Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Events This Week--One from Far Away (Sweden) and the Other From Next Door (Because He Used to Live in the Area)

Two events this week. Details below. I've been kept busy all weekend. This morning we put up a temporary display on our art wall to replace Aries's beautiful paper art sculpture. Next week students from Maryland Avenue Montessori will fill the wall, but for now, we're talking up our afternoon event with Michael J. Lisicky, author of Gimbels Has it!  He's doing another talk on the book at the Milwaukee County Historical Society at 12 Noon (I think) so our event at 3 is more about holiday store traditions. Alas, my battery on my camera gave out, and my phone does not seem to be sending photos to my email. It reminds me how simple the technology is on a printed book!

Tuesday, November 22, 7 pm, at the Samson Jewish Community Center, 6255 North Santa Monica Boulevard, co-sponsored by the Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center: Steve Sem-Sandberg, author of The Emperor of Lies. This event is free and open to the public.

Winner of the August Prize*, Sweden’s most important literary prize, and translated by Sarah Death, The Emperor of Lies tells the story of the second-largest Jewish ghetto, in the Polish city of Łódź . Established by the Nazis in 1940, they appointed as its leader, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, a sixty-three-year-old Jewish businessman and orphanage director, whose authoritarian rule over the ghetto defined its existence. Driven by a titanic ambition, he sought to transform the ghetto into a productive industrial complex and strove to make it—and himself—indispensable to the Nazi regime. These compromises would have extraordinary consequences not only for Rumkowski but for everyone living in the ghetto.

Here's a quote from Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, the 2009 winner of the Man Booker Prize:
"This is fiction of moral force, brilliantly sustained and achieved...Fiction here is operatinig at its best, to close the gap between past and present, between them and us: not through sentiment, but through real understanding. This is a stunning achievement and one to be applauded."

And just one more quote, from Sebastian Barry, author of The Secret Scripture and On Canaan's Side:
"Sem-Sandberg has achieved something monumental, but with a strange and necessary lightness of tough. The Emperor of Lies is sobering scarifying, and in its hunger for the truth, enthralling."
Wednesday, November 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Mark Wisneiewski, author of Show Up, Look Good.

Set in NYC before and just after 9/11, Show Up, Look Good is a novel about a jilted woman whose move to Manhattan and relationship with an elderly, mute former New York Yankee help her accept her innocence in her mother's death and admit her complicity in a secret crime too disturbing to report.

Show Up, Look Good is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud romp of a novel, a picaresque spin through fin-de-siecle New York as seen through the eyes of its intrepid, Midwestern-born heroine. Love, loneliness, roommates from hell, hipsters, the mob, and murder all play starring roles in this delightful book, and Wisniewski does justice to them all.” —Ben Fountain, author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara.

Milwaukee native Mark Wisniewski is the author of the novel Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman, the story collection All Weekend with the Lights On, and a book of poems, One of Us One Night. His fiction has appeared in magazines such as Virginia Quarterly Review and the Antioch Review.

On Saturday, Mr. Wisniewski is presenting at All Writers' Workplace and Workshop in Waukesha.

And here's some more on the Gival Press website.

*If you want to read more about the Swedish Publishers Association, here's a link, in Swedish, no less.

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