Elk River Arts and Lectures will host a reading and presentation by Debra Magpie Earling, author of the award-winning book Perma Red, on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. The free event will be held upstairs at Livingston’s Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St.
Earling is the director of the University of Montana’s creative writing program and a Bitterroot-Salish tribal member. Her novel Perma Red won a Spur Award and Medicine Pipe Bearer Award for best first novel from the Western Writers Association, a WILLA Literary Award and the American Book Award. The Lost Journals of Sacajewea, a collaboration with photographer Peter Rutledge Koch that re-invents the life of Sacajewea, was published in 2010 and featured at the Missoula Museum of Art. Earling’s publications also include stories in The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology, Talking Leaves: Contemporary Native American Short Stories, Circle of Women: Anthology of Western Women Writers and Wild Women: Anthology of Women Writers. She is the recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Perma Red tells the story of a young native woman on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the 1940s, and touches on the still prevalent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana and throughout the West. A team of women and native American filmmakers are currently adapting the novel into a television pilot with the goal of creating a limited series.
In addition to her public lecture, Earling will meet with students at Park High School.
Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring writers to Livingston for free public readings, and to provide opportunities for those writers to interact with local public school students. It also maintains the Community to Classroom program, matching local arts and business professionals with Livingston educators for in-class presentations and workshops. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit elkriverarts.org.