Author Reading

Staceyann Chin

Friday, March 12

7:30 p.m.

Staceyann Chin

The Other Side of Paradise            We are thrilled to once again be hosting the electrifying spoken word artist Staceyann Chin, this time to celebrate the paperback release of her searing and groundbreaking memoir, The Other Side of Paradise. Following a tradition of fierce Caribbean lesbian writers that includes Audre Lorde and Michelle Cliff, Chin’s narrative charts her course from the heartbreak and tragedy of her Jamaican childhood, to her thriving adult like in New York City. Dorothy Allison raves, “[Chin] shows me a culture I knew far too little about – the everyday life of young people in Jamaica and the threat of violence over anyone who might be too independent or queer or outrageous. How wonderful that this outrageous, talented, determined woman has given us her story.”

Event date: 
Friday, March 12, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Neena B. Schwartz

Sunday, March 7

4:30 p.m.

Neena B. Schwartz

A Lab of My Own

            What was it like to be a woman scientist battling the “old boys’ network” during the 1960s and ‘70s? In her new memoir, Neena Schwartz, a prominent neuroendocrinologist based at Northwestern University, tells all. Mixing details and anecdotes from her personal life as an out lesbian, with the socio-political history of American women in science in the later 20th century, Schwartz makes a case for mentoring young women in science, and why it matters that women both do and teach scientific study.   

Event date: 
Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Nancy Stohlman

Friday, March 5

7:30 p.m.

Nancy Stohlman

Searching for Suzi

            When Suzi, a thirty-something ex-stripper now married with kids, begins to question how she arrived at this point in her life, her search for herself means accepting her sexuality in all its contradictions and claiming herself. Denver-based writer Stohlman, who is founder and co-editor of the annual flash fiction collection, Fast Forward, reveals Suzi’s story in a novel-in-flashes.

Event date: 
Friday, March 5, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Goldie Goldbloom

4:30pm
Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders
 

Join us for the American release of Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders (published in Australia as The Paperbark Shoe), the award-winning novel by our favorite Australia-Chicago transplant, Goldie Goldbloom. In Toads' Museum, Gin, an albino, marries to escape the confines of an asylum while Toad, a little man who wears corsets, marries to prove his manhood. Together they are feared and ridiculed in the remote farming community where they live, until the arrival of two Italian POWs brings music, sensuality and a love that fans the flames of small town bigotry.

Event date: 
Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sappho’s Salon

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Ifa Bumi, Barrie Cole and DJ SpinNikki

 

$7-$10 sliding admission includes food and wine

 

This month’s installment of our popular salon night for lesbians and their friends features the performance work of two outstanding queer artists. Barrie Cole, deemed “Chicago’s Champion of Lyrical Oddness” by the Chicago Reader, has had her plays, monologues, and collaborative performances staged throughout Chicago and elsewhere. Atlanta-based lesbian erotic writer, performance poet and musician Ifa Bumi is author of the collection Liquid Toffee, and the spoken word CD, Museotry. She’ll be joined by a collaborative dancer. As always, DJ SpinNikki will play us in and out of sets.

All proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

 

Event date: 
Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Robyn Okrant

Robyn Okrant

 

Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk

 

On January 1, 2008, Robyn Okrant, a 35-year-old Chicagoan, embarked on a unique one-year mission: to live every aspect of her life as Oprah Winfrey directed. From creating vision boards, practicing guided meditation, and participating in the Best Life Challenge; to learning to live with cellulite, de-cluttering her home, and buying “necessities” such as leopard flats and a fire pit, Okrant followed every piece of advice offered through The Oprah Winfrey Show, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Oprah.com. Her blog tracking the project attracted more than half a million visitors; now she’s compiled the experience in this funny, captivating and provocative memoir.

 

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

Kevin and Hanna Salwen

Kevin and Hanna Salwen

 

The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back

Co-sponsored by The Hunger Project

 

The Salwens were a typical family caught up in pursuing the American Dream – providing a good life for their children, accumulating more and more stuff, doing their part, but not really feeling it, until 14-year old Hannah Salwen spotted a homeless man alongside a glistening Mercedes.  Her subsequent epiphany inspired the Salwens to sell their spacious Atlanta home and donate half of the proceeds to a worthy charity. In the process, they hoped to make the world better in some small way, never expecting how much they would gain from the experience. This event is co-sponsored by The Hunger Project, a global non-profit committed to the sustainable end to world hunger.           

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sarah Blake

Sarah Blake

 

The Postmistress

 

Two women, an American postmistress in Franklin, Massachusetts, and a British radio journalist, are entrusted to deliver information to the newlywed wife of an American doctor in London at the dawn of WWII.  For different reasons both decide not to do so, each betraying her solemn commitment to deliver news. A new novel with extraordinary relevance to the way we live now, that is less a war novel than an examination of how people cope with the knowledge of unspeakable inhumanity in the world as they go about their daily lives. Booklist, in a starred review, predicted that “Blake’s emotional saga of conscience and genocide is poised to become a bestseller of the highest echelon.”

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

Princess Zindaba Nyirenda

Princess Zindaba Nyirenda

 

Ta-Lakata: The Tears of Africa

 

Granddaughter of the Tumbaka tribe chief Mphamba of Lundazi in Zambia, Princess Zindaba “Zindie” Nyirenda was raised in an elite and privileged environment during Zambia’s economic boom years. As a young woman, Zindie relocated to the United States, and then watched in horror as life in her homeland rapidly disintegrated under economic devastation and the influx of AIDS/HIV. Unwilling to sit on the sidelines, Zindie founded a non-profit organization to equip and empower local leaders in remote areas and neglected villages of Africa. Today Princess Zindie is a graduate student at Roosevelt University and was keynote speaker at the 2007 World AIDS Day conference in Illinois.

 

Event date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Jaimee Wriston Colbert

Jaimee Wriston Colbert

 

Shark Girls          

In her new novel, Colbert (Dream Lives of Butterflies, Climbing the God Tree) explores the intersections of loss and desire in a world ruled by accidents of fate. Set in Hawaii and Maine, Shark Girls is narrated by two women unwittingly linked by a shark bite disaster: Scat, a recovering alcoholic and disaster photographer and Gracie, a victim of a disfiguring accident. Interspersed with shark lore, Shark Girls has been praised by Bobbie Ann Mason as a novel of “lively detail, bold characterization, and a compelling plot,” and by Madison Smartt Bell as “a mesmerizing novel, vibrant with eroticism, myth, and mystery.”

Event date: 
Friday, February 5, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Louise Cainkar

Louise Cainkar

Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11

In Homeland Insecurity, Marquette University professor Cainkar argues that 9/11 did not create anti-Arab or anti-Muslim suspicion, but rather that socially constructed images and social and political exclusion existed long before these attacks, creating an environment in which post 9/11 misunderstanding, hostility, and racial profiling could thrive. Focusing on the Chicago Metropolitan area, Cainkar bases her research on of interviews and in-depth oral histories with native-born and immigrant Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Yemenis, Sudanese, Jordanians, and others.

Event date: 
Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Margaret Hawkins

Margaret Hawkins

A Year of Cats and Dogs

 In this dark, yet hopeful, unique and wholly original debut novel, Chicago writer Hawkins combines humor with desperation, the “real world” with the I-Ching, the conventions of fiction with food writing, lists, good and bad poetry, and the protagonist’s surprising discovery that she can communicate with animals, to tell a story of lost love, new love, and midlife re-invention unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Hawkins writes for ARTnews, and her work has appeared on WBEZ and in the Chicago Sun-Times. She teaches writing at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney

For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs

 

In her acclaimed new collection about the life of twenty-somethings in the twenty-first century, Chicago author Rooney (Live Nude Girl, Reading with Oprah), writes with finesse and fresh insight, revealing a young woman trying to find her place in an America that rarely manages to live up to Walt Whitman’s dream and making discoveries about life at every turn.

Event date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Janice Metzger

What Would Jane Say? City-Building Women and a Tale of Two Chicagos

In celebration of Jane Addams' Day, we are delighted to present local author  Metzger, discussing her provocative new book. In 1909, while Daniel Burnham and his allies developed the Plan for Chicago-with personal and business interests in mind-Jane Addams and her female contemporaries were engaged in city building of a different sort, City Livable ideas that addressed social, economic, and cultural needs. One hundred years later, Metzger employs painstaking research, historical detail, and a pinch of imagination to explore how the city might have been different if Addams had had her way and what she might have thought about where we are now.

Event date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

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