and regional authors along for the fun.

Now in its third year, the event is organized by Washington Book Award-winning novelist Sharma Shields and sponsored by Friends of the Bing and Scablands Lit. Writers were invited to create and submit a poem, short story, creative essay or comic inspired by the theme, “Weird Sisters,” a reference to the witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

The reading will be at 7 p.m. March 25 at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., and will feature women writers, including Portland’s Alexis M. Smith, Missoula’s Henrietta Goodman, and a host of Spokane authors, including Elissa Ball, Asa Maria Bradley, Leyna Krow, Claire McQuerry, Kate Peterson, and Kat Smith. The night also will features a special presentation of Act I, Scene I of “MacBeth,” which introduced the three witches in the play and the now famous lines, “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

An anthology, featuring these writers and more, will be published by Scablands Lit. The book features new and veteran writers, both men and women.

Tickets to “Lilac City Fairy Tales are $16 in advance through friendsofthebing.org, and $22 at the door. Proceeds benefit Spark Central, the nonprofit creative space located in Kendall Yards.

Getting Lit!

Get Lit, Eastern Washington University’s annual literary festival, has announced some of this year’s featured authors.

Set for April 17-23, the festival will feature North Idaho native Emily Ruskovich, whose novel “Idaho” is getting national buzz, Justin Torres, author of the best-seller “We the Animals,” Jamaal May, whose book “Hum” won the Beatrice Hawley Award and the ALA Notable Book Award, and the poet Albert Goldbarth, who has more than 20 poetry collections to his credit. The local talent in the Get Lit pool is deep: Sam Ligon, Christopher Howell, Polly Buckingham, Shawn Vestal, Gregory Spatz, Bruce Holbert, Sharma Shields, Nance Van Winckel, Laura Read, Leyna Krow… Really deep.

Look for a finalized lineup in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, visit https://getlitfestival.org/ for more information.

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