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On Tuesday, August 18, fans and friends in the hundreds visited bookstores across the country to celebrate Ivan Doig Day, designated to celebrate the publication of Last Bus to Wisdom, the final novel by Ivan Doig, and pay tribute to a man whose prolific career earned him the nickname the “Dean of the West.” DoigDayCrowdMTAug2015tNail Nine bookstores participated in the celebration with astounding turn-outs at various locations: 200 people attended the event at Parkplace Books in Kirkland, Washington; 150 turned out at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington; and Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana, Ivan’s home state, boasted a full house. Rave reviews for the book have appeared in TheNew York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Paste Magazine, Portland Oregonian, and many more media outlets.  Last Bus to Wisdom is a “fitting tribute to a memorable body of work” (Booklist) and The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls the book a “fine last work from a writer we’ll miss for his endearing stories, his engaging characters and his enduring humanity.”
Riverhead’s The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, after recently roaring past the 3 million copies sold milestone, has picked up a new head of steam, returning to #1 on The New York Times eBook fiction bestseller list in its 31st week on the list. This GIRL continues to live up to the well-earned “Book of 2015” title.
Fall is approaching and the buzz around Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is growing more and more. Just announced: IndieNext names Fates and Furies the #1 Pick for October 2015, with over 60 booksellers nominations for Lauren Groff’s highly anticipated novel. On top of this success, LibraryReads lists Fates and Furies as their #4 pick for September. Riverhead is thrilled by all the support from indie bookstores, as well as the libraries, throughout the nation.
In reference to the year she spent journeying with the Fulani in Africa, the world’s largest remaining nomadic group, the Christian Science Monitor praises Anna Badkhen’s gift as a “storyteller able to render the strange and different both familiar and engrossing… She observes and documents personalities and relationships, animals and seasons, and her own experiences in a foreign land with a great deal of thought and care.” Biographile raves that “Badkhen is capable of writing staggeringly vivid passages that set scenes marvelously…. The prose and the images are vivid, poetic, and tactile.”  In Walking With Abel, which Riverhead published on August 4, Anna accompanies a Fulani family on their migration across the Sahara, and learns about how political, social, and agricultural changes are affecting their centuries-old way of life. Anna shows how “[The Fulani] live in the here and now in ways the modern world has lost even the memory of” (BookPage) in a book that is being praised for its “graceful prose” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) and “beautiful passages” (Boston Globe). Badkhen also appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, and answered questions from Fulani-American callers. To celebrate the publication of WALKING WITH ABEL, Badkhen spoke at PENN Center on August 4 with food catered by Fulani-owned restaurant Kilimandjaro, and again on August 6 with Chris Beha (Harper’s Magazine) at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Badkhen will continue touring in Texas, Atlanta, and upstate New York.
Marlon James can add yet another win to his long list of awards for his “tour-de-force (The Wall Street Journal), “awe-inspiring” (Entertainment Weekly) and “epic” (The New York Times) novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead). Announced this week, The Before Columbus Foundation will present the American Book Award to James and several other authors for their influential literary works of the past year. All of the authors will be honored at an awards ceremony on October 25 in San Francisco.  This award recognizes literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community.  With no rules or guidelines, the American Book Award honors writers who yearn to defy any categories or descriptions. Since its release, A Brief History of Seven Killings has won the Anisfield-Wolf Award, the Minnesota Book Award, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, been a finalist for the NBCC Awards and made it onto countless Best of 2014 lists. Congratulations to Marlon on the success of his novel,A Brief History of Seven Killings. It has had anything but a brief life in the literary world!
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead) returns to #1 on The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list this week.  The book has now been a #1 New York Times bestseller list for 20 weeks and on the list for 26 weeks overall.  On Tuesday, Penguin Random House author George R.R. Martin had very positive words to say about the book and its author on his Not a Blog website, posting: “I read the mega-bestseller The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins … The main character, an alcoholic who is falling apart, is especially well drawn. It’s a strong story, with a great sense of time and place, and one that had me from start to finish.”
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead) is back at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list!  This marks the thriller’s 22nd week on the list, with 17 in the top spot.  The Girl on the Train continues to sweep the nation, with over two million copies sold and counting.
HBO has optioned television rights to Marlon James’ award-winning Riverhead novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which will be made into a TV series. James will be adapting his novel for the small screen and working closely with screenwriter Eric Roth, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of such award-winning films as Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Munich.  James’ novel has been on everyone’s radar since it was published last October, most recently winning the Anisfield-Wolf Award and Minnesota Book Award, as well as being named a finalist for the NBCC Award for Fiction.
The Shortlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards were announced by the PEN American Center on Thursday.  Redeployment by Phil Klay (Penguin Press/Penguin) is a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. How We Got To Now by Steven Johnson (Riverhead) is a finalist for PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.  Congratulations to Phil, Steven and everyone involved with these acclaimed books. View the complete 2015 PEN Literary Awards Shortlists here. The winners will be revealed on May 13 and honored at PEN’s Literary Awards Ceremony on June 8 at the New School in New York.
Ivan Doig, the award-winning author of sixteen books, died at his Seattle home in the early morning hours of Thursday, April 9, 2015, of multiple myeloma. During the eight years of his illness, he wrote his four final novels, including Last Bus to Wisdom, which will be published on August 18, 2015. He was seventy-five. Born in 1939, Doig grew up along the Rocky Mountain front. A former ranch hand, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and later went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. For a few years he pursued a career in journalism, but it was book writing that drew him. Doig believed that ordinary people deserve to have their stories told, and he did that in fact and fiction, beginning with This House of Sky, a memoir of his own upbringing in Montana; it attracted a wide readership and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He later wrote a second memoir, Heart Earth, and another book of nonfiction, but it is for his novels that he became enduringly read. An early novel, The Sea Runners, told the story of four indentured servants escaping Russian Alaska in the mid-nineteenth century. With English Creek, in 1984, Doig introduced the Two Medicine Country, an imagined region based upon the Montana landscape where he came of age. That novel also introduced the McCaskill clan, who reappeared in the two that followed, Dancing at the Rascal Fair and Ride with Me, Mariah Montana, the trilogy spanning a century of Montana history. The world he’d created endured– the Two Medicine Country is the setting for the majority of his novels – as did the habit of plucking characters from previous novels and reintroducing them sometimes several books – and in fictional terms, several decades – down the road. The 2006 novel The Whistling Season, a New York Times bestseller, about a mail-order housekeeper who comes west to work for a widower and his motherless sons, debuted a favorite character, Morrie Morgan, an itinerant charmer who subsequently appeared in two further novels, Work Song (2010) and Sweet Thunder (2013), his misadventures drawing Doig’s settings south to Butte, Montana, and the conflicts between the behemoth Anaconda Copper Mining Company and the beleaguered miners in the early part of the twentieth century. Two late novels, The Bartender’s Tale (2012) and the yet-to-be-published Last Bus to Wisdom, come as close to autobiography as Doig ever got in his fiction, in that they were inspired by circumstances out of his childhood: his father’s habit of taking Doig along as a boy to the saloons where he liked to hire on haying crews in the first case, and in the second, an episode where Doig, who lost his mother at the age of six and was raised by his father and his ranch cook grandmother, was sent east to Wisconsin for a summer when both adults encountered medical difficulties. But Doig was Read more…