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In-Person: THE DIVORCEES by Rowan Beaird

Join us in welcoming Rowan Beaird to celebrate the release The Divorcees! For this event, Rowan will be joined in conversation by Rebecca Makkai. 

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.

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

A "delicious" (Rebecca Makkai) and "deeply compelling" (Lauren Groff) debut novel set at a 1950s Reno "divorce ranch," about the complex friendship between two women who dare to imagine a different future

Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But as picture-perfect as her husband is, she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. In 1951, though, unhappiness is hardly grounds for divorce—except in Reno, Nevada.

At the Golden Yarrow, the most respectable of Reno’s famous “divorce ranches,” Lois finds herself living with half a dozen other would-be divorcees, all in Reno for the six weeks’ residency that is the state’s only divorce requirement. They spend their days riding horses and their nights flirting with cowboys, and it’s as wild and fun as Lake Forest, Illinois, is prim and stifling. But it isn’t until Greer Lang arrives that Lois’s world truly cracks open. Gorgeous, beguiling, and completely indifferent to societal convention, Greer is unlike anyone Lois has ever met—and she sees something in Lois that no one else ever has. Under her influence, Lois begins to push against the limits that have always restrained her. How far will she go to forge her independence, on her own terms?

Set in the glamorous, dizzying world of 1950s Reno, where housewives and movie stars rubbed shoulders at gin-soaked casinos, The Divorcees is a riveting page-turner and a dazzling exploration of female friendship, desire, and freedom.

Rowan Beaird is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in The Kenyon ReviewThe Southern Review, and The Common, among others. She is the recipient of the Ploughshares Emerging Writer Award, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and StoryStudio, and she currently works at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Divorcées is her debut novel.

Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels I Have Some Questions for YouThe Great BelieversThe Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Great Believers received an American Library Association Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors, and was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times. A 2022 Guggenheim fellow, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is the artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago. She lives on the campus of the midwestern boarding school where her husband teaches, and in Vermont.

This event will be co-sponsored by StoryStudio Chicago! StoryStudio Chicago is part of the Stories Matter Foundation, a 501c3 charitable non-profit whose mission is to build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story. StoryStudio teaches the art, craft, and business of writing in a positive, open, and encouraging setting where students can learn the craft as they discover their unique voices. Classes span from fiction to poetry to memoir to screenwriting, and are offered in a variety of formats from a single session to year long. Students – both adults and youth – range from absolute beginners to those with books already out in the world. The Stories Matter Foundation also includes the Chicago Stories Project (the community engagement arm of the organization), and the Chicago Review of Books. 

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, 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 events@womenandchildrenfirst.com by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email events@womenandchildrenfirst.com.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N Clark St
The Divorcées: A Novel By Rowan Beaird Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250896582
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: Flatiron Books - March 19th, 2024