Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

February 8, 2013

Writers series authors include Flynn, Grandin

Authors include Flynn, Grandin, Bissinger, Harden, Philbrick, McCann and Matthews

TRAVERSE CITY — The National Writers Series lineup for the 2013 Winter/Spring season includes a Pulitzer winner, two National Book Award authors, a foreign correspondent, an autism activist and a CIA officer.

The names of the seven nationally known authors who will speak at the City Opera House through June were scheduled to be unveiled Thursday night during the season opener, "An Evening with Chip Johannessen."

"We're excited about this season lineup and think there is something on this list that will appeal to everybody," said Jill Tewsley, executive director of the National Writers Series. "There will be some incredible engaging conversations."

The series, which has become a book world phenomenon, was founded in 2009 by Traverse City's best-selling author Doug Stanton, wife Anne and local attorney Grant Parsons.

Here's the lineup:

- March 5: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Buzz Bissinger wrote the 1997 highly acclaimed nonfiction book, "Friday Night Lights," a story about a small-town Texas football team's impact on a town that was turned into a film and a TV series. His most recent book is "Father's Day: A Journey in the Mind & Heart of my Extraordinary Son," his 2012 memoir of a cross-country ride with his son, Zach, a savant who suffered brain damage for lack of oxygen when he was born three minutes later than his healthy twin brother.

Bissinger will be joined on stage by special guest host Neal Rubin, a Detroit News columnist who has worked for newspapers in Las Vegas and the Detroit Free Press. He was three times voted Nevada Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He currently writes the nationally syndicated comic strip, "Gil Thorp."

- April 9: Foreign correspondent Blaine Harden, known for his reporting from the world's most dangerous places, will discuss his international bestseller "Escape from Camp 14." The 2008 biography tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in a North Korean forced-labor camp and in 2005 became the only person known to have escaped. Guest host for the event is Lucas Wittmann, the literary editor for Newsweek/Daily Beast.

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