Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bookfest Keynote Speaker: Mary Doria Russell

The 2nd Annual Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest is pleased to announce that the Keynote Speaker for this year's festival is the New York Times Bestselling Author and Lombard native, Mary Doria Russell. Mary will deliver the Keynote Address at 2pm at the Glen Ellyn Public Library. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Registration is available on the Glen Ellyn Public Library website, or by phone at (630) 469-0879.

As many of Mary's loyal fans know, Mary grew up in Lombard, Illinois, attended Glenbard East High School, and worked at the Helen Plumb Library as a teenager. In 2009, Glenbard East High School inaugurated the Mary Doria Russell Chapter of the National English Honor Society. Mary even named a character in her book Dreamers of the Day after her favorite high school English teacher from Glenbard East, Agnes Shanklin. We first met Mary when she appeared at the Helen Plum Library in 2009, where she absolutely charmed the crowd. (More about her prior appearance on our blog post here.) We are thrilled to welcome Mary back to the area.

Mary is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including The Sparrow (1996), Children of God (1998) Thread of Grace (2005 - Pulitzer prize nominee), and Dreamers of the Day (2008). Mary's newest book is Doc (Random House, May 3, 2011), the fictional account of a year in the life of Doc Holliday.

Mary Doria Russell has a broad range of talent, from science fiction to historical fiction and now western fiction. She admits she was addicted to books as a child, including the westerns of Zane Grey. You can tell. Doc has the voice and all of the hallmarks of a good western tale. As Mary herself said: "it's about vice, bigotry, violence and living with a terminal disease. Doc will break your heart."

Doc focuses on one year in the life of John Henry Holliday, who was born a Southern gentleman in Atlanta and was on the road to becoming a tame Dallas dentist before he lost his job in the economic panic of 1873. By 1878, he was a professional gambler in the wild west town of Dodge City Kansas, living with a Hungarian prostitute and nursing a horrible cough caused by tuberculosis. It's where his unlikely friendship with Wyatt Earp begins.

Fans of Mary Doria Russell will be delighted with this book. It's a new direction for her, but it's got all of the incredible storytelling talent that we have come to love in her writing. It's funny and colorful, compassionate and heartbreaking. It's got it all. For readers who have never discovered Mary Doria Russell, you're in for a new treat.

Mary will discuss her new book, as well as the myths and truths of Doc Holliday's life. Mary is a highly entertaining public speaker - this is an event you do not want to miss. The book is available at The Bookstore starting May 3, 2011. With a purchase of the book you will receive a priority ticket to the line for the book signing, which will follow the address.

We hope you can join us in downtown Glen Ellyn for a day during which a village celebrates books! The full schedule of events is available here. In the meantime, please follow the Glen Ellyn Bookfest on Facebook and Twitter for updates and information.

1 comment:

  1. wow, congratulations on getting such a writer! She's my favorite, I can't wait!!
    Emma @ Words And Peace


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