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Featured Speakers

Alexandra Fuller, Thursday, March 26, 8:00 p.m., followed by book signing
Workshop: Friday, March 27, 9:45 a.m.

Alexandra Fuller, credit Peg BonnerBorn in England in 1969, Alexandra Fuller grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Malawi, and Zambia, received a BA from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and now lives in Wyoming. In her memoir, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, 2001, Fuller describes growing up in Africa amidst political struggles, civil war, turmoil, and loss.  In Scribbling the Cat: Travels With an African Soldier, 2005, Fuller returns to Africa and looks at the Rhodesian War from another vantage point. Scribbling the Cat received the Ulysses Prize for Art of Reportage. Fuller’s latest book, The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, also non-fiction, tells the story of the life and death of a young man in the oil fields. Having seen the ravages of war in Africa, Fuller recognizes a familiar beautiful yet harsh vista in Wyoming.  In a May 1 New York Times article, Fuller calls the oil field “a war landscape” and says, “I can’t talk about my childhood, I can’t talk about the war, and its hard to talk about what’s going on in the oil field. That’s why I wrote the book.”  

Neil Gaiman, Friday, March 27, 8:00 p.m., followed by book signing
Guided Interview: Friday, March 27, 3:00 p.m.

Neil GaimanA prolific writer, Neil Gaiman produces poetry, prose, comics, music lyrics, drama, journalism, and film. Born in England, Gaiman now lives near Minneapolis. Gaiman’s works have garnered numerous awards, including  3 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 9 Locus Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 2 British SF Awards, 4 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award, and 2 Mythopoeic Awards. Some of the award-winning novels, graphic novels, and novellas include Anansi Boys, The Wolves in the Walls, The Sandman, A Study in Emerald, Smoke and Mirrors, Coraline, American Gods, Stardust, Neverwhere, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett). Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book has won the 2009 John Newbery Medal Award.

Gaiman has written numerous short stories, non-fiction essays, and screenplays, including the script for the film Beowulf. Gaiman’s description of Anansi Boys could be applied to many of his works: "It's a scary, funny sort of a story, which isn't exactly a thriller, and isn't really horror, and doesn't quite qualify as a ghost story (although it has at least one ghost in it), or a romantic comedy (although there are several romances in there, and it's certainly a comedy, except for the scary bits).” Gaiman created and wrote DC Comics series, Sandman, which won numerous awards, including the 1991 World Fantasy Award, a literary award. Norman Mailer called the Sandman series “a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

Michael Perry, Saturday, March 28, 11:00 a.m., followed by book signing
Workshop: Saturday, March 28, 3:30 p.m.

Michael PerryHumorist, writer, musician, Michael Perry is the author of the 2009 Sigma Tau Delta common reader, the bestselling memoir Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, essay collection  Off Main Street, and, most recently, Truck: A Love Story.  Perry got his nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1987 and has worked as a cowboy, truck driver, proofreader, country music roadie, forklift operator, physical therapy aide, and is still active as a volunteer firefighter  and emergency medical responder in rural Wisconsin.  All the while, Perry has been writing and entertaining.  Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and, Runner’s World, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.  His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced two live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow). He also frequently appears with his band, The Long Beds.

Chris Crutcher, Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 6:30 p.m., followed by book signing

Chris CrutcherWith degrees in psychology, sociology, and teaching, Chris Crutcher brings his professional career as a therapist and child protection advocate to his writing. Widely read in secondary schools across the country and known for such novels as Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Chinese Handcuffs, Deadline, and for his autobiography King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography. Crutcher’s blend of comedy and tragedy speaks to his readers with honesty; their stories are the stories of many, their discoveries lessons for all. An award-winning novelist, Crutcher has been recognized with the National Intellectual Freedom Award from NCTE (1998), the Writers Who Make A Difference Award (2004), and the Margaret A. Edwards Award from ALA (2000). Crutcher’s appearance is sponsored by the National English Honor Society, the high school honor society program of Sigma Tau Delta, and will be speaking to invited high school students from the Twin Cities area. Sigma Tau Delta and Sigma Kappa Delta convention attendees arriving on Wednesday  are welcome to attend this presentation.