Traverse City Events: National Writers Series Announces 2013 Lineup

Traverse City Events: The National Writers Series is pleased to announce the 2013 Winter/Spring Season, held at The City Opera House in Traverse City. This season's line-up includes international bestsellers, New York Times bestsellers, National Book Award-winners, and Pulitzer Prize-winners. Guest hosts for the new season include luminary editors, book reviewers, and publishing professionals from across the United States.

  • Tickets go on sale to Friends of NWS on February 7.
  • Tickets go on sale to general public on February 11.

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at   (231) 941-8082.  On February 11 or later, you can purchase tickets by calling the box office or online by clicking the links below.

Buzz Bissinger with special guest host Neal Rubin

Tuesday, March 5 at 7 pm

Buzz Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of several highly acclaimed nonfiction books including Friday Night Lights, A Prayer for the City, Three Nights in August, and Shooting Stars. His most recent book, Father's Day, is a remarkable and honest memoir about a cross-country trip he took with his 24-year old son whom Bissinger describes as a savant– challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty which can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise. Bissinger hoped that the trip would bring them closer together, and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son's mind and heart.  
A reporter for some of the nation's most prestigious newspapers, Bissinger has published work in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated and was a co-producer and writer for the ABC television drama NYPD Blue. His book Friday Night Lights was made into a critically acclaimed film and popular television series.  
 
This is sure to be an evening that reveals, as Susan Orlean declared of Father's Day, a "fabric of love and pride and heartbreak and salvation that makes a family, with an honesty that will make you gasp."
  Bissinger will be joined on stage by special guest host Neal Rubin. Rubin is a columnist for the Detroit News and currently writes the nationally syndicated comic strip Gil Thorp. He previously worked for the Detroit Free Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun and Greeley Tribune. He was three times voted Nevada Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Buy Tickets: Buzz Bissinger

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $37 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Father's Day

Blaine Harden with special guest host Lucas Wittmann

Tuesday, April 9 at 7 pm

Blaine Harden is a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post andThe New York Times, and contributor to PBS Frontline and The Economist. He has made a career reporting from some of the world's most dangerous places. But few compare to the political prisons in North Korea and the inhuman conditions Harden exposed in his latest bestseller, Escape from Camp 14. This evening will offer an unforgettable conversation about one man's journey to freedom, and a celebration of the human spirit.  
Escape from Camp 14, an international bestseller and recently featured on 60 Minutes, tells the true story of Shin Dong-hyuk. Born into a life of hard labor behind the electrified fences of the Kaechon internment camp, Shin is the only person to have escaped from what can only be described as a modern-day gulag. Escape from Camp 14 has been translated into 22 languages and was named a "Best Book of 2012" by Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, South China Morning Post, Slate, School Library Journal and Huffington Post Canada.
 
Blaine Harden will be joined on stage by Lucas Wittmann. Wittmann is the Literary Editor and Senior Articles Editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He oversees the National Magazine Award-winning Book Beast, a leading online book section. Prior to the Beast, he worked in publishing at W.W. Norton & Company.  

Buy Tickets: Blaine Harden

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082  

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $38 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Escape from Camp 14

Gillian Flynn with special guest host Doug Stanton

Thursday, April 25 at 7 pm

Gillian Flynn is the mega-selling novelist of the 2012 breakout bestseller Gone Girl. She will be joined on stage by guest host Doug Stanton, NWS co-founder and New York Times bestselling author ofIn Harm's Way and Horse Soldiers.    Having spent more than 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, Gone Girl tells the can't-put-down story of a marriage, infidelity, and murder. With razor-sharp writing, wit, and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously-plotted thriller that critics have described as a masterpiece. Don't miss Gillian in this one-of-a-kind of evening where she dishes about writing, the success of her book, and what she's planning next.

Buy Tickets: Gillian Flynn

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082   

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $34 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Gone Girl

 Nathaniel Philbrick with special guest host Rich Fahle

Tuesday, May 14 at 7 pm

Renowned scholar, historian, and National Book Award-winner Nathaniel Philbrick will be in conversation with special guest host Rich Fahle, founder of Astral Road Media and creator of Bibliostar.tv.  
Philbrick's books In the Heart of the Sea, Sea of Glory, Mayflower, and The Last Stand have all received enormous critical acclaim.  
In the Heart of Sea won the prestigious National Book Award and Mayflower was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History. Philbrick also received critical acclaim for The Last Stand, his book about Sitting Bull and George Armstrong Custer. A New York Times "notable book," The Last Stand was the basis for the 2-hour PBS American Experience film Custer's Last Stand.  
  In his forthcoming book, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, Philbrick brilliantly tackles the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution. No one writes better about the American experience than Nathaniel Philbrick, and this evening onstage will be both enlightening and thought-provoking.

Buy Tickets: Nathaniel Philbrick

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082    

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $42 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Bunker Hill

Jason Matthews with special guest host Doug Stanton

Wednesday, May 22 at 7 PM

Looking for intrigue straight from the headlines? Former CIA officer Jason Matthews' debut thriller, Red Sparrow, is a fast paced, up-to-the-minute espionage novel written by a man who lived the life of an intelligence officer for 33 years.    
Fans of Stieg Larsson, Daniel Silva, and John LeCarre will love Red Sparrow. In this beautifully-written literary thriller, the United States and Putin's Russia are still very much at deadly odds. Heroine Dominika Egorova is drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow," a trained seductress in the Soviet intelligence service. Assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer, the two young intelligence officers collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception, and carnal attraction.  
  This smashing new novel promises to be one of America's favorite summer reads. Don't miss this chance to meet and hear Jason Matthews up-close and in-person.    

Buy Tickets: Jason Matthews

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082    

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $38 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Red Sparrow

Colum McCann with special guest host Leigh Haber

Thursday, June 6 at 7 pm

Colum McCann is the author of five critically acclaimed novels and two collections of short stories. His novel Let the Great World Spin centers around the glorious Twin Towers tightrope walk of Philippe Petit in 1974. The novel became a bestseller on four continents, won the 2009 National Book Award, and firmly established McCann one of the most acclaimed literary writers publishing today, both in the U.S. and abroad.    
His newest novel, Transatlantic, uses the real life narratives of Frederick Douglass, British aviators Alcock and Brown, and Senator George Mitchell, in a literary tour de force that spans a historical period of 150 years.  
 
McCann's fiction has been published in over 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, and GQ. This evening at NWS will be a feast of words, ideas, and insights from a master storyteller. Don't miss this lively celebration of literature and the transformative power of the imagination.
  McCann will be joined on stage by Leigh Haber books editor for O, The Oprah Magazine.

Buy Tickets: Colum McCann 

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $38 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: Transatlantic

Temple Grandin with special guest host Laura Hohnhold

Monday, June 24 at 7 pm

Temple Grandin is an internationally-renowned author, lecturer and activist. Her ground-breaking book Emergence: Labeled Autistic introduced her to the world as a fearless explorer just returned with news from an otherwise unknown land called autism. Her life story was depicted in HBO's 2010 movie Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes in the role that won Danes an Emmy and a Golden Globe.  
Grandin is as well known for her work in "well-being" as she is for her autism advocacy. She has earned critical acclaim for her books Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, and is regarded as one of the nation's most respected advocates of animal welfare.
 
In her remarkable new book, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Grandin shares amazing new discoveries and introduces readers to innovative theories of what causes, how we diagnose, and how to best treat autism. As the most sought-after speaker in the autism community, Grandin is known for appearances that mix laughter with revelation, and audience members cannot help but be changed after an evening in her presence. Unafraid and, at times, intensely personal, Grandin delivers insights into the deepest uncharted regions of our shared experiences, both with each other and with the natural world.
  Grandin will appear on stage with special guest host Laura Hohnhold, editor for Byliner.com.  

Buy Tickets: Temple Grandin

To purchase tickets before February 11, call the City Opera House box office at (231) 941-8082

  • $20 in advance
  • $25 at the door
  • $38 Whatta Book Deal! – includes ticket and a book: The Autistic Brain 
Find more Northern Michigan events on our events calendar!

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