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Pushcart Prize-winning author Russell Working to present Endowed English Reading at Whitworth Nov. 12

November 2, 2010

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Fiction author Russell Working, a 2000 Whitworth alum, will give Whitworth's Endowed English Reading on Friday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. The reading will take place in Weyerhaeuser Hall's Robinson Teaching Theatre. Admission is free. For more information, call (509) 777-3253.

A former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Working recently returned to the U.S. after six years of freelance reporting in the Russian Far East and the Middle East. His writing has appeared in several publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New York Times and The Jerusalem Post.

Working's most recent book, The Irish Martyr, is a collection of 10 stories that received the 2006 Robert Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction. The title story was awarded a coveted Pushcart Prize in 2004, and was included in The Pushcart Prize XXIX, released the following year. The Irish Martyr was also included in the University Press Books Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries for 2007 by the American Library Association.

In 1987, Working became the youngest author ever to receive the Iowa Short Fiction Award, one of the most prestigious literary prizes America offers, for his debut book, Resurrections. The same year, he was named "a writer to watch" by Publisher's Weekly.

"[Working] has an amazing ability to draw the reader immediately into the world about which he is writing, whether it is the paper mills of the Pacific Northwest, where a former policeman is almost courting death, in the Haiti of voodoo and the dread Tonton Macoutes, or in the lazy hot summer afternoons of a group of young boys," wrote a New York Times book reviewer.

Following his reading at Whitworth, Working will sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase. Refreshments also will be available.

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

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Annie Stillar, program assistant, English department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253, or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703, or