Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2003

Whitworth's Ada Redmond Reading to Feature
Dramatic Presentation of Women's Extraordinary Journey

A remarkable Spokane immigrant woman who made national headlines a century ago by walking across America comes to life as the subject of Whitworth College's 2003-04 Ada Redmond Reading.

Hosted by the Whitworth English Department, Associate Professor Emeritus of English Linda Lawrence Hunt and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theatre Pat Stien will offer a dramatic presentation based on Hunt's successful book Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America (2003, University of Idaho Press). The presentation will take place on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Seeley Mudd Chapel at Whitworth. A reception and book signing will follow the presentation. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

Bold Spirit, which sold out its first printing in less than a month and is currently in its third printing, tells the remarkable story of an Eastern Washington woman and her 18-year-old daughter who crossed the country on foot in 1896 in hopes of claiming a $10,000 prize that would help the mother of nine save her family homestead.

Following a multi-state summer book tour, Bold Spirit made the regional bestseller lists and was recently selected as one of the Top-Ten University Press Books for fall by Booksense 76 and as one of ForeWord's Top-Ten "breakout books."

"Linda Hunt's compelling story of one woman's walk across America to save the family farm is a wondrously powerful saga," says Ronald White Jr., author of Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural. "Calling her approach a 'rag-rug history,' Hunt weaves together from the historical remnants and family discards the courageous drama of Helga Estby's walk."

Hunt, a freelance writer, received her M.A.T. from Whitworth in 1978 and taught at the college until 2002, when she retired to direct The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, in Spokane, Wash. Bold Spirit, which Hunt originally researched for her Ph.D. dissertation, is her sixth book.

Stien is known throughout the area for her abilities in storytelling, oral interpretation and chamber-theater performances. She also narrates the Whitworth Choir's Christmas concerts each year. Stien and Hunt toured part of the United States this summer promoting the book through dramatic narrations at museums, libraries, women's luncheons, bookstores and private events along the Union Pacific Railroad route that the Estbys used in 1896.

Whitworth Professor Emeritus Howard Redmond established the Ada Redmond Readings in 1988 to commemorate his mother's love of literature and poetry. Since its inception, the series has brought some of the finest regional writers to the Whitworth campus, writers such as William Stafford, Ruth Kirk, Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Tess Gallagher, Ceil Cleveland and Gus Lee.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Nadine Chapman, assistant professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4792 or nchapman@whitworth.edu.

Lisa Sem-Rodrigues, program assistant, English department and women's studies program, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3253 or lrodrigues@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

Related Links

English Home Page > Department Spotlight >

Whitworth Press Release Index