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First Utah Lit live event will feature book about Susan Powell

By Lisa Carricaburu

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published May 16 2014 01:55 pm • Last Updated May 17 2014 09:55 pm

Utah Lit, The Salt Lake Tribune’s online book club, is taking on a new dimension.

With June’s selection, "If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children," by Rebecca Morris and Gregg Olsen, the book club we initiated in January will hold its first "off-line" discussion at 7 p.m. on June 25 at the Viridian Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan.

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The book is the third and most thorough about Susan Powell, the West Valley City woman who disappeared in 2009 and never has been found. West Valley City police formally closed their investigation a year ago after her husband, Josh Powell, a person of interest in her disappearance, triggered a Feb. 5, 2012, explosion in his Washington state home that killed him and the couple’s two young sons.

"If I Can’t Have You" is excerpted in Sunday’s print edition starting on the front page, where you’ll also find an interview with the authors by Ellen Fagg Weist. Reporter Nate Carlisle, who continues to follow the Powell case, reviews the book on page D1.

Additional excerpts from the book will run Monday and Tuesday as well.

Intense interest in the Powell case — and these well-known crime writers’ book — prompted us to choose it as the Utah Lit selection for our first public event.

We invite readers to join a discussion about the book moderated by The Tribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce and live-streamed at sltrib.com for those who can’t attend the discussion in person.

We’re inviting reporters who’ve covered the case and Susan Powell’s family members and friends to join the discussion. We’ll provide more details in coming weeks on our Books page in the Sunday Arts section and on the Utah Lit Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/utahlit.

If you’re unfamiliar with Utah Lit, the online book club is our newsroom’s effort to foster a shared love of books with our readers.

We formed Utah Lit as a way to explore the rich work of regional writers who take on issues important in the West.


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Each month, we choose a book and provide background and context for those reading it, typically in the form of interviews with authors both in print and on video.

Readers may chat with one another and with us on the Utah Lit Facebook page or on Twitter, @utahlit, while reading the book.

On the final Friday of each month, Napier-Pearce moderates a discussion as part of a Trib Talk live video chat in which readers can participate.

This month’s discussion at 12:15 p.m. on May 30 will focus on "Seven Summers" by Julia Corbett, a University of Utah communication professor.

Archived versions of each chat are available at sltrib.com for those unable to participate in the live discussion.

We’re proud of Utah Lit’s success to date and are excited now to try a discussion as a live event.

Please check out the book and join us.

Lisa Carricaburu is managing editor. She can be reached at lisac@sltrib.com or on Twitter: @lcarricaburu.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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