Writers Marlon James, David Eggers will let fly at St. Paul (Minn.) benefit

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Award-winning authors Marlon James and David Eggers, both 45 years old and not shy about giving their opinions, will talk about books, education and the importance of reading for children during an onstage discussion at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St., St. Paul–Mary Ann Grossman reports for The Pioneer Press.

James, who teaches at  Macalester College in St. Paul, is the first Jamaican to win the prestigious Man Booker prize for his novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”

Eggers, whose best-sellers include “A Heartbreaking Work of  Staggering Genius,” will talk about 826 National, a seven-city network of nonprofit creative writing, tutoring and publishing centers he co-founded for under-resourced students.

The evening is presented by Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, a Minnesota-based chapter in development with the 826 National Network. Proceeds will support Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute’s goal in the 2015-16 school year by providing more than 1,200 Twin Cities students ages 6 to 18 with a variety of free programming, including help with writing skills and homework. James serves on the MOI board and is guest author for this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project.

General admission tickets are $25; a VIP and small  pre-party at MOI headquarters, 2388 University Ave., costs $125; and general admission and book signing at a post-party at the Turf Club is $50. Purchase tickets here.

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