Bestselling author Leif Enger to present public reading, receive 2023 Heasley Prize for Fiction at Lyon College

Bestselling author Leif Enger will present a public reading of his work at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Bevens Music Room of the Brown Chapel and Fine Arts Building on the Lyon College campus, 2300 Highland Rd., Batesville.

Following the reading, Lyon College will award Enger the Heasley Prize for Fiction, an endowed recognition the college presents annually to a noted writer. The event is free and open to the public, and no reservation or ticket is required.

Enger’s debut novel “Peace Like a River” won the Booksense Award for Fiction and was named one of the Year’s Best Books by Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. One reviewer called it “wonderous and wise,” and another praised it as “an exceptionally heartfelt and moving tale.”

His second novel, “So Brave, Young, and Handsome,” was a Midwest Booksellers Honor Book and won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. A Los Angeles Times reviewer compared it favorably to Kent Haruf’s “Plainsong” and Norman MacLean’s “A River Runs Through It.”

His third, the national bestseller “Virgil Wander,” was called a “lush crowd-pleaser about meaning and second chances and magic” by the New York Times.

His new novel, “I Cheerfully Refuse,” will be published in April 2024 by Grove Atlantic.

Enger grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio before he published “Peace Like A River.” He lives with his wife Robin in Duluth.

For more information on the Heasley Prize and the event, please contact Dr. Terrell Tebbetts, Martha Heasley Cox Chair in American Literature and professor of English, at