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Arlington Reads 2017: Why Fiction Matters

Two Pulitzer-Prize Winning Authors in Person on the Truth-Telling Power of Literature


Elizabeth Strout – April 20, 7 p.m.
Central Library Auditorium

Elizabeth Strout, novelist and short-story writer, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “Olive Kitteridge,” will explain why she believes a reader finds “the truest things” in good fiction, while gaining compassion through understanding the experience of others.

She is the author of many award-winning novels, most recently “My Name is Lucy Barton” in 2016. A new novel in stories titled “Anything is Possible” will be released April 25, and draws on the lives of residents of Amgash, Illinois – the same small-town setting for “My Name is Lucy Barton.”


Viet Thanh Nguyen – May 3, 7 p.m.
Central Library Auditorium

Viet Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Sympathizer,” will join Library Director Diane Kresh in conversation about his writings and the role of fiction in illuminating issues of consequence.

Nguyen is a professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He was nominated for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction for “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

Philip Caputo, author of “A Rumor of War,” says “The Sympathizer” “fills a void in literature, giving voice to the previously voiceless while it compels the rest of us to look at the events of 40 years ago in a new light.”

“The Refugees,” a collection of stories that is Mr. Nguyen’s second work of fiction, is due to be released February 7, 2017.


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