Bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed ('Wild') and Art Spiegelman ('Maus') in Rochester this week

05:00 AM, Apr 27, 2013

Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," will speak at Temple B'rith Kodesh Wednesday. (Joni Kabana/Provided photo)/

Written By Staff report

May brings the close of the annual Rochester Arts & Lecture and Brockport Writers Forum series, plus the Rochester Teen Book Festival, all bringing bestselling authors to town.

Cheryl Strayed

Strayed is author of the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which catapaulted to the top of bestseller lists after Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club 2.0 recommended it. The book has been optioned for a movie by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard.

Strayed will receive the Art of Fact Award from The College at Brockport Writers Forum at a free program at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Temple B’rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave., Brighton.

Strayed also wrote bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (Dear Sugar was a column on The Rumpus, and this came out after Strayed revealed she was the author of the anonymous column) and the novel Torch (originally published in 2006 but reissued last fall).

For information, go to

Art Spiegelman

Spiegelman, who is known as the father of the graphic novel, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Rochester Arts & Lectures series at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St.

Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his Holocaust narrative Maus, which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. MetaMaus, published in 2011, is both a deconstruction of his original piece and a look at its impact.

His next book, CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, is set to be published in May by Drawn & Quarterly.

Michael Morpurgo

Morpurgo is a beloved British children’s author whose most famous work is his 1982 novel War Horse. The play adaptation won the 2011 Tony Award and is coming to the Auditorium Theatre in November. Steven Spielberg produced the movie version in 2011.

Morpurgo will give the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, which this year is being held at 7 p.m. May 16 at Nazareth College. The event is free, but admission tickets are required. Call (315) 986-3949.

Morpurgo’s lecture is part of Children’s Book Week, which also includes a youth librarian’s conference and the Rochester Teen Book Festival.

Morpurgo also will speak at 1:15 p.m. May 18 as part of the book festival.

Morpurgo has written more than 100 books and in 1976 started with his wife Farms for City Children, which has sponsored more than 50,000 urban children at three working farms. He also is an officer in the Order of the British Empire.

Rochester Teen Book Festival

Few places have festivals dedicated to tween and teen authors. Most include the teens in children’s book festivals.

The free Rochester Teen Book Festival — which this year is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18 at Nazareth College — attracted more than 3,000 teens, parents and educators last year.

The event, now in its eighth year, will have its opening author panel at 10 a.m.

The format will be similar to last year, with presentations at 11:15 a.m., 12:15, 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. and an autograph session beginning at 3:15 p.m.

Each author will give three presentations during the day.

More than 30 authors, including David Levithan, Ellen Hopkins, Margaret Peterson Haddix and festival favorite Terry Trueman, will participate.

Go to for more information.