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The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library announces the 2015 featured work:

The Painter by Peter Heller (Vintage Books, 2015)


About the book

Jim Stegner, a well-known expressionist painter, once shot a man in a Santa Fe bar for making a lewd comment about his daughter, served a year in prison, and has struggled to manage the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. Jim suffered a tragedy he's still grieving. He now lives in rural Colorado in a beautiful, peaceful valley where he spends his days painting, reading, and fly fishing. Jim is living a quiet life... until the day that he comes across a hunting guide beating a small horse, and a brutal act of new violence rips his quiet life wide open. Pursued by men dead set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico and the high-profile life he left behind, where he'll reckon with past deeds and the dark shadows in his own heart.


"[A] masterful novel in which love (parental and romantic), artistic vision, guilt, grief, and spine-chilling danger propel a suspenseful plot. ... [Heller] explores the mysteries of the human heart and creates an indelible portrait of a man searching for peace, while seeking to maintain his humanity in the face of violence and injustice. " -Publishers Weekly starred review


About the Author

Peter Heller (c) John BurchamPeter Heller's debut novel "The Dog Stars" was published in 2012, made a dozen best-of-year lists and became an international bestseller. "The Painter" was published in May 2014. Heller is an award-winning adventure writer and a longtime contributor to NPR, Outside magazine, Men's Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. His four works of literary nonfiction, include "Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave," which won the 2010 National Outdoor Book Award for Literature.


Heller was born and raised in New York. He attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he became an outdoorsman and whitewater kayaker. He has traveled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru. He received an MFA in fiction and poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he won a Michener fellowship for his epic poem "The Psalms of Malvine." Peter Heller lives in Denver, Colorado.


Peter Heller will visit Seattle May 14-17, 2015. See the schedule of events with the author.

Seattle Reads Books and Information for Book Groups

Book groups already registered with The Seattle Public Library may reserve their kits of "The Painter."  Additional copies of Heller's book are available at all Library locations for informal borrowing by community book groups and individuals.

About 'Seattle Reads'

"Seattle Reads" is designed to deepen engagement in literature through reading and discussion. Seattle Reads “The Painter” is made possible by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, with additional support from media sponsors The Seattle Times and KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, and Vintage Books, The Elliott Bay Book Co., Third Place Books, and University Book Store.

Seattle Reads
2015 Seattle Reads: 'The Painter' by Peter Heller
Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library