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Novel Looks Inside the Mind of a Man With Alzheimer's

Stars Go Blue, by Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett talks about and reads from Stars Go Blue, a novel in which a Colorado rancher and his wife deal with his diagnosis of Alzheimer's.

We first met hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross in her collection Hell's Bottom, Colorado. In Stars Go Blue, they are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the particular decline of a fading farm and Ben’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Then they discover a new horrible truth: Ray, the abusive husband of their daughter who shot her dead in the family kitchen, is being released from prison early. This news opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. Branded with a need for justice, they must each confront this man, their own consciences, and their futures.

The music in this program was written and performed by John Floridis.

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Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett is the author of the novel Sky Bridge (winner of the WILLA Literary Award and finalist for the Dublin International Award and the Colorado Book Award) and a collection of short stories, Hell's Bottom, Colorado (winner of the PEN USA award and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize). She is also the author of a nonfiction book, Great Colorado Bear Stories. Pritchett is editor/co-editor of three books: Home Land: Ranching and a West that Works, Pulse of the River: Colorado Writers Speak for the Endangered Cache la Poudre, and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers.

Pritchett has had over 100 essays and short stories published in numerous magazines, including The Sun, Orion, High Country News, High Desert Journal, Natural Resources Journal, Colorado Review, 5280, and the books Comeback Wolves: Western Writers Welcome the Wolf Home and Social Issues Firsthand: The Environment.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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