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DeKalb library hosts Richard Powers, Pulitzer Prize winner, DeKalb High alumnus


DeKALB – A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and 1975 DeKalb High School alumnus, Richard Powers, had a homecoming this weekend and visited the DeKalb Public Library.

Powers has written 12 novels, including “The Gold Bug Variations,” “Galatea 2.2,” “Orfeo” and National Book Award winner “The Echo Maker.”

“DeKalb was a breeding ground for freedom and creativity for me,” he said. “I started writing here in DeKalb.”

His most recent novel, “The Overstory,” won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is a New York Times Bestseller and is one of Washington Post’s and Chicago Tribune’s 10 Best Books of 2018.

At the Friday evening event, Powers was introduced by his former DeKalb High School teacher Joseph Locasio. At the start of the event, DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith made a proclamation honoring Powers and gave the author a key to the city of DeKalb.

During his presentation, Powers read an excerpt from “The Overstory,” described living in DeKalb as a teenager and young adult and answered questions from the crowd.

Powers said he was first became inspired to write after moving to DeKalb from Bangkok at 16. Powers started writing poetry and wrote for DeKalb High School’s art and literary magazine, “New Pennies.”

After attending college, Powers returned to DeKalb, where he wrote his first book, “Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance.”

Christine Brovelli-O’Brien, also a graduate of DeKalb High School, attended the library event and had the chance to meet Powers.

“I’ve read his books, and I think that it’s great that he’s also from DeKalb and has a love of literature,” she said. “He has a powerful way of thinking about the world and articulating that. I was impressed with his eloquence. I look forward to reading more of his writing.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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