Author steps in for annual lecture

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By PRESS STAFF

There has been a change of plans for the Idaho Humanities Council’s 15th annual North Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture happening Thursday in Coeur d’Alene.

The scheduled speaker, journalist Martha Raddatz, canceled the engagement due to medical reasons, but another speaker will attend, said a letter sent to Idaho Humanities Council supporters.

“In her stead, IHC is honored to present National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Adam Johnson, professor of English at Stanford University,” said the letter.

Johnson, who received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son,” will deliver the lecture at 7 p.m., Thursday, at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

“Johnson is one of the most lauded literary figures today, and his work has investigated one of the most mysterious places on earth, North Korea,” said the letter.

The Pulitzer Committee described “The Orphan Master’s Son” as an “exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”

In 2015, Johnson received the National Book Award for Fiction for “Fortune Smiles,” a collection of short stories. The award’s citation hails Johnson’s ability and states that “these six masterful stories confirm Johnson’s status as one of the most talented writers of his generation.”

“We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary voice to Idaho. Johnson’s presentation will combine his tremendous storytelling abilities with unique insights into the enigmatic world of North Korea,” said the council’s letter.

Those who purchased tickets to IHC’s Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner specifically to see Martha Raddatz and would like a full refund should call 208-345-5346 or send an email to jennifer@idahohumanities.org no later than Wednesday.

The dinner and lecture is historically well-attended each year in Coeur d’Alene.

“We appreciate your loyal support and flexibility,” said theorganization’s letter to supporters. “For the past 14 years, the Idaho Humanities Council has brought such nationally recognized speakers to north Idaho as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, Anthony Doerr, Douglas Brinkley, and many others. We are delighted to add Adam Johnson to this list.”

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