Independent Bookstore Day, featuring live music from Freda Love Smith and an author conversation between Ana Castillo and Cyn Vargas

Indie Bookstore Day--a national celebration of indies--is back!

We'll have refreshments, exclusive IBD merch, and great deals all day! 

What's happening on Indie Bookstore Day at Women & Children First?

10 a.m. to Noon - Fresh coffee and donuts provided by the Coffee Studio! The first 10 customers to spend $100 or more, receive a Women & Children First mug!

12:30 - 2 p.m. Live Music and Free Food brought to you by Freda Love Smith! Freda, her husband, Jake Smith, and cellist Anna Steinhoff, will play a short set as The Mysteries of Life from 12:30-1:15. Afterwards, they'll hang out to chat and sign Freda's memoir, Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir with Recipes. Freda will also bring samples of "flexitarian" recipes from her book — mostly vegetarian, but able to be adapted for any meat-eaters in the family. Freda Love Smith is a lecturer in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. She is the cofounder of the bands the Blake Babies, Antenna, the Mysteries of Life, and writes a monthly column in Paste. She has published short stories in journals such as The North American Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Bound Off, and Riptide

4 p.m. - A not-to-be missed author conversation between Ana Castillo & Cyn Vargas. Ana and Cyn will be discussing Ana's new essay collection, Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me. This collection looks at what it means to be a single, brown, feminist parent in a world of mass incarceration, racial profiling, and police brutality. Through startling humor and love, Castillo weaves intergenerational stories traveling from Mexico City to Chicago. And in doing so, she narrates some of America's most heated political debates and urgent social injustices through the oft-neglected lens of motherhood and family.

Ana Castillo is one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Chicana literature. She is the author of So Far From God and Sapogonia, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year, as well as The Guardians, Peel My Love like an Onion, and many other books of fiction, poetry, and essays. She divides her time between Chicago and Albuquerque.

Cyn Vargas, the author of the story collection On the Way, holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago, and  is the recipient of a Ragdale Fellowship and the 2013 Guild Literary Complex Prose Award in Fiction. Cyn was named one of Guild's Literary Complex's 25 Writers to Watch in 2014 and  received two top citations in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers contests. She is a company member of the award-winning storytelling organization 2nd Story. Her work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine, Word Riot, Literary Orphans, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing workshops around Chicago and online, and can be found online at


Event date: 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 10:00am to 7:00pm
Event address: 
Staff Pick Badge
Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me By Ana Castillo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558619234
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: Feminist Press - May 10th, 2016

On the Way By Cyn Vargas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781940430478
Published: Curbside Splendor Publishing - April 21st, 2015

Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir, with Recipes By Freda Love Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781572841758
Published: Agate Midway - October 13th, 2015