April 26, 2016 Library of Congress to Feature Native American Fiction Writers May 10

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Rob Casper (202) 707-5394

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center will feature Native American fiction writers Eric Gansworth, Linda LeGarde Grover, and Stephen Graham Jones, in a reading and discussion moderated by Deborah Miranda.

“Spotlight on Native Writers” will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building. It is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.

The reading/discussion precedes the launch of Louise Erdrich’s 15th novel, “LaRose.” Erdrich, the 2015 Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction winner, will read from her new novel at a PEN/Faulkner event at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. N.E., Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Library of Congress, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10. For more information on Erdrich’s reading, visit this site External.

Commenting on the “Spotlight” event at the Library of Congress, Erdrich said, “Bringing our contemporary Native stories to life in one of our country's greatest institutions is a worthy and delightful enterprise.”

Rob Casper, head of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, said, “Erdrich is an inspiration as our newest Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction winner, and we’re honored to celebrate other essential Native writers on the date of Erdrich’s book launch.”

Gansworth, a writer and visual artist, is an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation. He was raised in the Tuscarora Nation Territories in Western New York. Currently, he is a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. In the fall of 2016, he will be NEH Visiting Professor of Native American Studies at Colgate University. His books include the novels, “If I Ever Get Out of Here,” “Extra Indians,” winner of the American Book Award; “Mending Skins,” winner of the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award; “Smoke Dancing”; “Indian Summers”; collections of poems, “Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon” and “A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function”; and a collection of poems and memoir, “Breathing the Monster Alive.” His next novel, “Give Me Some Truth,” is forthcoming. Gansworth is also a visual artist with numerous solo and group shows, and his books generally feature his visual art as integral parts of their narratives.

Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, a Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She is the author of “The Dance Boots,” winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; “The Road Back to Sweetgrass,” winner of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers 2015 Fiction Award; and the poetry chapbook “The.Indian.At.Indian.School.” Her forthcoming poetry collection “The Sky Watched” will be published in 2016 by Red Mountain Press. Grover is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Jones is the author of 16 novels and six story collections. His current novel is “Mongrels.” Jones has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Fiction, the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Awards for Multicultural Fiction, three This is Horror awards, and he has been included in the Bloody Disgusting's Top Ten Novels of the Year. Jones teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of California Riverside-Palm Desert. He lives in Boulder with his wife, two children, and too many old trucks.

Miranda is the author of “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir,” winner of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award; and three poetry collections, “Indian Cartography,” “The Zen of La Llorona” and “Raised By Humans.” She is co-editor of “Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two-Spirit Literature.” Her in-progress collection of essays “The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae” is under contract with University of Nebraska Press. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of California. She is the John Lucian Smith Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University.

Erdrich is the author of 15 novels, in addition to volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel “The Round House” won the National Book Award for Fiction. “The Plague of Doves” won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, “Love Medicine,” was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition to the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, her many honors include the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is committed to building audiences for literature and bringing writers together with their readers. This mission is accomplished through the following: public readings by distinguished writers who have won the respect of readers and writers alike; the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the United States; the PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story; and the Writers in Schools program, which brings nationally and internationally acclaimed authors to public high school classrooms in Washington and Baltimore to discuss their work with students.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public's appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate) and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library's Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit loc.gov/poetry/.

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at loc.gov.


PR 16-075
ISSN 0731-3527