Pen Pals Author Lecture – A.S. Byatt

Don’t miss your chance to meet some of the greatest writers of our time and support the Friends of the Hennepin County Library.

The 2013-2014 Pen Pals Season will feature five diverse authors in one scintillating series:

  • George Saunders: Oct. 10, 2013, 7:30 PM & Oct. 11, 2013, 11 AM
  • A.S. Byatt: Nov. 4, 2013, 7:30 PM & Nov. 5, 2013, 11 AM
  • Luis Alberto Urrea: Feb. 6, 2014, 7:30 PM & Feb. 7, 2014, 11 AM
  • Art Spiegelman: Apr. 24, 2014, 7:30 PM & Apr. 25, 2014, 12 PM
  • Tracy K. Smith: May 8, 2014, 7:30 PM & May 9, 2014, 11 AM


Individual tickets are $40 for balcony and $50 for main floor. Subscriptions are $160 for balcony and $200 for main floor for all 5 lectures. 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.  Individual tickets for the latest Pen Pals Author Lecture season are available online at or by phone at 612-543-8112 (M – F, 9 AM – 5PM).

Proceeds from the program benefit Friends of the Hennepin County Library (Friends of HCL). We are an active community of supporters—helping the Library fulfill its mission to nourish minds, transform lives, and build community. By raising critically needed funds for books, movies, music, programs and technology, and through the presentation of the highly regarded Pen Pals and Talk of the Stacks author series, Friends of HCL opens doors and minds to new worlds.


George Saunders: October 10/11, 2013
One of the most blazingly original writers of his generation, 2013 MacArthur “genius”award recipient George is a master of the short story. His most recent fiction collection, Tenth of December, has been on the New York Times bestseller list since its release in December 2012. Time magazine included him in this year’s “100 most influential people” list.

George Saunders’ Pen Pals appearance is part of the 2013 Twin Cities Book Festival, which continues with opening night festivities on Friday and a free all-day gala of books and authors on Saturday.

A.S. Byatt: November 4/5, 2013
Distinguished English novelist, poet and critic A.S. Byatt achieved bestseller status and won the Booker Prize with her novel Possession: A Romance, which later was made into a film. Her novella Morpho Eugenia, too, was made into a fi lm, Angels and Insects. Winner of dozens of other literary honors (including the distinguished Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix), she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

Luis Alberto Urrea: February 6/7, 2014
The Chicago Tribune Tijuana-born Luis is a gifted storyteller whose dual-culture life experiences have influenced his writing across all the major genres. His non-fiction The Devil’s Highway was a Pulitzer finalist; Into the Beautiful North was chosen for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read; and his first mystery short story, Amapola, won the prestigious Edgar Award. More than 30 different cities and colleges have chosen Luis’s work for community read programs.

Art Spiegelman: April 24/25, 2014
Artist and illustrator Art Spiegelman has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto literature shelves. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative, MAUS, and the coveted Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. His critically acclaimed work includes In the Shadow of No Towers, named a New York Times Notable Book, and Kisses from New York, which chronicled his work with The New Yorker.

Tracy K. Smith: May 8/9, 2014
Tracy’s most recent collection of poetry, Life on Mars, published by Graywolf Press, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Her collection Duende won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. A graduate of Harvard, she teaches creative writing at Princeton University.

2013-2014 Pen Pals Sponsors: Comcast, GdB, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Abbot Downing, and Anonymous in honor of Special Olympics.