Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big names make up Lecture Series list

Sun Valley Center for the Arts announces 2011/12 season

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts has garnered another scintillating lineup of speakers.

The 2011/2012 Lecture Series runs from Oct. 9 through March 5, giving plenty of time to snatch up their latest literary endeavors in preparation.

Jonathan Franzen opens the series with discussion of his book "Freedom," which has been called a masterpiece. His first work, "The Corrections," was an international bestseller, with translations in 35 languages, American hardcover sales of nearly 3 million and nominations for nearly every major book prize in the country.

Garrison Keillor, best known for his widely popular National Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," will end the series March 5, with his folksy wit and pithy observations of daily ennui. The radio show alone attracts more than 2 million listeners on more than 450 NPR stations weekly. Keillor is also the host of the daily radio show and online program "The Writers Almanac," and a best-selling author of many books, including "Lake Wobegon Days," "Love Me" and "Homegrown Democrat."

Between those powerful bookends, there are no second bests.

Celebrated children's literature author Lois Lowry is known for taking her readers into difficult subjects like racism, terminal illness, the Holocaust and questioning authority. Her book "The Giver," about the latter, is required reading for Wood River Middle School seventh graders. Attendees are encouraged to read or reread this book and join the discussion on Nov. 3.

Building on her nearly two decades spent in the Arctic, Gretel Ehrlich's newest book, "In The Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape," invites readers to understand the threatened environment and its indigenous people at the top of the world. Ehrlich will discuss her experiences in the Arctic Jan. 5 as part of The Center's multidisciplinary project "Thin Ice: Journeys in Polar Regions."

Continuing in the theme of the "Thin Ice" project, on Jan. 19, James Balog, a leader in photographing, understanding and interpreting the natural environment for 25 years, will bring his images and stories from his Extreme Ice Survey, his effort dedicated to revealing the impact of climate change. His is the most wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers ever conducted and has been recognized with the Heinz Award, the Aspen Institute's Visual Arts & Design Award and the Galen and Barbara Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure.

And, Feb. 23, Dr. Reza Aslan takes the podium. He is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, and founder of, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Alsan's first book is the international bestseller "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam," which has been translated into 13 languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade.

For more information about this series, call The Center at 726-9491 or visit


Lecture Series

· Jonathan Franzen, Sunday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m. at Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. $25/$35 non-members.

· Lois Lowry, Thursday, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m. at Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. $15/$25 non-members.

· Gretel Ehrlich, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, 6:30 p.m. Location TBD. $15/$25 non-members.

· James Balog, Thursday, Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m. at Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. $15/$25 non-members.

· Reza Aslan, Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. at Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. $25/$35 non-members.

· Garrison Keillor, Monday, March 5, 6:30 p.m., at The Community Campus, Hailey. $30/$40 non-members.


Jennifer Liebrum:

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