In-Person: CONCH PEARL by Julie Justicz

Please join for an in-person event welcoming Julie Justicz to celebrate the release of Conch Pearl! For this event, Julie will be joined in conversation with Abby Geni. 

Update: This event has moved to the Swedish American Museum (5211 N Clark Street), 1 block south of the bookstore, to allow a greater capacity.

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required. By pre-registering, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and will wear a mask throughout the entirety of the event.


Conch Pearl weaves a cross-cultural narrative that reveals the damages wrought by colonialism and explores the healing power of art. Dede, a lonely twelve-year-old English expat, seeks friendship from various island residents. An American grifter provides Dede with companionship but demands something far more costly in return. When Dede impetuously flees Grand Bahama Island on a sailboat during a summer storm and washes up on a tiny cay, she is forced to confront realities she's tried to forget, and to make decisions that will change the course of several lives. In Conch Pearl innocence battles traumatic shame, and truth finally finds expression in the tongue of the ocean.

Born and raised in England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. As an attorney and advocate, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, Mary.

Abby Geni is the author of The Wildlands, The Lightkeepers, The Last Animal, and a forthcoming short story collection, The Body Farm, which will be published in the spring of 2024. Her books have been translated into seven languages and have won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Chicago Review of Books Awards, among other honors. Her short stories have won first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest and have been published in numerous journals, including ‚ÄčThe Missouri Review, Epoch, Ninth Letter, and New Stories from the Midwest. Geni is a faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago and frequently serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the Swedish American Museum on the first floor, which is a wheelchair accessible space. Masks are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request ASL interpretation for this event, please email by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email

Event date: 
Friday, October 20, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Swedish American Museum
5211 N Clark Street
Conch Pearl By Julie E. Justicz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781959984115
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: Fomite - October 10th, 2023