Amanda Coplin is really a Pacific Northwest writer--she was born in Washington state, earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Portland and now lives in Portland. But her MFA is from the University of Minnesota, where she studied under Charles Baxter and others, and her career since graduation has been remarkable. Her first novel, "The Orchardist" (yes, yes, set in the Pacific Northwest) was a New York Times best-seller, garnered wide critical praise (including this review in the Star Tribune), was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Awards finalist, and made several best-of-the-year lists (including the Washington Post).
And now, more accolades: shortly after winning the Washington State Book Award for fiction (the nonfiction award went to Timothy Egan for "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher"), Coplin was named one of the National Book Foundation's "Five under 35." (The other four: Molly Antopol, NoViolet Bulawayo, currently on the Man Booker Prize short list, Daisy Hildyard and Merritt Tierce.)
Each of the five was chosen by a previous National Book Award winner. And who chose Coplin? Why, Louise Erdrich, of course. Definitely not from the Pacific Northwest.
The shortlist for the annual Dayton Literary Peace Prize was announced today, studded with fine titles about life in North Korea, Ceausecu's Romania, American Indian reservations, and the Vietnam War.
The formidable fiction shortlist includes National Book Award-winning "The Round House," Pulitzer-winning "The Orphan Master's Son," and a couple of dark horses.
The nonfiction shortlist also includes a National Book Award winner, Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers," as well as a Graywolf Press memoir, "Burying the Typewriter," by Carmen Bugan about growing up in Romania.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Winners will receive $10,000 and runners-up will receive $1,000. Winners will be announced Sept. 24.
Here's the whole list, with hyperlinks to our reviews.
"The Round House," by Louise Erdrich
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," by Ben Fountain
"The Orphan Master's Son," by Adam Johnson
"The Life of Objects," by Susanna Moore
"The Coldest Night," by Robert Olmstead
"The Yellow Birds," by Kevin Powers
"Behind the Beautiful Forevers," by Katherine Boo
"Pax Ethnica," by Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac
"Burying the Typewriter," by Carmen Bugan
"Escape from Camp 14," by Blaine Harden
"Devil in the Grove," by Gilbert King
"Far From the Tree," by Andrew Solomon.
A week or two ago, I posted here a long list of prominent writers who are coming to town to speak at various reading series—Talking Volumes, Pen Pals, and the others. But that, of course, was only part of the list of writers you can go listen to around the Twin Cities area.
So here’s a second list—not comprehensive, by any means, but a list of some of the more notable writers who will be speaking at 10 Twin Cities bookstores this autumn. It’s an impressive list—Sue Grafton, Alice McDermott, Jhumpa Lahiri and Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding, local favorite Garrison Keillor, Jamie Ford and Jesse Ventura….
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for excellence in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on June 30 in Chicago. Winners will receive $5,000, and the four finalists will receive $1,500 each.
The finalists in fiction are Louise Erdrich for "The Round House"; Junot Diaz for "This is How You Lose Her" (and those two met mano-a-mano once before, for the National Book Award, and we all know who won); and Richard Ford for "Canada."
In nonfiction, the finalists are "The Mansion of Happiness," by Jill Lepore, "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher," by Timothy Egan, and "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic," by David Quammen.
Here are Strib reviews of four of the six finalists:
North Dakota's most prestigious honor will be given to author Louise Erdrich later this month when Gov. Jack Dalrymple presents her with the 39th Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.
Erdrich was born in Minnesota but grew up in Wahpeton and much of her writing is set in North Dakota. She now lives in Minneapolis.
She will receive the award at a ceremony in Wahpeton on April 19 and a portrait of her will eventually hang in the state Capitol with other award recipients.
The award has gone to writers, celebrities, athletes and others, including Roger Maris, Louis L'Amour, Larry Woiwode, Angie Dickinson, and Eric Sevaraid.
Erdrich's most recent novel, "The Round House," won the National Book Award in November.
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