Back in January, when the awards were announced, Karl Marlantes picked Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park, WA) as his locale of choice to receive his 2011 Pacific Northwest Book Award for Matternorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. That day finally arrived, as more than 150 fans turned out on Saturday night to hear him speak and to stand and enthusiastically applaud as Marlantes was presented his plaque by Third Place’s managing partner, Robert Sindelar, acting on behalf of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, who sponsor the awards.
This kind of response has become commonplace for Marlantes, who has struck many chords with Matterhorn in the year since its release. Seattle Times book editor, Mary Ann Gwynn, recently did a follow-up column to the original piece she wrote on Marlantes and Matterhorn last spring, as she is still forwarding emotional reader responses to his publisher almost a year later. “With most stories I get a flurry of reader response, then the public and myself move on to other things. Not this time.”