It's a great week for book lovers in Denver. The American Booksellers Association is hosting its winter institute here, and while you'll have to hurry to hear Governor John Hickenlooper address the group and honor Tattered Cover owner Joyce Meskis, there are many other literary events to enjoy. You can discover a fictionalized account of F. Scott Fitzgerald in decline for the price of a paperback, spend a full day mining the minds of contemporary authors, or celebrate writers who hail from your own back yard. Here’s where to start turning pages.
Stewart O’Nan, West of Sunset
7 p.m. Thursday, January 28
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
Novelist Stewart O’Nan puts his storytelling skills to work by imagining the last days of F. Scott Fitzgerald. West of Sunset finds the literary giant living in Hollywood, bumping elbows with Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart while trying to pick up the pieces of his broken career by writing screenplays. Amid personal ruin, Fitzgerald finds the will to write his final novel, The Last Tycoon. O’Nan will drop by the Tattered to discuss and sign copies of the new paperback edition.
Writers Respond to Readers: Judith Claire Mitchell, T. Geronimo
Johnson, Cristina Henríquez and Tim Johnston
Saturday, January 30
Check-in and breakfast, 8:45 a.m.
Program, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: $75 (includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, afternoon reception and book signing)
Once a year, the Tattered Cover gathers four fine novelists from across the country together for a daylong literary convocation, Writers Respond to Readers. In 2016, that choice roster includes Judith Claire Mitchell (A Reunion of Ghosts), T. Geronimo Johnson (Welcome to Braggsville), Cristina Henríquez (The Book of Unknown Americans) and Tim Johnston (Descent); join them at the Oxford for a deeper look at their craft and inspirations.
Johnny Welsh pours one for Colorado's pot industry.
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An Afternoon With Local Authors: Stephanie Kay Bendel and Johnny Welsh
Boulder Book Store
2 p.m. Sunday, January 31
A couple of Colorado authors take the stage at the Boulder Book Store to introduce books that have nothing in common: Stephanie Kay Bendel will discuss Exit the Labyrinth, a memoir studying the dark roots of depression, while high-country bartender Johnny Welsh humanizes the face of pot legalization in Weedgalized in Colorado, a folksy and funny trip featuring a cross-section of the people of pot.
What's on the next page in Denver's literary world? Visit Westword's Literary Event listings for this week.