Sunday, April 18, 2010

Avidly Awaiting Ivan

One of the things that makes the AViD Author Series so much fun is that it gives us a chance to show off Des Moines during (mostly) beautiful weather and today is just the perfect day to welcome a remarkable writer like Ivan Doig to our fair city. He is set to arrive this afternoon and it should be fun showing him our city dressed in its springtime finery. From the several story daffodil depicted on the west end of Meredith's headquarters to the yellow and red tulips outside the Central Library and the gorgeous planter boxes along Locust and Grand, downtown Des Moines is as lovely as an Easter bonnet!

I just finshed Ivan's book, Winter Brothers:A Season at the Edge of America, an amazing account he wrote thirty years ago during a winter spent researching the travels of an explorer, drawn to the Pacific Northwest from Boston in the 1850's. If you are inquisitive and want to experience the wild coastline of Puget Sound, you will find Doig's research (and personal insights) of James Gilchrist Swan's journals fascinating.

Fans of Doig's book, The Whistling Season, have a treat in store because his next book, Work Song, (due out this summer) continues the story of schoolteacher Morrie, who travels to a copper mining town and settles in to a new role in the town's library. I had the pleasure of receiving an advanced reader copy and read it this past month right at the time of the two mining disasters. Doig's descriptions of the mines, and the men who worked in them, added a haunting awareness to what I was reading in the paper about the trapped miners.

Ivan Doig will be speaking at Sheslow Auditorium tomorrow night (April 19) at 7:00 PM. The event is open to the public and seating is first come, first served. If you love great writing, don't miss this chance to meet a legendary writer. I hope to see you there!