Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Books and beers

Iconoclast, Community Library and Sawtooth Brewery to host ‘Naked Me’ author Aug. 7

Express Staff Writer

Christian Winn’s new book “Naked Me” is a compilation of fiction stories that deal with family relationships. Photo courtesy of Dock Street Press

    Iconoclast Books, the Community Library and the Sawtooth Brewery are collaborating to present Idaho author Christian Winn on Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Ketchum library. It begins at 6 p.m.
    Winn is no newcomer to the writing scene. He is a creative writing professor at Boise State University and founder of the Writers Write fiction workshop, which started in 2003.
    His short-story book “Naked Me” was released in July by Dock Street Press, an independent Seattle publishing company. This is his first published book—but not his last. In an interview with editor Dane Bahr in May, Winn said he has a novel in the works.
    Winn said in the interview with Bahr that he spent many years crafting the stories that would eventually land in “Naked Me.”
    “As a diligent story writer, and a guy who loves writing stories, I’ve been putting stories of all kinds together consistently—some good, some not-quite-so—for the past 25 years,” Winn said. “The work really started getting better as I finished up graduate school and continued to edit and sharpen what I’d been working on, then take the new eye and understanding of how character and place and narrative work into the new stuff.”
    Winn’s collection explores family dynamics and “people on the brink,” according to the book jacket.
    Same-sex love, addiction and murder are among other themes in “Naked Me.” In his interview with Bahr, Winn lists Joyce Carol Oates and Raymond Carver among his favorite fiction authors.
    Bahr mentions that affluence doesn’t appear much throughout Winn’s stories, and Winn replied that “common life” was integral to his stories. Like Carver particularly, Winn is interested in the otherwise mundane aspects of everyday life, and in the intricacies of human relationships.
    Author Anthony Doerr, author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” dubs the book “beautifully made” and “unforgettable.” Laura van den Berg, author of “The Isle of Youth,” says “Naked Me” is remarkable: “These stories are brimming with heart and strangeness and grace, and I will be pushing this collection into the hands of readers for years to come.”
    Iconoclast owner Sarah Hedrick said “Naked Me” is the best short-story book she’s read in a while. She describes the stories as “bleak, but with hope.”
    Hedrick said the event, in the library’s lecture room, will entail Winn reading selections from his book and a question-and-answer period. The Sawtooth Brewery will provide beverages.
Amy Busek:

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