clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Curling up with a good book: Book festival celebrates authors and their work

Now celebrating its 10th year, the Great Salt Lake Book Festival has become known as the premier literary event in Utah. This year, the name has been changed to the Utah Humanities Book Festival to reflect the larger sweep of events throughout the state.

The festival is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, whose committee, led by Rebecca Batt, promises an extraordinary celebration of authors and their work, with these writers in attendance:

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th anniversary university professor at Harvard University, is the author of "Good Wives," as well as numerous articles on early American history. She won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1991 for "A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812." A MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (or "genius grant") helped her produce a PBS documentary based on "A Midwife's Tale." She has also written "The Age of Homespun" and her latest, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History." Ulrich will deliver the O. Meredith Wilson History Lecture, "A Woman and a Cow," Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Dumke Auditorium, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah.

She will deliver a second lecture, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History," Saturday, 5 p.m., Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium.

William Kittredge, professor of history, University of Montana, and author of "The Willow Field" and "Hole in the Sky: A Memoir," will discuss the emotional terrain of the American West with Hal Cannon, founding director of the Western Folklife Center, Saturday, 7 p.m., Auditorium.

Eboo Patel, author of "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim" and founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization designed to empower young people and generate acts of service, will deliver the Sterling McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture: "The Faith Line: The Role of Young People in the 21st Century," Monday, 7-9 p.m., Auditorium, Salt Lake City Main Library. Sponsored by the U's Tanner Center.

Lucy Tapahonso, a well-known poet and professor of English at the University of Arizona in Tucson, is a popular teacher of poetry writing and American Indian literature. She will read from her new book, "A Radiant Curve," Thursday, 7 p.m., Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Emma Eccles Jones/Jewett Center, Westminster College.

Greer Chesher, author of "Heart of the Desert Wild: Grand Staircase — Escalante National Monument," winner of the Utah Book Award for nonfiction. (As soon as someone recognizes her project's brilliance and supports it financially, she says, Chesher plans to ride her horse from Scotland's northern tip to England's southern coast, writing all the way.)

Katherine Coles, University of Utah associate professor of English and Utah's poet laureate, has a novel, "Fire Season," as well as her most important work of poetry, "The Golden Age of the Fourth Dimension." She will read from her recent work.

Janette Turner Hospital, author of "The Last Magician," "Oyster" and, most recently, "Orpheus Lost." She will discuss the universal appeal of ancient myths in a conversation with Robert Newman, dean of the U. College of Humanities.

Hampton Sides, a native of Memphis and a historian and journalist, as well as author of "Blood and Thunder," a book about Kit Carson, will discuss the craft of narrative nonfiction and techniques that help keep history readers awake.

Walter Kirn, author of the satirical novel "Up in the Air" and critic for the New York Times Book Review, will discuss the art of criticism.

Jane Hamilton, author of "The Book of Ruth," "A Map of the World" and "When Madeline Was Young" will discuss her "Literary Confessions."

Richard Rosen, an Edgar Award-winning crime novelist and humorist whose work has appeared on PBS, HBO, CBS and NPR.

Ann Edwards Cannon, noted author for children and young adults and Deseret Morning News columnist. Her books include "Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe," "Spider-Man by Night" and "Charlotte's Rose."

Muffy Mead-Ferro is the author of "Confessions of a Slacker Mom." She works in advertising in Salt Lake City and will present a session with Cannon.

Sara Zarr, a Salt Lake City resident whose first young-adult novel, "Story of a Girl," is a finalist for the National Book Award, will release "Sweethearts," her second novel, in 2008.

If you go

What: Utah Humanities Book Festival

Where: Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South

When: Monday-Saturday

How much: free

Phone: 359-9670


Also: papermaking, letterpress printing, rare book appraisals and book arts workshop (some events at various locations around the state)