Laura Pritchett's "Stars Go Blue" has local echoes

Laura Pritchett’s newest novel, “Stars Go Blue,” Counterpoint Press, published in June, is receiving rave reviews and being welcomed by readers acquainted with small-time ranchers Ben and Renny Cross through Pritchett’s earlier works. Now an elderly, estranged couple, the pair is dealing with his Alzheimer’s disease, the declining state of their ranch, and the dilemma created when they learn that their daughter Rachel’s ex-husband and murderer is being released from prison.

Kent Haruf, Colorado author of “Plainsong,” calls “Stars Go Blue” “a complex, deeply-imagined family tale which finds unexpected gifts at its conclusion.” The work received a starred review from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter noting: “Strength of character and simplicity of language complement a rich underpinning of savagery and sadness as Pritchett sensitively navigates the end of a life and sublimely realizes its enduring legacy.”

Pritchett, a resident of Bellvue and author of “Hell’s Bottom, Colorado,” winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the PEN USA award, and “Sky Bridge,” sets her stories in the territory she knows and loves in Colorado’s foothills and creates novels based on her personal experience. “Stars Go Blue” is no exception. Her beloved and brilliant father is now struggling with Alzheimer’s and his wife must care for him and their ranch.

The editor of three anthologies and the author of non-fiction books, “Great Colorado Bear Stories,” “Pulse of the River,” “Home Land and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers and Dumpster Divers,” Pritchett has published more than 100 essays and short stories.

She holds two degrees from Colorado State University and a Ph.D in Contemporary American Literature with an emphasis in creative writing from Purdue University. She is a faculty member at Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program, teaches around the country and is a writing coach. She is currently at work on a novel and a non-fiction book and admits being addicted to her work. She is the mother of a teen-age son and daughter.

Pritchett’s tour schedule brings her to Firehouse Books in Fort Collins 6 p.m., July 9 and Matter Bookstore in Fort Collins at 5 p.m., July 13.

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