Wyoming Libraries Host Award-Winning Authors

Apr 17, 2024

Meeting one of your favorite authors and hearing them speak about the books they’ve written can be an inspiring experience, encouraging people to read more, write and share their own stories, and connect with other readers about books they love. Several of our Wyoming libraries have held author visits in the past couple of months.

The Teton County Library System hosted three author visits in March including Kate Messner, Tea Obreht, and Ed Yong.

On March 13 and 14, Kate Messner, author of the award-winning series Ranger in Time, made classroom visits and library presentations to students and the community sharing how she develops her stories and works with illustrators. Messner’s other works include the History Smashers series, a historical fiction series for kids; the Over and Under series, which introduces young readers to different ecosystems around the world; the Marty McGuire series, a collection of chapter books about a third-grader’s adventures; and the Fergus and Zeke series, stories for early readers told from the point of view of two class pets.

Tea Obreht, launched her latest book, The Morningside, at the Teton County Library on March 17 with a reading, a conversation with a local poet, and a question and answer session. Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her second novel, Inland, was an instant bestseller, won the Southwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She is originally from the former Yugoslavia but now resides in Wyoming and has had her work featured in The Best American Short StoriesThe New YorkerThe AtlanticHarper’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many other publications.

“It’s fitting that we’re hosting the book launch in our cozy reading room because Téa did a lot of work on the book right here in the library,” said Adult Program Coordinator Leah Shlachter.

On March 21, Ed Yong, author of An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, used wit and humor as he opened the eyes of his audience to the hidden realms of animal senses.  Yong appeared as the fourth guest in the Brainstorm speaker series the Teton County Library System cohosted with the Jackson Hole News & Guide and the Center for the Arts. Named “the most important and impactful journalist” of 2020 by Poynter, Pulitzer Prize winner Ed Yong is a science staff writer with The Atlantic. He was awarded journalism’s top honor, the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for his crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. An accomplished speaker, Yong brings his vast scientific knowledge and engages his audiences through his insightful conversations about the pandemic, the animal kingdom, the challenges of science journalism, and more.

The Washakie County Library System, the Ten Sleep Friends of the Library, and the Big Horn Library System also held author visits in mid-April to celebrate National Library Week, hosting authors Andrew Child and Craig Johnson.

Andrew Child, co-author of the internationally award-winning Jack Reacher series, presented in Ten Sleep on April 12. Child, originally from Birmingham, England, now resides in Wyoming with his wife, mystery author Tasha Alexander. He has taken over authorship of the Jack Reacher series from his brother, author Lee Child, after the two brothers co-wrote several of the novels together. Andrew said he enjoyed his visit to Ten Sleep very much and looks forward to returning.

Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, spoke in Basin, Wyoming, on April 12 and in Worland, Wyoming, on April 13. Craig has been the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar, and his twenty-first Longmire novel will be published later in 2024.

“I think as residents of the state we Wyoming writers have a responsibility to literacy,” said Craig “Our libraries are the frontlines in that cause.”

“Author talks from both authors were outstanding and they were so gracious,” said Karen Funk, Washakie County Library Director. “Both the Washakie and Ten Sleep Libraries felt honored by them sharing their time with us.”

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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