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Originally published October 14, 2013 at 5:05 AM | Page modified October 14, 2013 at 7:05 AM

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Author visits abound, and other literary news

News of literary interest: authors, including Elizabeth George, have Seattle speaking dates; Charles Johnson honored by Humanities Washington; Sherman Alexie titles to be e-books.

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Lit Life

Your Lit Life correspondent has been cleaning her desk (digitally speaking), and has found these fall-literary events and news bits that request your attention. Here is a list:

Author appearances: notable-author events this week include Aminatta Forna,reading from her new novel, “The Hired Man” (tonight, Oct. 14, at the Elliott Bay Book Co.). Australian novelist Graeme Simsion reads from his romantic comedy “The Rosie Project” (tonight, Oct. 14, at Seattle’s University Book Store). Elizabeth George reads from “Just One Evil Act,” her new Inspector Lynley mystery, Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Edwidge Danticat reads from her new novel, “Claire of the Sea Light,” Thursday, Oct. 17, at Town Hall Seattle. Richard Hugo House’s literary series kicks off its season Friday, Oct. 18 — Richard Bausch, Roxane Gay, John Osebold and Kary Wayson will read new works on the theme “People Will Talk.”

Bedtime Stories: Humanities Washington’s annual fundraiser, “Bedtime Stories,” took place Oct. 4 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Proceeds from the event fund the organization’s many statewide programs that promote the arts, literacy and critical thinking. (Personal favorite: “Think & Drink,” the discussion series that’s held in venues where you can think deeply and have a beer ... at the same time).

The group gave its yearly Humanities Washington Award to Charles Johnson, the University of Washington emeritus professor and National Book Award winner for his novel “Middle Passage.” Johnson read a moving piece about his father’s support for Johnson’s creative efforts.

Johnson has of late continued the family theme, publishing a kids’ book, “The Adventures of Emery Jones: Boy Science Wonder” (Booktrope) with his daughter, Elisheba Johnson. (Full disclosure: My son was an intern at Humanities Washington last summer).

Sherman Alexie and e-books: Seattle author Sherman Alexie, who in the past has criticized e-books, has changed his mind. Open Road Media has announced it will publish these titles as e-books: “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” “The Toughest Indian in the World,” “Flight,” “Reservation Blues,” “Indian Killer,” “Ten Little Indians” and “War Dances.” The books will be available Oct. 15. Alexie explains himself in a video accompanying the news, citing a need to reach more and younger readers.

Editor conference: The annual Red Pencil in the Woods conference takes place Saturday, Oct. 26. This gathering, sponsored by the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, will be held at Bastyr University in Kenmore. Keynote speaker is Alan Rinzler, whose 50-year career in the book business has included editing and publishing the works of Tom Robbins, Toni Morrison, Clive Cussler and others. It’s billed as the nation’s largest conference designed by and for independent editors.

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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