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David James Duncan

Award-Winners; Bestselling Novelists; Literature; Library; College/University; Environmentalism; Humor

Speaker Bio

David James Duncan is the author of the classic novels The River Why and The Brothers K, the story collection River Teeth, the nonfiction collection and National Book Award finalist, My Story as Told by Water, and the bestselling collection of “churchless sermons,” God Laughs & Plays. His most recent book, Sun House, has been lauded as “one of the greatest imaginative achievements I’ve encountered in a lifetime of reading,” by writer William deBuys.

Duncan’s work has won three Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, two Pushcart Prizes, a Lannan Fellowship, the Western States Book Award, the American Library Association’s 2004 Award for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom (with co-author Wendell Berry), and other honors. His writing has appeared in Best American Sports Writing, Best American Catholic Writing, two volumes of Best American Essays, and five volumes of Best American Spiritual Writing. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland.

Duncan has spoken all over the country about imaginative and spiritual freedom, the nonreligious literature of faith, the charms of the lay contemplative life, the tragicomedy of the writing life, and the dire biological and cultural importance of the Northwest’s endangered keystone species, wild salmon and steelhead, and the free-flowing rivers they need to survive. He appears in the activist film DamNation and co-stars in the PBS Nature documentary, “Running the Gauntlet,” portraying the devastation of salmon by lower Snake River dams. He is a contributing editor to Orion Magazine, and his personal papers are archived at The Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University, which houses “some of the country’s most prominent writers with a profound respect for the grandeur and fierceness of the land, the nature of community, the conjunction of scientific and spiritual values, and the fragility of wilderness.”

Duncan lives on a charming little trout stream in Missoula, Montana, in accord with his late friend Jim Harrison’s advice to finish his life disguised as a creek.

Speaking Topics

An Evening with David James Duncan

By the Author

Booking Info

David James Duncan’s speaking engagements are handled by the Hachette Speakers Bureau, a division of Hachette Book Group and an accredited member of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus. Contact us to learn more.