Start: 6:30 pm
Each month, the Elliott Bay Fiction Book Club reads and discusses the best in contemporary fiction with the occasional classic thrown in for good measure. For the months of November and December, we have selected Halldór Laxness's Independent People, dicussing the first half in November and with the second half discussed in December. "This magnificent novelwhich secured for its author the 1955 Novel Prize in Literatureis at last available to contemporary American Readers. Although it is set in the early twentieth century. It recalls both Iceland's medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book's protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic, and at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic. Having spent eighteen years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur's spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is a masterpiece."
Start: 7:00 pm
Portland poet and Lewis and Clark College professor Kim Staffordwho is also founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, makes this welcome return to an Elliott Bay he has read at numerous times over the years. He is here tonight with 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do (Trinity University Press), a powerful memoir of his older brother Bret, who took his own life. "This is a stunning book of exquisite consolation and understanding, not so much about loss as discovery. Through vibrant scenes, the precious and noble life of Bret Stafford unfolds, together with the shared lives of brothers, the weave of family and mystery, all becoming indelible forever. This book makes me want to live better. Kim Stafford has written a masterpiece of deepest love." – Naomi Shihab Nye. Among Kim Stafford's many books are The Muses Among Us, Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford, and Having Everything Right.
Start: 7:30 pm
Co-presented with the TOWN HALL CENTER FOR CIVIC LIFE, THE BULLITT FOUNDATION, and NW ENERGY COALITION. Author, lawyer, and activist Philip Warburg visits with his timely book, Harvest the Wind: America's Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability (Beacon Press). "Combining graceful prose, analytical rigor, and colorful characters, Harvest the Wind portrays the excitement of a new industry. Much more than just an exploration of the prospects for wind energy, though, Harvest takes us along on the author's journey through the American heartland in search of the nation's soul and its future." – Denis Hayes, president and CEO of The Bullitt Foundation, who will also introduce this evening. $5 tickets are available at the door starting at 6:30 p.m., or in advance via www.strangertickets.com. Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca). Preferred seating for Town Hall members. For more information on this evening, please call Elliott Bay at (206) 624-6600, Town Hall at (206) 652-4255, or see www.townhallseattle.org.