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Author Reading

Amy Gail Hansen

The Butterfly Sister

 

When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, 22-year-old Ruby Rousseau is plunged into the past and a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase may be the only clue to her whereabouts. Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. As Ruby digs into Beth's past, she has no choice but to confront her own, especially her final days at college--including her relationship with the married professor who broke her heart and seeing the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hands, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle. But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free . . . or send her over the edge of sanity? Amy Gail Hansen spent her early childhood near New Orleans. A former English teacher, she works as a freelance writer and journalist in suburban Chicago, where she lives with her husband and three children.

 

"That rare thing, a dark mystery that also works on your heart. . . . a beguiling, terrifying story and Amy Gail Hansen a true find." --Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times-bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

Event date: 
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Monique Brinson Demery

Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam's Madame Nhu

A "beautiful but diabolic sex dictatress," Madame Nhu, aka "the Dragon Lady," was a lightning rod for America's toxic involvement in Vietnam. Monique Demery's book reveals the woman behind all the epithets, claims, and counterclaims—a woman who had been living in exile and seclusion for thirty years. Demery's initial interviews with Madame Nhu in 2005 were the first that she had given to any Westerner in nearly twenty years. Demery reveals the reality behind the myth, giving us a deeper look at the woman who was feared and 

despised by so much of the world. Monique Demery took her first trip to Vietnam in 1997. She was the recipient of a U.S. Department of Education grant to attend the Vietnamese Advanced Summer Institute in Hanoi, and in 2003, she received a masters degree in East Asia Regional Studies from Harvard University. She lives in Chicago.

Event date: 
Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 4:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Marya Hornbacher and Northwestern University Student Reading Night

After a semester of intense study and development as writers of creative nonfiction, the graduate students from Northwestern University's Creative Writing Program invite you to join them for a night of essays and true tales. Marya Hornbacher, bestselling author of five books (including Wasted, Madness, and Waiting), hosts a night of collected readings with her students. These new voices are incisive and far-reaching, and this evening will present nonfiction on subjects ranging from motherhood to the criminal mind, exile in suburbia and home in Rwanda, pants, grandmothers, bourbon, ghosts, and more. Join us for an exciting reading of new writers now breaking into the literary world.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Eric Carle Party

Join Miss Mack for a celebration of beloved children's author and illustrator Eric Carle and his many memorable creatures.

Event date: 
Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 4:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Adam McOmber

Jane Silverlake is a lonely young woman with a strange gift: she can hear the souls of inanimate objects. The frightening sounds from her father's crumbling estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath plague her, but she finds solace in the silence of the natural world and is happiest when exploring the heath with her friends Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by jealousy and by Nathan's interest in a cult led by a charismatic mystic. When Nathan disappears, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent and use it to find Nathan before it's too late. Adam McOmber teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and is the associate editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika. Stories from his collection This New and Poisonous Air have been shortlisted for Best American Fantasy and nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in 2012.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Mary Gray Kaye

A Winged Thing, and Holy

Book launch party

 

A Winged Thing, and Holy is a story of lopsided love, betrayal, and restoration. A young woman strives to leave her dead-end career and be recognized as a poet, but she is seduced by a male poet well established in that elite world she dreams of becoming a part of. His ultimate treachery leads to a court case. Her work has appeared in literary magazines, newspapers, special interest magazines, and e-zines. She participates in Chicago's Neighborhood Writing Alliance and other Chicago writing communities. She attended Ragdale Writers Retreat in Lake Forest, Illinois, and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Refreshments will be served.

Event date: 
Friday, August 16, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Thelma T. Reyna, Jennifer Dotson, and Lucia Blinn

Thelma T. Reyna's books include The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories and the poetry collections Breath & Bone and Hearts in Common. Her stories, poems, essays, and other nonfiction have appeared in journals and anthologies for more than 30 years. Dr. Reyna writes the blogs American Latina/o Writers Today as well as The Literary Self. She is also a guest blogger on Powerful Latinas and guest book reviewer for Latinopia.

 

Jennifer Dotson is the founder and program coordinator of Highland Park Poetry and teaches creative writing for Township District 113's Continuing Education program. Her poetry has been published in After Hours, J.O.M.P., HerMark 2005, and the anthology A Midnight Snack. Her poetry collection Clever Gretel received the first Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award.

 

Poet Lucia Blinn divides her time between Chicago and Sarasota, Florida. Savvy, witty, and wry, her poems range in topic from old loves to current challenges. Blinn is the author of two earlier books of poetry, Passing for Normal and Navigating the Night. Her new collection is We Called It "The Country." 

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Rebecca Dudley

Hank Finds an Egg

 

While walking through the woods, Hank finds an egg on the forest floor. Spotting its home high up in a tree, Hank diligently tries to return the egg to its nest but is unable to. After keeping the egg warm overnight, he returns to the scene the next morning and meets another forest creature. Together will they find a way to see the egg safely home? Artist Rebecca Dudley crafts each tiny leaf, flower, and creature in Hank's forest in breathtaking detail, bringing the miniature woods to life. In this charming tale, told without words, Hank's endearing and genuine kindness will inspire readers young and old alike to believe in themselves and the goodness of others. 

Event date: 
Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Tara Ison

Rockaway   

 

Sarah retreats to Rockaway, an eccentric, eclectic beach town in the far reaches of Queens in hopes of escaping her static life of taking care of her elderly parents and working at an art supply store to rediscover her passion for painting. She has one summer and a room near the beach filled with empty canvasses. While struggling to create some new work, she meets Marty, an older musician. His dedication to his music and his strict adherence to his Jewish faith influence Sarah and her work and provoke unexpected feelings in her. Set in a New York poised on the brink of 9/11, not to mention the later devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, this novel is a love letter to a quirky, singular town. Tara Ison is the author of A Child out of Alcatraz. Her short fiction, essays, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in Tin House, The Rumpus, TriQuarterly, and many others. She is also the co-writer of the cult hit movie Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Event date: 
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Vicki Matthews

The Goddess LettersChicago economics professor Rob Harris has it good: dream job, devoted wife, adorable daughter. Selena Richards has it even better: she's a wildly popular Hollywood actress with awards and men galore. Yet each has a dark secret that only the other one knows. Since college, Selena has had alarming dreams encouraging her to help women create a radically different future for our world. Rob, her old college boyfriend, is the only person Selena's ever told about these dreams. But Rob and Selena's secret takes a frightening turn when the women in her dreams begin populating her waking life. As Rob fights to keep himself and Selena alive, he begins to accept that the greatest hope for our world may actually rest with the forgotten wisdom from our past. The Goddess Letters is a story of love and faith and one man's unfolding relationship with both. Dr. Vicki Matthews is a naturopathic physician who lives in the Chicago area. She is a passionate advocate of integrated health in both her teaching and her private practice and has appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show twice to share aspects of this message.

Event date: 
Friday, July 19, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Sappho's Salon

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian DiversionsPresents JD Glass$7-$10 admission includes food and wineFor the latest installment of our popular monthly salon night for lesbians and their friends, Sappho’s Salon presents author and musician JD Glass. Stonewall Award and Lambda Literary Award finalist JD Glass is the author of the acclaimed novels Punk Like Me, Punk and Zen, Red Light, and American Goth, among others. She was formerly the singer and guitarist for the group Life Underwater and is currently performing solo work. For tonight’s event, Glass will read from her work and also perform music. All proceeds benefit the artist and the Women’s Voices Fund.

Event date: 
Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Lisa Lutz

The Last WordIf you love the Spellman series, don't miss Lisa Lutz's return visit to Women & Children First! The Last Word is the sixth book in the beloved comic detective series. Within months of assuming control of the family business, Spellman Investigations, Izzy is accused of embezzling from a former client, the ridiculously wealthy Mr. Slayter, who happens to have Alzheimer’s, which Izzy and he are diligently trying to keep under wraps. Not only is Slayter’s business and reputation on the line, but if Izzy gets indicted for embezzlement, she’ll lose everything. Is this the end of Izzy Spellman, PI? The answer makes The Last Word, hands down, the most thrilling book in this bestselling, award-nominated series. Lisa Lutz lives and works in upstate New York.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Kate Christensen

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites Novelist Christensen (The Astral, The Great Man) has written a food memoir reviewers are already comparing to the work of M.F.K. Fisher, Ruth Reichl, and Laurie Colwin. The narrative is grounded in Kate's everyday life now (just like her popular foodcentric blog (http://katechristensen.wordpress.com), and from there she looks backward to unearth memories, often painful and deep, of times in her life when--lonely, sad, and scared--food saved her. She explores how food becomes embedded in memory. For her, food is the most important part of any experience, the nucleus of her most poignant or important memories.  “I’ve often thought that eating, writing, and living well required similar qualities: creativity, daring, the ability to savor the good stuff and learn from the bad. Blue Plate Special is the memoir of an utterly original thinker, a free-spirited gourmand, and a great American writer. It’s an expert guide on inspiration, ingenuity, heartbreak, buoyancy, home, love, family, screwing up, bouncing back, and perfecting the bacon-cheddar biscuit.”— Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Janet Stickmon and Laura Kina

Janet StickmonMidnight Peaches, Two O'Clock PatienceLaura Kina

War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

 Midnight Peaches, Two O'Clock Patience is a collection of essays, poems, and short stories on all aspects of womanhood. This collection disrupts the border separating public and private, human existence and the spirit realm, exposing the beauty of what has been named dirty, shameful, and repulsive. Stickmon reminds us that patience and a listening ear can inspire a woman's creative power to overflow without warning. Janet Stickmon is a professor of humanities at Napa Valley College and founder of Broken Shackle Developmental Training. War Baby / Love Child examines hybrid Asian-American identity through a collection of essays, artworks, and interviews at the intersection of critical mixed race studies and contemporary art. The book pairs artwork and interviews with 19 mixed race/mixed heritage Asian-American artists with scholarly essays. As an increasingly ethnically ambiguous Asian-American generation is coming of age in an era of "optional identity," this collection brings together first-person perspectives and a wider scholarly context to shed light on changing Asian-American cultures. Laura Kina is associate professor of art, media, and design at DePaul University and the coeditor of War Baby/Love Child.

Event date: 
Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 4:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Sarah Bruni

The Night Gwen Stacy DiedThis debut novel, partly set in Chicago, is a funny, sexy, offbeat love story about the adventures and mutual rescue of a young woman out of place in her hometown and a mysterious stranger who calls himself Peter Parker (and begins to cast her in the role of Spider-Man’s first sweetheart). The Night Gwen Stacy Died is about first loss, first love, and finding our real identities. Sarah Bruni grew up in and around Chicago and has a BA in English Literature from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently lives in Brooklyn.  "Sarah Bruni’s fiercely smart and delectably unpredictable first novel delivers again and again that most sought-after shiver up the spine, the chill that comes when you realize the world you thought you knew and understood is newer and stranger than you ever dared imagine. The Night Gwen Stacy Died is a genuine page-turner." —Kathryn Davis, The Thin Place

Event date: 
Friday, July 12, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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