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King University News :: "The Shack" Author to Speak at King College

Best-selling author of The Shack, William Paul Young, will speak at King College on Monday, Mar. 1, 2010.

After being rejected by 26 publishers, Young, along with some friends, decided to self-publish his book, The Shack, in 2007.  The Shack became number one on the New York Times trade paperback fiction best-seller list in June 2008 and was the top-selling fiction and audio book of 2008 in American through November 30 of the year.

Young was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.  He spent his first years with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea among the Dani, a technologically stone age tribal people.  He was the first white child among the tribe and first outsider to who spoke their language.

At age six Young was flown to boarding school.  His family then returned to the West.  By the time he graduated, he had already attended thirteen different schools.  He went on to Bible College, then completed his undergraduate degree in religion, graduating summa cum laude from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.  After graduating, Young met and married Kim Warren.

I have always been a writer, whether songs, poetry, short stories or newsletters; never for public consumption but for friends and family, said Young.  The Shack was a story written for my six children, with no thought or intention to publish.  It is as much a surprise to me as to anyone else that I am now an 'author'

Paul Young's 'The Shack' has become a phenomenon in the publishing world and in the Christian subculture, says Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King College.  The controversial book has sold thousands of copies after being rejected by mainstream Christian publishers.  We hope in part to think about that context as we hear from the author himself.

Until he published The Shack, Young drifted through life as an adult, buoyed a little by his faith and a lot by his wife, Kim, keeping his secrets and building his shack - the place we make to hide all our crap, he calls it.  At the age of 38, he found himself at his nadir.  I had a three-month affair with one of my wife's best friends.  That was it, which just blew my careful little religious world apart.  I either had to get on my knees and deal with my wife's pain and anger, or kill myself.

Young will present The Shack: Is God Really This Good? at 10:30 a.m. in King's Memorial Chapel and at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church on the west end of the King College campus.  The events are open to the public and free of charge.  For more information, visit or contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156.