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Announcing the 2013-2014 Pen Pals Season

July 13th, 2013 | Press Releases

Friends of the Hennepin County Library is pleased to announce the 17th season of Pen Pals, the highly regarded and longest running literary series in the Twin Cities.

The 2013–14 Pen Pals Season offers five eclectic and engaging authors who collectively have won many of the world’s most coveted literary honors.

· George Saunders: Oct. 10, 2013, 7:30 PM & Oct. 11, 2013, 11 AM

· A.S. Byatt: Nov. 4, 2013, 7:30 PM & Nov. 5, 2013, 11 AM

· Luis Alberto Urrea: Feb. 6, 2014, 7:30 PM & Feb. 7, 2014, 11 AM

· Art Spiegelman: Apr. 24, 2014, 7:30 PM & Apr. 25, 2014, 11 AM

· Tracy K. Smith: May 8, 2014, 7:30 PM & May 9, 2014, 11 AM

Subscriptions start at $160 for all 5 lectures. Individual tickets start at $40.

Subscriptions go on sale July 10 by phone at 612-543-8112 (M – F, 9 AM – 4:30 PM) or a subscription form can be downloaded online at www.supporthclib.org. Individual tickets go on sale August 12, but pre-sale mail orders for individual tickets are being accepted immediately and will be placed in the order they are received.

All Pen Pals programs are held at the Hopkins Center for the Arts — offering great sound and sight lines throughout the entire house. Located at 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins (just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis), Hopkins Center for the Arts offers free convenient parking as well as numerous nearby restaurants.

Proceeds from the program benefit Friends of the Hennepin County Library (Friends of HCL). We are an active community of supporters—helping the Library fulfill its mission to nourish minds, transform lives, and build community. By raising critically needed funds for books, movies, music, programs and technology, and through the presentation of the highly regarded Pen Pals and Talk of the Stacks author series, Friends of HCL opens doors and minds to new worlds.



Head shots of the authors are available.

Pen Pals with George Saunders
Thursday, October 10, 2013, 7:30 PM
Friday, October 11, 2013, 11 AM

“…a writer of arresting brilliance and originality.” —Tobias Wolff

One of the most blazingly original writers of his generation, 2013 MacArthur “genius” award recipient George is a master of the short story. His most recent fiction collection, Tenth of December, has been on the New York Times bestseller list since its release in December 2012. Time magazine included him in this year’s “100 most influential people” list. A Twin Cities Book Festival partner event.*

*George Saunders’ Pen Pals appearance is part of the 2013 Twin Cities Book Festival, which continues with opening night festivities on Friday and a free all-day gala of books and authors on Saturday.

Pen Pals with A.S. Byatt
Monday, November 4, 2013, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 11 AM

“…a storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights.” — The New York Times Book Review

Distinguished English novelist, poet and critic A.S. Byatt achieved bestseller status and won the Booker Prize with her novel Possession: A Romance, which later was made into a film. Her novella Morpho Eugenia, too, was made into a film, Angels and Insects. Winner of dozens of other literary honors (including the distinguished Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix), she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

Pen Pals with Luis Alberto Urrea
Thursday, February 6, 2014, 7:30 PM
Friday, February 7, 2014, 11 AM

“…a big personality…a gregarious guy…a phenomenal speaker.” —The Chicago Tribune

Tijuana-born Luis is a gifted storyteller whose dual-culture life experiences have influenced his writing across all the major genres. His non-fiction The Devil’s Highway was a Pulitzer finalist; Into the Beautiful North was chosen for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read; and his first mystery short story, Amapola, won the prestigious Edgar Award. More than 30 different cities and colleges have chosen Luis’s work for community read programs.

Pen Pals with Art Spiegelman
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 7:30 PM
Friday, April 25, 2014, 11 AM

“Art Spiegelman’s cartoons don’t fool around.” —Los Angeles Times

Artist and illustrator Art Spiegelman has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto literature shelves. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative, MAUS, and the coveted Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. His critically acclaimed work includes In the Shadow of No Towers, named a New York Times Notable Book, and Kisses from New York, which chronicled his work with The New Yorker.

Pen Pals with Tracy K. Smith
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:30 PM
Friday, May 9, 2014, 11 AM

“…a poet of extraordinary range and ambition.”
—The New York Times

Tracy’s most recent collection of poetry, Life on Mars, published by Graywolf Press, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Her collection Duende won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. A graduate of Harvard, she teaches creative writing at Princeton University.


Creative Sponsor: Gabriel deGrood Bendt

Media sponsor: Mpls.St.Paul Magazine



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