Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

Library Author Series: Laura Pritchett

06/27/2014 01:04PM ● By Christina Freeman

Laura Pritchett


 Tue, 08/12/2014 - 7:00pm


 Library Hall

Spend an evening at the library with one of the West’s defining literary voices. Laura Pritchett speaks about her new novel, Stars Go Blue.

“Stars Go Blue manages to be both warm-hearted and violent at once—a complex deeply-imagined family tale which finds unexpected gifts at its conclusion.Laura Pritchett is a writer who knows country life on the Rocky Mountain front range thoroughly and she conveys this physical world expertly, beautifully out of her long experience. Within this specific place her clear depiction of character and suspenseful delivery of story compel us to the last exact word.”—author Kent Haruf

“Strength of character and simplicity of language comparably complement a rich underpinning of savagery and sadness as Pritchett sensitively navigates the end of a life and sublimely realizes its enduring legacy.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“Pritchett delivers a brilliant novel, filled with heartache and humor, that will strike a chord with many readers. A heart-wrenching exploration of a family in crisis.”—
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Laura Pritchett’s is a fine new voice, fully her own, with wise sensibilities. The deep territory mapped here in the triangular boundary between regret and endurance and hope is well illuminated and finely wrought.”—author Rick Bass

About Laura Pritchett's new novel, Stars Go Blue

Stars Go Blue is a breakout novel of family, nature, sacrifice and justice. Laura Pritchett brings her straightforward style and Rocky Mountain rancher sensibility to bear on a situation that is distressingly increasingly prevalent: the horror, misery, and desolation of advancing Alzheimer’s disease.

The voices of this brief, harrowing novel alternate between Ben’s—whose Alzheimer’s is nearing the turning point from escalating forgetfulness to permanent, debilitating dementia and loss of personality—and Renny’s. his wife, whose patience for her husband’s struggles is at times is less than perfect. Ben and Renny’s life together has seldom been easy, which in part comes with the territory: literally, as ranchers in Colorado. But piled atop the day-to-day chores and animal husbandry and concerns about the weather has been tragedy—their daughter killed by her husband Ray before their eyes.

Now Ray is getting out of jail on good behavior and he wants to set things straight with Ben and Renny. As Ben’s condition worsens, it seems to him an inenviable showdown will be the only way that justice—the kind of justice the West has long been famous for—be done.

Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, of ranchers at every turn affected by the brute, thoughtless forces of nature—internally and externally—even as they strive to exert some level of control over their existence. With an unflinching look into the world of Alzheimer’s, both from the point of view of the afflicted and the caregiver, the novel offers a story of remarkable bravery and enduring devotion, proving that the end of life does not mean the end of love.

About the author

Laura Pritchett is the author of the novel Sky Bridge (winner of the WILLA Literary Award and finalist for the Dublin International Award and the Colorado Book Award) and a collection of short stories, Hell's Bottom, Colorado (winner of the PEN USA award and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize). She is also the author of a nonfiction book, Great Colorado Bear Stories. Pritchett is editor/co-editor of three books: Home Land: Ranching and a West that WorksPulse of the River: Colorado Writers Speak for the Endangered Cache la Poudre, and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers. Pritchett received her B.A. and M.A. in English at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. in Contemporary American Literature/Creative Writing at Purdue University. She is currently finishing three books: a new novel entitled Blue Moon Mountain, a memoir called The Normal One, and an anthology about sex and nature. She lives in Colorado, near the small cattle ranch where she was raised.

This community talk is free.

About the Library Author Series

Bud Werner Memorial Library presents an ongoing program of author talks throughout the year. These are free community events held in Library Hall, where a diverse award-winning range of visiting authors speak about their literary works and their writing processes. Each talk is followed by a Q&A and an opportunity to have authors sign copies of  their books.

Books will be available for sale and author signing courtesy of Off the Beaten Path Bookstore.