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Chicago Public Library joins the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department as it presents the 16th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers: Surviving the American Dream. CPL welcomes author Bonnie Jo Campbell, nationally acclaimed author of Once Upon a River. Campbell will discuss her work with Donna Seaman, Senior Editor of Booklist.
Campbell's collection Women and Other Animals details the lives of extraordinary females in rural and small-town Michigan, and it won the AWP prize for short fiction. Her story "The Smallest Man in the World" has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. Her novel Q Road investigates the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection American Salvage, which consists of fourteen lush and rowdy stories of folks who are struggling to make sense of the twenty-first century, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction.
Donna Seaman is a senior editor for Booklist, book critic for Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ), and a freelance reviewer. The recipient of Illinois Arts Council grants, Seaman has received the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism, the Writer Magazine Writers Who Make a Difference Award, several Pushcart Prize special mentions, the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, and Literacy Chicago's Literacy Hero Award, in recognition of all that she does to encourage reading. The National Book Critics Circle named Donna Seaman as a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Seaman is the creator of the anthology In Our Nature: Stories of Wildness, and her author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books and at www.openbooksradio.org.