Author Reading

Anne Calcagno

Love Like a Dog

            The illegal underworld of dog fighting, the complexities of the pit bull breed, and the ethical dilemma of animal cruelty is at the heart of School of the Art Institute of Chicago writing professor Calcagno’s (Pray for Yourself) new novel. When teenager Dirk finds an abandoned pit bull in a dumpster behind his father’s store, it sets in motion a series of events that changes his life forever, as Dirk is torn between the desire to please his father and do what is right for the animals he deeply loves. Intended both to educate and entertain, Love Like a Dog is informed by Calcagno’s ride alongs with the Chicago Police Department’s Animal Abuse Control Team.

Event date: 
Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Danielle Dutton, Kate Zambreno

Danielle Dutton

S P R A W L

Kate Zambreno

O Fallen Angel      

            Join us as we welcome two authors whose latest releases cleverly and inventively ponder the banality of contemporary American life. Featured in Harper’s magazine and The Bomb, Danielle Dutton’s S P R A W L  is an engaging, absurdly comic evocation of the sprawl of the American landscape and the American mind, through the mercurial inner life of one suburban woman. The winner of Chiasmus Press’s “Undoing the Novel – First Book Contest,” Kate Zambreno’s O Fallen Angel is a triptych of modern-day America set in a vapid Midwestern suburbia.

Event date: 
Friday, September 24, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Garnett Kilberg Cohen

How We Move the Air

            In the spirit of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, Columbia College professor Garnett Kilberg Cohen’s How We Move the Air tells the story of musician Jake Doyle’s suicide and how, over time, it affected those who knew him. In seven linked stories, Cohen explores the complex ways in which people choose to remember – or not remember – the past. Cohen has been the recipient of numerous literary awards and her work has appeared in publications such as American Fiction, The Antioch Review, and Other Voices. How We Move the Air is her second story collection, after Lost Women, Banished Souls.

Event date: 
Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Robin Wiszowaty

My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah

            As a teen in Schaumburg in the 1980s, Robin Wiszowaty yearned to learn about more of the world beyond the suburban Midwest. In college, she found the opportunity she was looking for when she enrolled in a program that would send her to live in a Maasai household in Kenya for a year. Joining her eight-member Maasai family in their cow dung hut far from any city, and enduring drought, malaria, and typhoid, Wiszowaty adapts to a new way of living and new understandings of the world. Currently director of Kenya’s Free the Children program, Wiszowaty’s inspiring tale about how even the most average of us can choose to change the world has enthralled thousands, and she has shared stages with such luminary social activists as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Mia Farrow.

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers

Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers

Ten-year Anniversary Reading & Discussion

            Join local contributors Karen Dwyer, Beth Kohl, Sara Levine, Molly McNett and Dan Libman, Tracy Mayor, B. E. Pinkham, Sharla Stewart, and Gale Renee Walden for a reading and discussion commemorating the ten-year anniversary of Brain, Child magazine, the only literary magazine dedicated to motherhood. Refreshments will be served.

Event date: 
Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Emma Donoghue

Room: A Novel

            In her unforgettable new novel, beloved lesbian author and anthologist Emma Donoghue (Landing, Slammerkin) marks a stunning thematic shift. Experienced through the perceptions of five-year-old Jack, Room tells the story of a mother and son held in captivity, of the mother’s struggle for survival, and Jack’s innocent acceptance of the only world he’s ever known. While carefully unraveling the mystery of their imprisonment, Donoghue explores the unconditional bond between mother and child in a way few, if any, writers have. Our own Linda Bubon described Room as “one of the most memorable and best books I have ever read.” Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Donahue read from what is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

 

Room is that rarest of entities, an entirely original work of art.  I mean it as the highest possible praise when I tell you that I can’t compare it to any other book.  Suffice to say that it’s potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory.”

-Michael Cunningham

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sara Paretsky

Body Work Book Launch Party

            We’re always delighted when one of our favorite writers releases a new book. Body Work, Paretsky’s fourteenth V. I. Warshawski mystery, may be her most compelling and timely one yet. When a controversial young artist is murdered, V. I. is pulled into a case that touches on some of the most important issues raised by the war in Iraq. In addressing the personal and political implications of art and war, Paretsky boldly places Warshawski at the center of an investigation that cuts to the heart of society today.

            Tonight’s launch party will include free refreshments, giveaway t-shirts, and a chance for one lucky attendee to have a character named after him or her in the next V. I. book!

Event date: 
Friday, September 10, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Fay Jacobs, Ellen Rosner, and DJ SpinNikki
$7-10 sliding fee includes food and wine

This month, our popular salon night for lesbians and their friends includes
humorist Fay Jacobs, author of the lesbian memoir As I Lay Frying, and the sequel, Fried
and True: Tales from Rehoboth Beach; and local favorite Ellen Rosner. With a voice that
Windy City Times music writer David Byrne describes as “a young Chrissie Hynde, Chris
Issak or Melissa Etheridge,” with influences of Ruth Brown and Mavis Staples, Rosner
has opened for artists such as Joan Armatrading, Sophie B. Hawkins and Nelly Furtado.
DJ SpinNikki will play us in and out of sets with her eclectic playlist of pop, soul,
electronica, and world music.
Door proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

Event date: 
Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sharon Pomerantz

Rich Boy

Robert Vishniak, favored son of a working-class Jewish Philadelphia
neighborhood, employs his good looks, charm and cleverness to scale the social ladder.
Gliding from his hardscrabble beginnings to an elite New England University, he
ensconces himself among scions of unimagined wealth and influence, building a future he
believes will eclipse his humble past. But as is so often the case, it takes but a fleeting,
single occurrence to change Robert’s life, threatening to undermine his achievements and
unravel his carefully constructed identity. Ten years in the making, Pomerantz’s debut is
a sweeping saga of class, sexual rebellion, money, and love.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Alexa Stevenson

Half-Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to
Breathe

Flotsam blogger and NPR commentator Alexa Stevenson has been a self-
proclaimed worrywart for most of her life: avoiding amusement park rides, skateboards,
and other activities that would just be “borrowing trouble.” But the series of worst-case
scenarios that comprise her journey to motherhood—including the birth of her daughter
Simone, more than 3 months early—force her into a Zen-like acceptance of uncertainty
and absurdity; a journey she recounts in this uniquely sharp, funny, vulnerable, and
ultimately, hopeful memoir.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Mary F. Burns

J: The Woman Who Wrote the Bible

When Janaia, oldest daughter of King David of Judah, is secretly initiated into the
art and magic of writing, she finds she must master the sublime powers and visions that
come with this new kind of knowledge. From the caves of Judah to the glories of
Solomon’s Temple, Janaia discovers through heartbreak and sacrifice that the knowledge
of good and evil brings with it both frightening powers and jubilant freedom. In her quick-
paced debut novel, Chicago native Burns has crafted a tale that will appeal to fans of the
feminist historical fantasies of Starhawk, Jane Auel, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:51pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans

W. Bruce Cameron is a nationally syndicated humor columnist and author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter. His latest book takes a fictional turn, offering a dog’s-eye view of the world. Dubbed by Kirkus as Marley and Me combined with Tuesdays with Morrie, A Dog’s Purpose is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for purpose over the course of several lives, exploring the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: why are we here? In addition, it makes a strong case for why potential dog owners should choose rescue shelters to find their pets, over breeding farms or city pounds. Both friendly dogs and their humans are invited to attend tonight’s event.
 
“I loved the book and couldn’t put it down. It really made me think about the purpose of life. At the end, I cried.”
--Temple Grandin

Event date: 
Friday, July 30, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Audrey Niffenegger

Her Fearful Symmetry

We’re delighted that New York Times bestselling author and local favorite Audrey Niffenegger will be joining us to celebrate the paperback release of her latest novel. Her Fearful Symmetry shares the wonder, passion, and mystery that readers adored in The Time Traveler’s Wife. With wildly imagined settings, including London’s famous Highgate Cemetery (where both Niffenegger and one of the book’s characters are tour guides), and complete with twins, ghosts, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intricate puzzles, and several intensely compelling eccentrics, Her Fearful Symmetry confirms that Niffenegger is a talent like no other.

Event date: 
Friday, July 23, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Nathan Rabin

The Big Rewind: A Memory Brought to You by Pop Culture

This hilariously entertaining memoir by the head entertainment writer for The Onion’s A.V. Club reveals how the pop culture that native Chicagoan Rabin loved so dearly rescued him from a life of suicidal impulses, mental institutions, and the repercussions of parental abandonment. Unwitting accomplices in Rabin’s voyage include an Orthodox Jewish reggae superstar, a New Wave gay cowboy, Jean-Luc Godard, Dr. Dre, J.D. Salinger and The Simpsons’ immortal Frank “Grimey” Grimes. The memoir also features cameos by Billy Bob Thornton, a vomiting Topher Grace, and some dude named Barack Obama. 

Event date: 
Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

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