Ann Patchett and Sparky. Photo by Heidi Ross

Ann Patchett and Sparky. Photo by Heidi Ross

The Pen Pals writers series will bring in five notable writers beginning this fall for its 23rd season, including a Man Booker finalist, a PEN/Faulkner award winner, and the winner of this year’s National Book Critics Circle’s first book award.

Pen Pals, the oldest writers series in the Twin Cities, is a program of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library. All events will take place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins.

Here’s the 2019-20 lineup:

Susan Orlean: The best-selling author of “The Orchid Thief” will discuss her newest book, “The Library Book,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11 a.m. Oct. 11.

Ann Patchett:  The author of “Bel Canto,” “State of Wonder,” and “Commonwealth,” will discuss her new book, “The Dutch House,” which will be published in September. Events at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, and 11 a.m. Oct. 25.

Esi Edugyan: Edugyan was twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her novels “Half-Blood Blues” and “Washington Black.” She also received Canada’s Giller Prize for both books. She’ll speak at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 11 a.m. Dec. 10.

Reza Aslan: Aslan is an internationally renowned writer and scholar of religions. His books have been translated into languages around the world and he is the host of the television program “Rough Draft with Reza Aslan” and CNN’s “Believer.” He will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, 2020, and 11 a.m. Feb. 14, 2020.

Tommy Orange: Orange’s bestselling novel, “There There,” won the NBCC John Leonard Prize for best first book as well as a PEN/Hemingway award. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 30, 2020, and 11 a.m. May 1, 2020.

Tickets for the full season will go on sale online at on Monday, May 6, beginning at $200. Tickets for individual events will go on sale Aug. 7 for $45-$55.


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