Three women who have made their literary reputations championing the values of the American West will share their insights with Durango readers tonight at Marias Bookshop.
The Torrey House Press Women Write the West Tour features the trio of Jana Richman, author of The Ordinary Truth, Barbara K. Richardson (Tributary) and Erica Olsen (Recapture & Other Stories).
Richman, from Escalante, Utah, writes about issues that threaten to destroy the essence of the West and The Ordinary Truth is a novel wound around the controversial Las Vegas water pipeline. Her novel The Last Cowgirl won the 2009 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction.
In her historical novel Tributary, Richardson revisits 1870s Utah through the eyes of her protagonist, a woman who bucks the already-entrenched Mormon hierarchy. The authors ancestors settled in the Salt Lake Valley in the 19th century, giving Richardson unique insight into her subject. She now lives in Colorado.
Olsen lives in Dolores and does archives and curatorial work for archaeology museums. Recapture is a collection of short fiction about the landscapes of the West and the people who live here.
The three books are products of Utahs Torrey House Press, a regional publisher of fiction and nonfiction. The event is co-sponsored by Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the national wilderness advocacy organization that uses the voices of elders to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands.
Two percent of Torrey House sales are donated to nonprofit environmental organizations supporting conservation in the West. Donations also fund a scholarship available to up-and-coming writers at western colleges.