Monday, October 13, 2008

The Nature of Words

The Nature of Words is a literary event taking place in Bend, OR in early November. It brings a number of writers to Bend to discuss their books and offer workshops. It also gets the local papers writing more about books. Each year I try to read a few of the authors coming to town. Last year I enjoyed books by Craig Johnson and Debra Magpie Earling. The previous year I was able to attend a workshop by Alexandra Fuller, author of the memoir Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, among other books. I was impressed with her dedication as she spoke of getting up at an insane hour to write before going to her job as a waitress. Her tale of growing up in Africa during a civil war is quite compelling as well as disturbing.

This year the event has author Ursula Le Guin taking part. I highly recommend her Earthsea Trilogy starting with A Wizard of Earthsea. A Wizard of Earthsea was written in 1968, and is the story of a young man becoming a wizard. It has a wizard going to school long before the Harry Potter series. Le Guin’s ability to bring a completely new world into being is remarkable. This series is one I would like to have on my shelf for my kids as they get older, and I should have included it here.

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