Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 25, 2004

Author of Best-Selling Novel Peace Like a River
Featured as Whitworth's 2004 Endowed Reader

Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River, the best-selling novel described by The Boston Globe as "...a miracle well worth witnessing," is Whitworth's 2004 Endowed English Reader. Enger will present a lecture, "Invisible," about creative writing, on Thursday, Nov. 11, and will read from Peace Like a River on Friday, Nov. 12. Both events will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth College.

After the Thursday-evening lecture and the Friday-evening reading, Enger will answer questions from the audience, and then will sign his book, which will be available for purchase. The events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

Enger's Peace Like a River (Grove Press, 2002) is the winner of the 2001 Book Sense Book of the Year Award; was named one of Time Magazine's 2001 Top Five Books of the Year; and was named best book of the year by The Christian Science Monitor, the Denver Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Described as "A rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and healing," Peace Like a River is "a collage of legends from sources sacred and profane - from the Old Testament to the Old West, from the Gospels to police dramas," writes Ron Charles, in a 2001 Christian Science Monitor review.

Set in western Minnesota and the Dakotas in 1962, Peace Like a River tells the story of 11-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who believes in miracles. When Davey, Reuben's older brother, is charged with murder and escapes prison, Reuben, his younger sister, Swede -- who has a penchant for writing epic cowboy poetry -- and their father, Jeremiah, embark on a cross-country search for Davey.

Their journey unfolds like a revelation, and its conclusion shows how family, love and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates, according to Grove Press publicity materials.

"What allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagacious humanity," writes Dan Cryer, in a Newsday review. "There is magic here, none more potent than Leif Enger's prose."

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minn., earned a degree in English and mass communication at Moorhead State University, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for 16 years. He lives on a farm near Aitkin, Minn., with his wife, Robin, and their two sons.

Peace Like a River, Enger's debut novel, has been optioned for a movie. In the 1990s Enger and his brother, Lin, co-wrote five mystery novels about a retired baseball player named Gun Pedersen, for Pocket and Simon & Schuster. Leif Enger is currently writing a novel about an aging train robber in the early 20th century, who is trying to win back the wife he abandoned long before.

The Endowed English Readings was established to bring nationally recognized writers to the Whitworth College campus and the greater Spokane area. Visiting writers offer classroom visits, workshops, meetings with students and faculty, and literary readings during their time on campus and in the community.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4121 or dsugano@whitworth.edu.

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

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

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