Book Festival Draws International Authors

One of the largest in the region, the community event welcomes more than 40
By Stacy Howard

More than 600 people from across the region are already registered to attend the event, and many more are expected on Saturday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sponsored by the ecumenical School of Theology and Ministry (STM), the event draws a mix of internationally known authors and authors of specialized readership, whose work deal with many of the forces driving change at home and in the world: relations between Islam and the West, the role of faith in public life, and values that shape our policy on the environment and debate on politics and culture.  

School of Theology and Ministry Dean Mark Markuly said the event furthers the school’s recognized role in hosting respectful conversations on the issues of values and spirituality, topics that are critically important but difficult to do in current American culture and often absent from public settings. 

“What we’re really trying to do with the book festival is to create a space once a year for people in the Pacific Northwest to explore the things they hold deepest in their heart, to explore those precious values and attitudes that give meaning to their life, and help them determine right from wrong, and to do so with people who may hold very different values and attitudes,” Markuly said.  “This event is about creating a bridging place where important values and conversations can happen among people who don’t see things eye-to-eye.” 

The line-up of authors is unprecedented and includes: 

Tariq Ramadan (Keynote Presenter) - Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. Banned by the Bush Administration until last year, Ramadan makes his first appearance on the West Coast for this event. Ranked by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the world’s top 100 intellectuals, he has contributed substantially to the debate on issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world, through his writings and lectures. His books include What I Believe, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation and In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad. 

Anne Lamott (Keynote Presenter) – A speaker known for her wit and brutal honesty and the author of six novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart (the sequel to Rosie), as well as four bestselling books of nonfiction, notably “Bird by Bird,” one of the most popular books on the art and craft of writing. Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus.  

Bruce Brown – Former Seattle Times reporter, his books include: Mountain in the Clouds, The History of the Corporation, and Dr. Whacko's Guide to Slow-Pitch Softball. 

Brenda Peterson – A novelist and nature writer, author of 16 books including Duck and Cover, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year.” 

Dori Jones Yang – Formerly a foreign correspondent in Hong Kong for eight years, her latest novel is Daughter of Xanadu. 

G. Willow Wilson - An American Muslim author, essayist and graphic novelist. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly and the Canada National Post. 

For more author information, please click here.

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