Amanda Coplin.

Amanda Coplin.

The Barnes & Noble Discover Awards were begun in 1990, intended to honor books by writers who are at the start of their careers. Each year the judges choose two books: one nonfiction, and one fiction.

 The winners of the 2012 Discover Awards are both graduates of the University of Minnesota--Cheryl Strayed, author of the memoir, "Wild," and Amanda Coplin, author of the novel, "The Orchardist."

(Our review of "Wild" is here, and our review of "The Orchardist" is here.)

Strayed, who grew up in McGregor, Minn., and now lives in Portland, Ore., received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. Coplin received her MFA from the U in 2006, where she also won the Gesell Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, and now also lives in Portland. (Do you suppose the books editor of the Portland Oregonian is busily writing a blog item just like this one?)

Strayed will be in the Twin Cities March 19 at the Central Park Amphitheater in Woodbury on March 19 and at the Apple Valley Galaxie Library on March 20 as part of Club Book.

Coplin will be honored at 7 p.m. March 14 as part of the "First Books" reading at the U. 



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