As a state senate candidate in Illinois in 1996, Barack Obama said he favored gay marriage. As president, he is opposed to gay marriage but favors civil unions. In her new book, veteran Chicago reporter Tracy Baim takes an in-depth look at Obama’s record on LGBTQ issues through his state and federal elections and terms in office, including his first year and a half as president. Obama and the Gays includes interviews with Obama’s Chicago and national gay supporters and contributions by prominent gay activists, bloggers, and reporters, including Lisa Keen, Chuck Colbert, John D’Emilio, and Pam Spaulding.
An estimated 10 to 14 million children in the U.S. have at least one gay parent, and the number is growing every year.
Mary Catherine Bateson, sociologist, daughter of Margaret Mead, and author of the groundbreaking books Peripheral Visions and Composing A Life, sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and the willingness to learn.” Her new book is an ardent, affirming study of the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, upon entering the period she refers to as "Adulthood II," have found new meaning and new ways to contribute to society, composing their lives in new patterns. She challenges us to approach our later lives with the full force of our imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. She also speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit.
This captivating collection of new stories and essays by some of today’s best science fiction writers bears witness to the impact of the legendary writer Frederik Pohl. With stories ranging from traditional to cutting edge and from darkly serious to laugh-out-loud funny, Gateways is a must buy for science fiction readers of all tastes and a worthy homage to a pioneer of the genre. Tonight’s event will feature Pohl's wife (and Gateways' editor) Elizabeth Anne Hull, who is a Harper College professor and resident of Naperville, along with local contributors Phyllis and Alex Eisenstein and Jody Lynn Nye.
We’re having a party to celebrate the career (to date) of celebrated feminist cartoonist Nicole Hollander and the thirtieth anniversary of her most famous creation, the wise-cracking, irreverent social critic Sylvia. Nicole’s new book, The Sylvia Chronicles, looks at the formative years of our young artist as she works her way from painter to a cartoonist syndicated in hundreds of newspapers. We convinced Nicole to give us a PowerPoint presentation of her work—and then we’ll eat cake and drink champagne! We know Hollander’s friends and fans will be here; we also hope those who may not know about the iconic Sylvia will come for a slice of cultural history.
In her new book, Nigeria native Toyin Ayeni argues that her homeland is much more
than a producer of terrorists or con artists. Hoping to increase awareness of
the positive aspects of her West African country, Ayeni contends that the
problems associated with Nigeria are global in origin and that global problems
require global solutions. A past president of the Chicago chapter of
Toastmasters International, Ayeni hold a B.S. in microbiology from the
University of Ibadan and an M.S. in information systems management from Loyola
University Chicago. Join us for this special event celebrating the fiftieth
anniversary of Nigeria's independence.
Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions
Featuring Nikki Patin, Sissy Van Dyke, and DJ SpinNikki
$7-$10 sliding scale includes food and wine.
month’s installment of our monthly salon night for lesbians and their
friends features award-winning and internationally acclaimed spoken work
artist Nikki Patin. A teacher, activist, and artist, Patin has
performed on HBO’s Def Poetry Slam, was a member of Chicago’s 2001
Mental Graffiti National slam team, and received the gold medal in slam
poetry at the 2006 International Gay Games. Author of “The Phat Grrl
Diaries,” she also fronts the rock band, “Like A Hundred.” Joining Patin
will be writer, stand-up comic and punk rock musician Sissy Van Dyke.
As usual, Sappho’s house DJ SpinNikki will round out tonight’s show with
an eclectic array of pop, electronica, soul, world music, and dance
tracks. Proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.
Ordinary Women: Extraordinary Heroines – A New Paradigm for the Modern Heroine
She Writes reading featuring Audrey Niffenegger, Zoe Zolbrod, Teri Coyne, and others.
Hosted by She Writes and Teri Coyne.
Join author Teri Coyne (The Last Bridge) and authors from the ground-breaking web community She Writes (www.shewrites.com) for a special reading celebrating the extraordinary heroics of “ordinary” women; fresh female characters who are often flawed but willful protagonists who rely on intelligence, wit, and survival skills to find themselves or shake things up. She Writes is the leading online destination for women writers. Since June 2009, more than 10,000 women writers from more than 30 countries and all 50 states have signed on to share knowledge, support, and network.
Along with Coyne, Audrey Niffenegger and Zobrod, authors Amina Gautier and Emily Gray Tedrowe will be joining the reading. Gautier has been anthologized in the 2009 and 2010 editions of Best African American Fiction, and Tedrowe is the author of Communters.
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.
S P R A W L
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!