Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Certain passages from David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars—the wince-inducing love scenes (“his hardness…”) and the will he?/won’t he? redemptive climax—would seem to disqualify this novel from winning the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award. It must have been the sentimental favorite. But never mind: This story of a Japanese-American accused of murdering a white fisherman is the sort of Donna Tartt/Caleb Carr literary fiction that increases bookstore and library traffic, so more power to it. All the ingredients—a picturesque Puget Sound setting, 1950s anti-Japanese sentiment, and forbidden teenage love—add up to a page-turner. Appearing with Guterson will be Ursula Hegi, whose latest novel, Salt Dancers, concerns a pregnant woman who fears she might inherit her father’s pattern of child abuse. Guterson and Hegi read at 8 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $13. For reservations call (202) 544-7077. CP