Author Signing

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Book Launch Party: PARIS, HE SAID by Christine Sneed

Please join us to celebrate the release of Christine Sneed's third book, the novel Paris, He Said, on May 7, 7:30 p.m. The novel focuses on Jayne Marks, a young woman who, eight years after college, moves to Paris to paint and live with an older Frenchman who is her benefactor and lover. Paris, He Said includes a real person as a character: the painter and School of the Art Institute painting instructor Susan Kraut, who is Jayne's mentor in the novel. Susan will be in attendance at the book release party. Refreshments will be served.

Christine Sneed's two previous books include the story collection
Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry and the novel Little Known Facts. She teaches for the graduate creative writing programs at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Peter Slevin, MICHELLE OBAMA: A LIFE

Meticulously
tracing Michelle Obama’s life from her family’s history (dating back to
slavery) through the White House, Michelle
Obama: A Life
provides a portrait of a working mother, who has continually
struggled to balance her duties as a professional with those as a mother and a
wife. Readers learn about her reluctance to enter into political life and what
she has given up, personally and professionally, for Barack’s career. Slevin
also shows how Michelle has effectively carved out a role in the White House as
a denouncer of inequalities. Peter Slevin is a veteran national and
international reporter who spent a decade on the Washington Post's national staff before joining Northwestern's
Medill School of Journalism in 2010. He has written extensively about Barack
Obama's trajectory and has pursued a particular interest on the home front
during the Iraq and Afghan wars, producing pieces about soldiers and their
preparations for war, their return home, and the effect of war on their
families, communities, and public opinion.

Event date: 
Friday, April 24, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Tracy K. Smith, ORDINARY LIGHT

The youngest of five children, Tracy K. Smith was raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But just as Tracy is about to leave home for college, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, a condition she accepts as part of God’s plan. Ordinary Light is the story of a young woman struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America. In lucid, clear prose, Smith interrogates her suburban childhood, her first collision with independence at Harvard, and her Alabama-born parents’ recollections of their own youth in the Civil Rights era. Tracy K. Smith is the author of three acclaimed
books of poetry, including most recently Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a New Yorker, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, she lives in Princeton with her family.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Brandy Liên Worrall: WHAT DOESN'T KILL US

What Doesn’t Kill Us chronicles Brandy Liên Worrall’s journey with an aggressive, rare breast cancer at the age of thirty-one. The book reflects on the parallels between her experiences with
cancer and her American father’s and Vietnamese mother’s trauma and survival during and after the Vietnam War. The book crosses borders, from rural, Amish-country Pennsylvania, where Brandy had grown up, to Vancouver, where she lived with her parents, husband, and two young children while enduring aggressive chemotherapy, radiation, and a double mastectomy. With surprising humor, the memoir also explores the enduring legacy of chemical warfare on three generations. Brandy Liên Worrall is the author of eight collections of poetry and has served as editor of numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies. She is the owner and editor of Rabbit Fool Press, a small family-owned-and-operated publishing company based in Vancouver. She holds an
MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing from the
University of British Columbia

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Gene Baur, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer & Feeling Better Every Day

Gene Baur is the cofounder and president of Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Baur believes that happiness lies in aligning your beliefs with your actions. In this vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle guide, he and Gene Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, explore the transformative experience of visiting the sanctuary and its profound effects on people's lives. The book covers the basic tenets of Farm Sanctuary life—such as eating in harmony with your values, connecting with nature wherever you are, and reducing stress. It also offers readers simple ways to incorporate these principles into their lives, and includes 100 recipes selected by some of the organization's greatest fans, such as Chef AJ, Emily Deschanel, and Moby.
Coupled with heartwarming stories of the animals that Farm Sanctuary has saved over the years, as well as advice and ideas from some of the organization's biggest supporters, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is an inspiring, practical book for readers looking to improve their whole lives and the lives of those around them—both two-legged and four.

Event date: 
Friday, April 17, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Ann Packer in conversation with Rebecca Makkai

Join two acclaimed fiction writers, Ann Packer and Rebecca Makkai as they discuss Ann's long-awaited new novel, The Children’s Crusade. Following the lives of one California family over the course of five decades, The Children’s Crusade maps how a
troubled marriage impacts the adult children attempts to create successful families—and identities—of their own. Packer is the bestselling author of Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which
received the Kate Chopin Literary Award, among other prizes and honors. She lives in San Carlos, CA. Rebecca Makkai is the author of the acclaimed novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower. Her work has frequently appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's,McSweeney's, Tin House, Ploughshares, and the Iowa Review, and has aired on "This
American Life." She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters. Her forthcoming novel Music for Wartime will publish this summer. Women & Children First will be
hosting a reading of Rebecca’s new novel in August.

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: LaShonda Katrice Barnett, JAM ON THE VINE

In Jim Crow Texas, Ivoe
Williams, the precocious daughter of emancipated slaves, manages to get a degree in journalism. But no newspapers will hire her because of the color of her skin. Ivoe’s frustration drives her and her family to Kansas City, where she and her lover, Ona, launch the first female-run African-American newspaper, Jam! On the Vine. She
uses this platform to examine segregation and the prison system—often risking both her own safety and that of her loved ones. LaShonda Katrice Barnett was born in Missouri and grew up in Park Forest. She is the editor of I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft and Off the Record: Conversations with African American & Brazilian Women Musicians. Her short fiction has appeared in Guernica, the Chicago Tribune, and the New Orleans Review, among others. She received an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. She has taught literature and history at Columbia University, Hunter College, and Brown University.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Martha Holstein Women in Late Life: Critical Perspectives on Gender and Age

Contemporary old age is fraught with contradiction and complexity—women portrayed either as incompetent and cuddly grandmothers or as young women trapped in old bodies. Women in Late Life explores the thorny issues related to gender and aging, including cultural expectations, body image, ageism, chronic illness, threats to Social Security, and the challenges of a long-term care system that disadvantages women. Teaching, writing, advocating and training about aging for the past forty years, Martha Holstein is the former associate director of the American Society on Aging and has published widely in academic journals and books. She is also the co-author of the recent work, Ethics, Aging, and Society: The Critical Turn and the co-editor of several books, including Ethics in Community-Based Elder Care.

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

DARING FICTION BY INDIE AUTHORS, featuring Halle Butler and Sarah Gerard

Join us for a reading, signing, and conversation with
Halle Butler and Sarah Gerard. The evening will be
moderated by Jacob Knabb, Senior Editor at Curbside Splendor Publishing

Halle Butler lives in Chicago. Jillian is her first book.

Sarah Gerard is the author of the novel Binary Star and the forthcoming
chapbook BFF. Her short works have appeared in The New York Times, The
Paris Review Daily, Joyland, The Brooklyn Rail, and other journals.

Refreshments will be served.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Writing Lives: Books Beyond the Prison Bars, featuring authors Maya Schenwar & Crystal Laura

Co-sponsored by Chicago Books to Women in Prison and the Chicago
chapter of Black and Pink

 

Join an interactive book
discussion with Crystal Laura (Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the
School-to-Prison Pipeline
) and Maya Schenwar (Locked Down, Locked Out:
Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better
). The authors will discuss
the school-to-prison pipeline, the social forces that lead to incarceration,
the way prison breaks down connections between people, and the impact of prison
on families--including their own. They'll also touch on the crucial role that
books play for people in prison. Maya Schenwar is the editor-in-chief of
Truthout. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian,
Salon, the Nation, Mother Jones, and other publications.
Maya is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Chi
Award and a Lannan Residency Fellowship for her writing on the impact of prison
on families and communities. Crystal Laura is an assistant professor of
educational leadership and co-director of the Center for Urban Research and
Education at Chicago State University and a volunteer teacher at St. Leonard's
Adult High School for formerly incarcerated men and women. Among her
publications are Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-Prison
Pipeline
and Diving In: Bill Ayers and the Art of Teaching into the
Contradiction
(co-edited with Isabel Nunez and Rick Ayers). By day, she explores
teacher education and leadership preparation for learning in the context of
social justice with the goal of training school professionals to recognize,
understand, and address the school-to-prison pipeline. During the second shift,
she co-parents two marvelous boys who give her work in the field of education
particular urgency. Refreshments will be served.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Lucy Knisley, DISPLACEMENT and AN AGE OF LICENSE

Come celebrate
not one but two new books from local author Lucy Knisley. In Displacement--part
graphic memoir, part travelogue, and part family history--Lucy takes a cruise
with her 90-year-old grandparents, trying to connect with them while also
attempting to reconcile their younger and older selves. She is aided in her quest
by her grandfather’s WWII memoir, which is excerpted. Knisley’s frustration,
fears, and compassion are all vividly evoked as she contemplates mortality and
copes with the stress of travel complicated by her grandparents’ frailty. 
In An Age of License, Lucy gets an opportunity that most only dream of: a
travel-expenses-paid trip to northern Europe. In this travel memoir, she
recounts her charming (and romantic) adventures, but also her anxiety-ridden
self-inquiries about traveling alone. Lucy Knisley is an ALA Alex Award-winning
cartoonist and occasional puppeteer, ukulele player, and food and travel writer
living in New York City. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute
of Chicago and Center for Cartoon Studies. She is the author of French Milk and Relish among other graphic novels and mini-comics.

Event date: 
Friday, March 20, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Rory Fanning - Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America

Rory Fanning left the Army Rangers as a
conscientious objector just
days after Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire. Disquieted by his tours in
Afghanistan, Fanning set out to honor Tillman's legacy by crossing the United
States on foot. With humor and warmth, Worth Fighting For details both
the emotional and social consequences of Fanning’s decision to leave the military
and the journey itself, including the colorful people Fanning met along
his 3,000-mile journey. Rory’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, the
Nation, Mother Jones, Salon, and other outlets. Worth
Fighting For
, his first book, was described in the Chicago Sun-Times
as “a gripping story of one young man's intellectual journey from eager soldier
to skeptical radical, a look at not only the physical immenseness of the
country, its small towns, and highways, but into the enormity of its past, the
hidden sins and unredeemed failings of the United States.” Fanning is currently
a housing and antiwar activist living in Chicago.

Event date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: THE CASTRATO, Martha Feldman in conversation with Seth Brodsky

Martha
Feldman’s The Castrato is a nuanced exploration of why innumerable boys
were castrated to improve their singing between the mid-sixteenth and
late-nineteenth centuries. The book details how the entire foundation of
Western classical singing, culminating in bel canto, was birthed from an
unlikely and historically unique set of desires, both public and private, as
well as aesthetic, economic, and political. Martha Feldman, professor of music
at the University of Chicago, is the author of City Culture and the Madrigal
at Venice
and The Courtesan’s Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. She
is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Royal Musical Association’s Dent
Medal, and various book prizes and is a member of the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences. Seth Brodsky teaches music history at the University of Chicago
and works on new music, psychoanalysis, and the nature of influence, musical
and otherwise.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Lynn Sloan, PRINCIPLES OF NAVIGATION

Join us for the BOOK LAUNCH PARTY celebrating Principles of Navigation by Lynn Sloan!

In a small town in Indiana, on the cusp of the new millennium, local reporter Alice Becotte wants a baby, which she believe will complete her family. But Alice’s husband Rolly, a talented sculptor, harbors ambitions that draw him away from a steady teaching gig and unravel the couple’s moorings. Principles of Navigation explores Alice and Rolly’s journey through loss, infidelity and heartbreak. Lynn Sloan is a writer, photographer, and a long time resident of Chicago. She grew up as an Air Force brat, graduated from Northwestern University, earned a master’s degree in photography at The Institute of Design, formerly the New Bauhaus, and taught photography at Columbia College Chicago. Her fine art photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her stories have appeared in numerous journals, including American Literary Review, The Literary Review, Nimrod, and Sou’wester, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Principles of Navigation is her first novel.

Event date: 
Friday, February 27, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Author Reading: Noah Berlatsky, WONDER WOMAN: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948

William Marston was an unusual man—a psychologist, a pulp novelist, and the (self-declared) inventor of the lie detector. He was also the creator of Wonder Woman, the comic that he used to express two of his greatest passions: feminism and women in bondage. Comics expert Noah Berlatsky takes us on a wild ride through the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, vividly illustrating how Marston’s many quirks and contradictions, paired with Harry Peter’s illustrations, produced a comic that was radically ahead of its time in terms of its depictions of female power and sexuality. Himself a committed polyamorist, Marston created a universe that was friendly to queer sexualities and lifestyles. Berlatsky’s analysis reveals a Wonder Woman far different from the feminist symbol many of us recall from television. Noah Berlatsky is the editor of the comics
and culture blog The Hooded Utilitarian. He has written on gender, comics, and culture for many publications, including Slate, Public Books, The Chicago Reader, Reason, The Comics Journal, The Baffler, and The Atlantic.

Event date: 
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

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