Jean Auel on Breeding Science With Fiction at ASU Origins Festival

The Arizona State University Origins Festival will play host to many events regarding science and art but among them will be bestselling fiction writer Jean Auel.


Auel doesn't mix science with fiction in the way that typically gives birth to ray gun battles, zombie apocalypses, alien invasions and all that stuff.

She's the storyteller behind the Earth's Children, a series about a Cro-Magnon woman existing in a society of Neanderthals. And Auel will be taking the stage to speak with Origins Fest attendees during a panel on April 10.

Auel spent 31 years writing the series, which began with Clan of the Cave Bear , and says she has put a tremendous amount of work in researching about the Ice Age for her pieces of fiction. Auel commented that it's through these pieces of accuracy that she can get in with the reader and let the fiction flow.

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"If someone wrote a story about the White House and got the address wrong then they'd lose the reader," jokes Auel. "How do we get them to suspend their beliefs if we get it wrong and don't know the facts?"

The author says that during her discussion she'll share stories stemming from her research -- how she learned to tan leather or when she spent a night in an ice cave, all to get a better picture of how Neanderthals might have lived.

Auel is scheduled to speak at the Tempe Center for the Arts at 1 p.m. April 10 where she will also be signing copies of her new book Land of Painted Caves.

The Origins Project Science & Culture Festival continues with lectures, and discussions with scientists, filmmakers, and authors today through April 1. For a schedule of events, visit the festival website.

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