Join us for this very special Radio Hour! We are thrilled to welcome two talented PNW writers to the stage of the Heiner Theater. Each has a brand-new novel and they will discuss them in an "in conversation" style interview. As a very special "opener," at 6:30 p.m. Gov. Jay Inslee will greet the audience and share a few words. The Governor is in town for an event at Whatcom Community College.
In Don't Skip Out on Me, author Willy Vlautin tells the story of Horace Hopper, who has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in and treated him like a son, intending to leave the ranch in his hands. But Horace, ashamed not only of his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage, but also of the fact his parents did not want him, feels as if he doesn’t belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Knowing he needs to make a name for himself, he decides to leave the only loving home he’s known to prove his worth as a championship boxer. A beautiful, wrenching portrait of a downtrodden man, Don’t Skip Out on Me narrates the struggle to find one's place in a vast and lonely world with profound tenderness, and will make you consider those around you—and yourself—differently.
In Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy, we also meet a young man trying to make his way under difficult circumstances. For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew—he knows that he’s got to be the one to shake things up if he’s ever going to change his life. But how? Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, about overcoming cultural discrimination, and about standing up for oneself.
These two novels are great compliments to one another, and these two authors (who also happen to be long-time friends) are such great entertainers in their own right, we can’t wait to listen in on their conversation! And by the way, Willy Vlautin will also be our musical guest for the evening, performing pieces from the soundtrack that he composed to accompany his novel. It just keeps getting better!
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four previous novels: The Motel Life, Northline, Lean on Pete, and The Free. Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.
Jonathan Evison is the author of four previous novels, including All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (the Whatcom Reads! Selection of 2017), and This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.
The Chuckanut Radio Hour, a recipient of Bellingham's prestigious Mayor's Arts Award, is a radio variety show that began in January 2007. Each Chuckanut Radio Hour includes guest authors, musicians, performance poet Kevin Murphy, and episodes of "As the Ham Turns" serial radio comedy, not to mention groaner jokes by hosts Chuck and Dee Robinson, Paul Hanson, Kelly Evert, and announcer Rich Donnelly. The Chuckanut Radio Hour's first guest was Erik Larson and has since included Alexander McCall Smith, Elizabeth George, Cheryl Strayed, Sherman Alexie and Tom Robbins, among many others. Tickets for the Chuckanut Radio Hour are $5 and will soon be available at Village Books and BrownPaperTickets.com. Receive a free ticket with pre-purchase of Lawn Boy or Don’t Skip Out on Me, OR purchase both books together and receive 25% off of the retail price! The Radio Hour airs every Friday at 7am, Saturday evening at 7pm and Sunday at 9pm on SPARK RADIO, KMRE 102.3FM. Co-sponsored by the Whatcom Community College Community and Continuing Education, 12th Street Shoes, and Westside Pizza.