Alice McDermott, William Finnegan, Luis Urrea among Winter Words authors coming to Aspen |

Alice McDermott, William Finnegan, Luis Urrea among Winter Words authors coming to Aspen

Staff report
Alice McDermott
Courtesy Photo
WINTER WORDS 2018 Jan. 9 – Alice McDermott Jan. 23 – Tracy K. Smith Feb. 20 – Christina Baker Kline March 20 – William Finnegan April 3 – Luis Alberto Urrea

In five author events from January to April, the literary nonprofit Aspen Words will host National Book Award winner Alice McDermott, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, no. 1 New York Times best-selling novelist Christina Baker Kline, New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize winner William Finnegan and Pulitzer Prize finalist and best-selling novelist Luis Alberto Urrea.

Aspen Words announced the lineup Thursday.

“We’re thrilled to showcase such a remarkable lineup of literary talent this season,” Aspen Words managing director Jamie Kravitz said in the announcement. “Their work represents a range of distinctive voices and genres, including literary fiction, memoir, poetry and investigative journalism, and has earned them accolades and legions of fans.”

McDermott will open the series on Jan. 9. Her most recent novel, “The Ninth Hour,” is the story of a group of nuns serving the Irish-American community in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. McDermott’s previous seven novels include “Charming Billy,” winner of the National Book Award, and “After This,” “At Weddings and Wakes” and “That Night,” which were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Smith, recently appointed the 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate, will speak on Jan. 23. She is the author of three books of poetry, including “Life on Mars,” which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the memoir, “Ordinary Light.”

Kline, who headlines a Feb. 20 event, is the author of six other novels, including “Orphan Train,” a No. 1 New York Times best-seller that was published in 40 countries. Her latest is, “A Piece of the World,” a portrait of the woman behind Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting “Christina’s World.”

Finnegan will read and speak on March 20. A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, Finnegan has reported from countries around the world on politics, war, race and other topics. His memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life,” won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for autobiography.

And Luis Alberto Urrea will close the annual series on April 3. Urrea was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction, “The Devil’s Highway,” and is the best-selling author of the novels “The Hummingbird’s Daughter, “Into the Beautiful North” and “Queen of America.”

“It feels especially fitting to bring these widely acclaimed writers to Aspen during the year in which we’ll announce the winner of the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize, an award that’s raising Aspen’s profile in the literary world,” Aspen Words executive director Adrienne Brodeur said in the announcement.

All events will be held at Paepcke Auditorium. Tickets and series passes go on sale Nov. 15 at the Wheeler Opera House box office and Prices range from $25 for individual tickets to $80 for a non-member series pass.

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