Monday, August 1, 2011

Jesse Ball and Oliver Pötzsch at Boswell This Week.

Hey, we've got two interesting events this week.  That's double last week.  Autumn is coming!

Tuesday, August 2 brings Jesse Ball, author of three incredible novels that have been feted both in and out of Boswell. Both Carl and Shane have been talking up The Curfew, and with great reason. As Jessa Crispin notes in her NPR review, William is an epitaphorist, distilling someone's life essence into a gravestone. In the dystopian world he lives in, that's at least a full-time job. The story is also told through 8-year-old Molly (akin to Room, at least in this) and uses negative space to tell the story, as Ellen Wernecke notes in the AV Club write up. Alan Cheuse in the Chicago Tribune notes that Ball follows in the footsteps of the famous modernists, using language to tell a story in a new way.  And The New Yorker has been touting The Curfew as one of the best novels of summer--I can't remember how to link to it so you just have to trust me.

Mr. Ball has an opening reader, Milwaukee's own David Yost, a PhD grad student in creative writing who has recently had a story published in The Southern Review.  We're excited about that, and just as excited that we were able to get Ball's publisher to arrange for him to come up from Chicago.  It sounds easy, but it isn't always!  Let's do them both proud.

Then on Thursday, August 4, 7 pm, we're hosting Oliver Pötzsch, author of The Hangman's Daughter.  You just have to imagine a regular mystery, only the detective is a hangman in Bavaria in the 1600's, and the crime in question is witchcraft.  This novel was originally published as an ebook and is part of a deal that Mariner has to take the best selling titles and republish them as traditional trade paperbacks. It's not our last event of this sort--we'll be hosting Milwaukee's own Karen McQuestion on Thursday, September 8, 7 pm.

But McQuestion won't be reading in both English and German.  That's been my event hook on this, having had a wonderful experience with Paolo Giordano reading in Italian. I've spent the last few weeks outreaching to varoius German cultural groups around the area.  Let's hope that with Germanfest just last week, their appetite is whetted for a little more German culture.

It's hard to find traditional reviews because of the book's ebook origins.  There are lots of blogs with short reviews, offering to lend out their ebook strangers. And no, I wasn't able to find a source for copies of the book in German.

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