Monday, June 11, 2012

What's Going on at Boswell This Week? Scalzi, Hagy, the Type Rider, Rosenblum.

Monday, June 11, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Scalzi, author of Redshirts.
My pitch to customers on Redshirts is two-fold. First of all, Scalzi is an amazing sf author, starting with Old Man's War, and continuing through, well, every book he's written. He's the toastmaster for this September's Worldcon conferance, and well, if you like speculative fiction at all, I can promise an entertaining event from a major player in the genre.

Secondly, Redshirts is a book for a true Trekkie, and I know there are plenty of you out there. Playing off the idea that wearing the red shirt pretty much dooms a player in most episodes of the classic Star Trek. All I can think of is trying to get Leonard and Sheldon interested in the book to recommend it, only to realize that they are also simply characters on a TV show. But Jason and Mel, both Boswellians who read and loved the new book, would argue that this is hardly a cheap derivation. But it does remind me of modern television, in that multiple reads open up more discoveries.

More from Mel on Redshirts: "Just when you think you’ve got a handle on what this book is about, Scalzi throws another curveball. Some readers might not like how smart alecky the characters are, or the three codas at the book’s end, or the seriously meta moments throughout. But I loved all of these aspects. Best of all is the social critique and satire in the subtext. Since it begins in the first sentence of the prologue, it's not difficult to miss. Just like a great TV show, even when we know what happens, Redshirts rewards multiple readings."

Tuesday, June 12, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto, featuring Laurel Landis as opener.

We are very excited about hosting Hagy, but we're worried that as she's not a household name, we might not get as many folks as she deserves. We're going to try to give you some more reasons to come.

a. Stacie's been plugging this book since she first read the manuscript. Alright, it's a little weird that they even use it on the Amazon page. But I've pulled this from the Indie Next picks.

"Boleto is about the dusty and soulful making of a young horse whisperer; it has the warmth of smooth, copper-colored whisky running through every page, bound and determined to get you drunk with its beauty and precision. Hagy's signature no-nonsense, spit-and-polish writing style pulls no punches in delivering a quiet, lingering novel that will open more space inside you than the expanse of a spring Wyoming sky." Stacie M. Williams

b. Another big fan of the book is Larry Watson:

 "To produce a novel as stirring and austerely beautiful as Boleto, a writer must be fluent in the languages of horses, of men, and of the American West. Alyson Hagy has command of all three, and she uses them to masterful effect in these pages."

c. And Stacie also convinced me to try it with great results. Here's my blog post about horses, Wyoming, and the distinct style of Western writers. And I also recommended Boleto on the NPR bookseller summer reads book feed.

d. And Laurel Landis! Here's a bit more about her from the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.

e. If we had hosted Hagy with Alexandra Fuller, author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, we could have called this event "Wild Wyoming Women." But Fuller is coming to Boswell Tuesday, July 10. Mark your calendars.

Wednesday, June 13, 5 pm type in, 7 pm talk, at Boswell, co-sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio:
Maya Stein, presenting the Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem.
Allow me to quote liberally from Stein's website.

"My name is Maya Stein and on May 5, 2012, on the day I turned 40, I set out by bicycle from Amherst, Massachusetts to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, toting a typewriter behind me. I am riding for 40 days and more than 1,300 miles with my Remington Ten Forty and a folding table and chair. Along the way, I'm stopping in communities, setting up a mobile typing booth, and inviting people to contribute their words to a growing, collaborative piece of writing."

Stein will be having a type-in from 5-7 pm at Boswell, and will be speaking at 7. Can't make out event? She'll also be at Discovery World from 2-4 pm.

"Why Milwaukee? It happens to be the birthplace of the typewriter."

"Why I am doing this on a bicycle? I love the idea of slowing down enough to really see where I am, to go at a pace that allows for a deeper engagement with my environment. It also feels important to make the experience of participating as accessible as possible to others, and by riding my bicycle I believe there’ll be natural, spontaneous, and rewarding connections that will open the project to a wonderfully diverse collection of writing that’s created at the typing booth."

"Why 40?
Because reaching a milestone like this--or any kind of milestone for that matter--offers up an invitation to stretch into new territory and at the same time to engage more deeply in the work that we love, and to celebrate the passage of time with a positive, physical, creative, and invigorating journey."

Here's a feature by Jesse Garza in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the journey.

Thursday, June 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Sarah Terez Rosenblum, author of the first novel, Herself When She's Missing, published by Soft Skull Press.  I don't always list the publisher on these roundups, but I think Soft Skull gives everyone a handle on the book's vibe.

Rosenblum earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun Times and several literary magazines. Winner of a 2011 Carve Magazine Esoteric Fiction Award, Rosenblum teaches creative writing at Chicago’s StoryStudio.

Herself When She’s Missing is post-modern in form (lists, 3x5 cards, even the occasional screenplay), telling the story of how the folk band Cry Wolf saved 20-something teacher Andrea's life, or at least that's how she likes to tell it.

I'll sign off with Rosenblum's trailer. Hope to see you at one of this week's events.

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