by Erin Leigh
Local novelist and anti-censorship advocate Chris Crutcher will be the first speaker in the Spark Center’s Taproot Speaker Series. The series, designed in the style of TED Talks, features Spokane artists and leaders who will share inspiring stories of the self. As the first featured speaker, Crutcher will take the stage using props, the projector, or anything else at his disposal to tell a story of both success and hardship.
Chris Crutcher is the author of thirteen novels, including Whale Talk and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, two short story collections, and an autobiography titled King of the Mild Frontier. Eight of Crutcher’s books have been named “Best Books for Young Adults” by The American Library Association, and four appeared in Booklist’s Best 100 Books of the 20th Century, compiled in 2000. However, his novels have attracted controversy, sparking challenges and bans for tackling issues of race and homosexuality, as well as their language. These challenges have prompted Crutcher’s work speaking out and writing against censorship. As he says, “The truth screams to be told in its native tongue.”
A Q&A with Crutcher will follow his talk.