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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Locally Writ: ‘Summer Stories’ series to be published as anthology

Inspired by a project the Minneapolis Star had planned in 2013, the original idea for “Summer Stories” was to run a serialized novel in Sunday’s Today section of The Spokesman-Review. When several local authors started releasing short-story collections around the same time, Carolyn Lamberson, then the features editor, had another idea.

Jess Walter gets by with a little help from a literary friend

Writing novels is a lonely occupation. But Spokane, which lives up to its reputation as a literary hotbed, boasts a number of talented novelists. Some of the wordsmiths, such as Jess Walter and Chris Crutcher, are close friends. The latter, whose novels include "Loser's Bracket" and "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," is a vocal fan of Walter.

Home grown: Spokane inspires award-winning novelist Jess Walter’s latest book

For Jess Walter, his native Spokane inspired his latest novel, "The Cold Millions." New York, Hollywood and Italy were the scenes of some of Walter's prior novels, but the winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2005 for "Citizen Vince" taps into his hometown for "The Cold Millions." The novel commences in 1909 in Peace Valley Park.

Fun facts about award-winning Spokane author Jess Walter

Who says you can't stay home? It's a modification of the Bon Jovi hit, but the bottom line is that Jess Walter has enjoyed a great deal of success as a writer without leaving his hometown of Spokane. Here's a few fun facts about the East Valley High School alumnus.

Spokane’s Jess Walter has it where it counts: On the bookshelf

Spokane native, journalist and award-winning novelist Jess Walter is publishing his seventh novel this month: “The Cold Millions.” This is in addition to a 2013 collection of short stories and his first book, a 1995 retelling of the Ruby Ridge incident, which Walter covered for The Spokesman-Review.

Summer Stories: ‘What Rises Beneath’ by Jess Walter

It was quiet for 140 years. Then, in March, the mountain began to rumble: earthquakes, bursts of steam, blue flame, ash clouds that sparked 2-mile bolts of lightning. All spring, the volcano seethed, spewed and shuddered, magma bubbling up its throat and pushing the north flank out 5 feet a day.

Ralph Walter: No Wet Dog Fur Open golf tournament this year, but that’s no reason to be teed off

Always scheduled for the second Monday of June, the Wet Dog Fur Open – the S-R sports department’s unauthorized golf tournament that has produced enough embarrassing moments to make even John Daly blush – is circled on most of our calendars like Christmas. Until this year. Like most everything else this spring, our tournament was shelved by COVID-19. While not exactly a sad moment, it’s a nostalgic one nonetheless.

Jess Walter’s ‘Magnificent Desolation’ gets ‘Selected Shorts’ treatment with Bobby Cannavale

Long before works of short fiction read by talented actors are broadcast into our homes, cars and assorted listening devices by Spokane Public Radio, they begin life in a live performance setting. Since 1985, “Selected Shorts” has been performed before enthusiastic audiences on stage at New York City’s Symphony Space. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Selected Shorts” organizers, like many other artist groups, have pivoted to virtual. The first “Virtual Selected Shorts” program debuted on the Symphony Space YouTube channel on Wednesday night.

‘It’s really flattering’: Obama picks Spokane’s Jess Walter for favorite books of the year list

“But the great thing about books is that they get spread by word of mouth,” Walter said. Word about “We Live in Water” might have been spread initially by Twitter instead of by mouth on Saturday, but it still proved Walter’s maxim right, as Obama’s 111 million followers found out about his high esteem for the six-year-old collection of mostly Spokane-based fiction.

Summer Stories: ‘Magnificent Desolation’ by Jess Walter

In the final installment of the 2019 Summer Stories series, Jess Walter tells the tale of a teacher dealing with the parents of his worst student. Revisit previous entries in the Summer Stories series at spokesman.com/summer-stories.