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Originally published Monday, September 16, 2013 at 5:04 AM

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Fall book sale and other literary events in and around Seattle

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit Life

As we head into fall, literary events pile up with welcome but at times alarming regularity: what to do and where to go? Here are some of your choices.

Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale: This fundraising event takes place Saturday Sept. 21 and Sunday Sept. 22, and it’s once again at Building 30 in Magnuson Park, the former airplane hangar well known to serious book shoppers. The sale, a major moneymaker for the library, was located in the building for years (the last fall sale was in 2011), but had to move when the city of Seattle embarked on renovating and earthquake-proofing the building. The earthquake-proofing is now complete, though renovations continue.

What can you get there? Books, CDs, DVDs, mostly for sale from $1 to $2. There will be a special “find a treasure” section of old, rare and whimsical books, priced separately. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, including a special Friday preview for members of the Friends group, go to

Hugo House doings: Richard Hugo House, the Seattle Center for writers, has a couple of interesting programs in the works.

“Word Works” will feature notable authors on specific topics they’ve mastered: Mary Jo Bang on translation (Oct. 4), novelist Pam Houston on dialogue (Nov. 1), novelist Bob Shacochis on voice (Feb. 7), poet Major Jackson on metaphor (March 21), essayist Sven Birkerts on structure (April 4), and fiction writer Antonya Nelson on archetypes (May 30). Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson writes that the series will give writers, fans and readers “a behind-the-scenes peek at the techniques great writers use to work their magic.” Tickets are $15 (206-322-7030 or The program is underwritten by the Paul G. Allen Foundation.

Hugo House has also announced its 2013 Literary Series, and the first installment on the theme “People Will Talk” is Oct. 18, and features novelist Richard Bausch, Roxane Gay, Kary Wayson and musician John Osebold. Go to for the complete lineup.

Dayton Peace Prize finalist: Seattle author Blaine Harden is a finalist for the prestigious Dayton Peace Prize, which celebrates the power of literature “to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding,” according to the prize’s website.

Harden got the nod for his thoroughly gripping and compelling book “Escape from Camp 14,” the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only known person born in a North Korean prison camp to escape and survive. Harden’s book helped launch a United Nations investigation of such camps earlier this year. Among his fellow finalists (there are six) are Katherine Boo for “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” and Andrew Solomon for “Far from the Tree.” Winners will be announced Sept. 24.

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Gwinn appears every Tuesday on TVW’s “Well Read,” discussing books with host Terry Tazioli (go to for archived episodes). On Twitter @gwinnma.

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