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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 20: Good Thunder Reading Series

Author Julie Otsuka and poet Christopher David Hopkins are next featured guests in series.

Good Thunder Reading Series News Release, 10-3-2016

Mankato, Minn.- Minnesota State University, Mankato will host author Julie Otsuka and poet Christopher David Hopkins on Thursday, Oct. 20 as its next featured writers in the Good Thunder Reading Series.

On Oct. 20, Otsuka will hold a Q&A from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery, located at 523 S. Second St. in Mankato, and then a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. on the Minnesota State Mankato campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. That evening Otsuka will read from her work from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union, Room 245.

All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Otsuka is visiting as this year’s guest author in the annual Nadine B. Andreas Residency and also in partnership with the University’s Common Read program.

For the Common Read’s Keynote event, she will discuss her novel, “When the Emperor Was Divine,” on Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

“When The Emperor Was Divine” was translated into 11 different languages and was a New York Times Notable Book, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and a Noble Discover Great New Writers finalist.

Otsuka also wrote the novel, “The Buddha in the Attic,” that won the PEN/Faulkner Award, Frances Prix Femina Etranger, the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction and was translated into 22 languages.

Otsuka is a winner of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and she was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Otsuka was recently added to the National Endowment for the Arts’ ‘The Big Read’ Library.

Hopkins, a poet who hails from North Carolina, is a master of fine arts creative writing candidate in his second year at Minnesota State Mankato. He also serves as a poetry editor for the Blue Earth Review and co-host for the Weekly Reader on 89.7 KMSU.

The Good Thunder Reading Series is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The 2016-17 Good Thunder Reading Series also receives support from Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of English, College of Arts and Humanities, Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment and individual donors. The Arts Center of St.Peter, the Twin Rivers Council of the Arts and Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State Mankato offer additional assistance.

For photos or more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144.


Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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