Pen Pals: Anthony Doerr

Friends of the Hennepin County Library is pleased to announce the 19th season of Pen Pals, the award winning and longest running literary series in the Twin Cities.

Subscriptions (starting at $160) go on sale May 11.  You can order a subscription by phone at 612-543-8112 (M – F, 9 AM – 4:30 PM) or download a mail order form here. Subscribers save 20% on their ticket purchase!

Individual tickets are $40/$50 and go on sale August 10. Additional student and group discounts are available.

Friends of HCL members receive an additional discount of $10 per subscription or $5 per ticket.

All Pen Pals programs are held at the Hopkins Center for the Arts – offering great sound and sight lines throughout the entire house. Located at 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins (just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis), Hopkins Center for the Arts offers free convenient parking as well as numerous nearby restaurants.

A pre-show reception is held before each performance with complimentary desserts and coffee, music and book sales.

Proceeds from the program benefit Friends of the Hennepin County Library.



Judy Blume in Conversation with Nancy Pearl: Sept. 24, 2015, 7:30 PM  /  Sept. 25, 2015, 11 AM

With more than 85 million copies of her books sold, adults as well as children will recognize Judy Blume’s popular titles. The list includes Are You There God? It’s Me, MargaretBlubberJust as Long as We’re Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. These were some of the first teen novels to tackle racism, menstruation, divorce, bullying, and teen sex. Since finding herself at the center of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980s she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer SistersSmart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. Blume receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.

Marlon James: Oct. 29, 2015, 7:30 PM   /  Oct. 30, 2015, 11 AM

The last two novels written by Marlon James were Minnesota Book Award winners and National Book Critics Circle nominees. His most recent novel is A Brief History of Seven Killings, a historical fiction account of the assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976. The New York Times calls the novel “epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex.” He is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which also won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction as well as an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Born in Jamaica in 1970, James now lives in Minneapolis and teaches English and Creative Writing at Macalester College.

Jon Meacham: Mar. 10, 2016, 7:30 PM  /  Mar. 11, 2016, 11 AM

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize winning presidential biographer and renowned journalist. Most recently, he published Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller that has been named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and more. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling biography of Andrew Jackson. Serving as executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, Meacham has edited books by Al Gore, Charles Peters, and Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary Soames. He has written and edited for Time magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose. His latest book, another sweeping biography, is titled Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush and will be published in November 2015.

Terry Tempest Williams: Apr. 21, 2016, 7:30 PM  /  Apr. 22, 2016, 11 AM

Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a voice who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health issues, camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses, and worked as “a barefoot artist” in Rwanda. Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and PlaceDesert QuartetLeap; and The Open Space of Democracy. Her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World, was published in 2008.

Anthony DoerrMay 5, 2016, 7:30 PM  /  May 6, 2016, 11 AM

Anthony Doerr has been honored with some of the most prestigious awards in the world of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize and Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. He has been lauded for his precise attention to the physical world and his gift for metaphor since the publication of his first story collection, The Shell Collector. Doerr’s most recent novel, All the Light We Cannot See, earned him the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and a New York Times best seller. In the novel, Doerr empathetically engages with humanity’s largest questions in the parallel stories of Marie, a girl who is blind and living in occupied France, and Werner, a German orphan whose extraordinary mechanical abilities earn him a place among the Nazi elite.

Comments, written or verbal, by organizations or individuals renting space at the Hopkins Center for the Arts do not reflect the opinions or position of the Center, the Friends of the Center, the City of Hopkins, its employees or elected officials.

Comments, written or verbal, by organizations or individuals renting space at the Hopkins Center for the Arts do not reflect the opinions or position of the Center, the Friends of the Center, the City of Hopkins, its employees or elected officials.