Monday, May 16, 2011

What's Going on This Week? Milwaukee-set novels, Sports Stories, Nature Principles, Fiction from Writing Teachers, and Food For One.

Five days, five events!  Hope you find something for you. At Boswell except as noted (Wednesday). 

Monday, May 16, 7 pm
Terry Gavin, author of When Men are Young, and Shaving Without a Razor. It's not easy to promote small-press fiction, even for local authors, but Terry Gavin did a great job getting the word out for Shaving Without a Razor.  Now his second novel, When Men are Young, is out. This week he received the Book Preview from the Shepherd Express. From Jenni Herrick's column:

"A trio of close-knit confidants—Kevin, Zach and Mike—spent their lives growing up together in Milwaukee. On the day of their college graduation, their futures should seem promising and bright. Tragically, it is on this day that these three friends must confront a crisis so unexpected and catastrophic that it forever tears apart their friendship."

Lots of local color here, which is always fun.  And read the rest of the Shepherd Express column here. And Gavin is also an actor, having appeared in a number of productions around town, and has recently completed a feature film which will be released this fall.  More on his website.

Tuesday, May 17, 7 pm
Dale Hofmann and Cliff Cristl, authors of 365: Best Wisconsin Sports Stories. 365 came out just before Christmas, but it seemed that in scheduling an event with the authors, it was best to wait for Father's Day season. We actually met Hofmann when he came for an event with son-in-law Peter Geye, author of Boswell favorite, Safe from the Sea

To paraphrase from our event site, which paraphrases from somewhere else, Dale Hofmann has covered every major sport as a columnist for the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from the Super Bowl to the World Series to the Olympics. A member of the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame, he has won numerous state, local and national writing awards. A Northwestern University graduate, he has co-authored two other books, Sportsbiz and Green and Golden Moments: Bob Harlan and the Green Bay Packers.

Co-author Cliff Christl (not appearing at the event) has been named Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year five times by The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and he has, twice, placed in the top ten in the national Associated Press Sports Editors contest in the enterprise writing category. Born in Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh graduate spent 12 years covering the Green Bay Packers in the 1970s and 1980s. He is the co-author of two other books, Sleepers, Busts and Franchise Makers: The Story of the Pro Football Draft, and Bicycling Wisconsin.

Come here both authors talk about the best moments in Wisconsin sports.  Or play stump the sportswriter, and ask them a difficult question without letting them look at their smart phone. It's up to you.

Wednesday, May 18, 7 pm, at the Urban Ecology Center, $5 tickets at (414) 964-8505.
Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods.
When we first contacted the Urban Ecology Center about hosting Richard Louv for The Nature Principle, Jamie told me that their mission was heavily influenced by his seminal Last Child in the Woods.  So they were very excited about the partnership.  Louv's new book, The Nature Principle, makes the case for a nature-based existence.

And Louv takes inspiration from the Urban Ecology Center too. Here's an excerpt from one of his essays:

"Not long after the first publication of Last Child in the Woods in 2005, I found myself wandering down a path toward the Milwaukee River, where it runs through urban Riverside Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At first glance, nothing seemed unusual about the young people I encountered. A group of inner-city high school students, they dressed in standard hip-hop fashion. I expected to see in their eyes the cynicism so fashionable now in urban, suburban, and even rural communities, the jaded look of what D. H. Lawrence long ago called the "know-it-all state of mind." But not today.

"As they cast their fishing lines from the muddy bank, they laughed with pleasure, delighted by the lazy brown river and the landscape of the surrounding park. Ducking a few backcasts, I walked through the woods to the two-story Urban Ecology Center, made of lumber and other material recycled from abandoned buildings." Read the rest of the essay here.

Thursday, May 19, 7 pm
Cris Mazza, author of Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, reading with Elise Blackwell, author of An Unfinished Score.
We've hosted a number of literary writers in groups over the past year, but when Gina Frangello put together a veritable vanload of writers from Chicago last fall, there was one problem. It turned out that Cris Mazza's collection was not out yet. We wisely decided to reschedule her appearance until the book was available.

In Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, Hester, a struggling journalist, confonts the unjustice of a prositution ring, as she also confronts the failings of her former mentor.  She's been reading around Chicago, including with Lidia Yuknavitch, the author of The Chronicle of Water, a memoir praised by Chuck Palahniuk recently in this blog. Mazza is the author of more than sixteen books, including Trickle-Down Timeline and Homeland.

Melanie Page reviews the book on Dzanc Books' online journal, The Collagist. "Mazza carefully complicates black and white concepts that ask women to stand by their physical boundaries; Hester is helped by the machismo, and so readers are forced to ask what right we have to deny such women happiness." Mazza teaches writing at the University of Illinois Chicago. Read the rest of the review here.

Also on the bill on Thursday is Elise Blackwell, author of several novels, most recently An Unfinished Score, the story of a composer who discovers that her lover has died in a plane crash. Blackwell, who teaches writing at the University of South Carolina, has written her newest novel in the form of a concerto.  From the Mostly Fiction online journal comes an excerpt from this review by Terez Rose:

"The story’s climax is well-paced and satisfying, casting new light on all that came before it, deepening each character, enriching the story as a whole. A coda neatly clears up loose bits and leaves us with one final image of music and the redemptive power it offers to those who serve it." More of the review here.

Friday, May 20, 7 pm
Joe Yonan, author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One. The acclaimed editor of the Washington Post food section (recent winner of the James Beard award for his editing work) presents a new book of recipes tailored for single diners. You want paella for one? Yes, it's possible.

Here's an excerpt of an interview that Yonan had with Kelly DiNardo, of the Washington Independent Review of Books, who asked Yonan about the inspiration for this work.

"I had been writing the monthly 'Cooking for One' column for The Washington Post food section for a couple of years and was surprised that even though the fastest-growing household size in the country is single-person, and has been for many years, there were only a few other books on the topic. Ultimately, though, it was a Facebook comment that really did it. Someone posted in response to something I wrote on using up leftover wine that all my problems would be solved if I just got myself a relationship because, obviously, 'the pleasures of the table are best shared.' That naiveté about the lives of single people is what really motivated me. I want single folks to realize that they don’t have to resort to takeout all the time, or processed food, but that they can follow their own cravings and have fun doing so."

Read more from DiNardo and Yonan here.  And after that, I leave for BookExpo and I promised I wouldn't book more than a couple of events for Stacie to host.  I kept my promise, pretty much.

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