On February 25 Seattle University will host the 9th annual Search for Meaning Book Festival. Held on the university’s campus each year, Search for Meaning draws over 50 nationally and internationally acclaimed authors and artists for an interactive, introspective experience. The festival is dedicated to topics surrounding the human quest for meaning, and the characteristics of an ethical and well-lived life.
Originally developed and lunched by the Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, Mark Markuly, PhD, in 2009, the Search for Meaning Book Festival has quickly become one of the most highly regarded events of its kind attracting an ever-growing and enthusiastic following.
Dean Mark Markuly describes the book festival as “a gathering space for all of those in the region who have made it a lifelong quest to search for meaning.” He says:
“When you put together intelligence, faith or spiritual commitment with self-reflection, you come up with a powerful, life- and world-transforming combination. In our challenging and often fearful times, we need this combination more than ever.”
Over the course of its history, the Festival has evolved into a signature Seattle University event and has drawn over 425 distinguished authors to campus, including 24 award winners, four New York Times best-sellers, three Pulitzer Prize winners and the author of a major motion picture. Past guests include Mary Oliver, James Martin, S.J., Michael Chabon, Sherman Alexie, Krista Tippett and Anne Lamott.
This year’s notable authors include:
- Anthony Doerr, whose latest novel, runaway New York Times best seller All the Light We Cannot See (2014), is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and finalist for the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
- Margot Lee Shetterly, writer, researcher, entrepreneur and author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016). The highly anticipated film based on her book is in theaters now (click here to watch the trailer!)
- Best-selling author Zarqa Nawaz who created the world’s first sitcom about a Muslim community living in the West called Little Mosque on the Prairie, which premiered to record ratings on the CBC in 2007 and is now being broadcast to over 60 countries.
- Paul Angone, best-selling author of All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! (2015) and creator of the popular website AllGroanUp.com, who has been described as one of the leading voices to, and for, the Millennial generation, and has been featured on Bloomberg, Business Insider, the Chicago Tribune, TV morning shows, and hundreds of radio shows and podcasts.
- Acclaimed writer and journalist Jeff Chang, who combines deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism in his 2016 book We Gon’ Be Alright which links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite and explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing.
In addition to the general sessions and keynote presentations, the festival offers book signings, art showcases and a theatre performance. This year’s art showcase theme features over 30 artists and their works exploring the following questions: What does it mean to be a human being? Who am I? What am I? What is my place in this world? What is this world about? How do our actions and creative activities make our lives meaningful? In addition, Search for Meaning guests have the opportunity to attend a theatre performance of Re-Entry, a gripping documentary theatre work about the challenges faced by marines returning to civilian life.
For more information about the Search for Meaning Book Festival visit: https://www.seattleu.edu/searchformeaning/.