Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday's Normal Upcoming Event Post is Now Tuesday--Kati Marton, John Koethe, Ruth Silver.

We have three events this week, and what’s nice about that is that all three have a good amount of buzz around the store. No duds!

I was able to get the email newsletter out yesterday. You can read it here.

So far our only major error was the name of the book that Anne’s mystery book club is reading. It’s Seeking Whom He May Devour. Also one reader noted that the placement of Emma Straub’s picture closer to Michael Ennis’s write up was a bit confusing. But that was more of a stylistic question than a gaffe. Each will get a full write up in the newsletter for the second half of the month’s events, which is currently scheduled to go out on September 13, if I make it through our four events on September 11 and 12.

Wednesday, September 5, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kati Marton, author of Paris: A Love Story.
co-sponsored by L’Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

Marton, a journalist whose written about everything from presidential couples (Hidden Power) to her family’s tumultuous journey to the United States (Enemies of the People) tells about her connection with the City of Light over the course of two marriages, to Peter Jennings and diplomat Richard Holbrooke. This is a rare opportunity to meet this illuminating personality, and best of all, it’s a free event.

Reviews have been mixed on the title, which I guess is going to happen when you tell your story, warts and all. I think Marton makes her point best in her USA Today interview. “There’s no point in writing a memoir if you’re not going to be honest.”

I think there are some celebrities out there who would beg to differ!

Here’s also more in the Washington Post review from NPR’s Ann Gerhart.

Friday, September 7, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Koethe, author of ROTC Kills.

We’ve already had my discourse on John Koethe and the new book, ROTC Kills, as well as linking to Jim Higgins’s profile in the Journal Sentinel. But I found this great interview online from Verse Wisconsin, who is sponsoring Koethe’s appearance in November at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison. Wendy Vardaman explores the intersection of poetry and philosophy in John Koethe’s work.

WV: Philosophy is a major source of themes, of ideas in your poems. Has it affected your poetry in other ways?

JK: I think the abstract, discursive rhetoric of philosophy has influenced the way I write poetry. I know that lots of people associated with poetry hate that kind of language and think poets should avoid it, but I think it opens up all sorts of possibilities it’s foolish to ignore. You can see this sort of rhetorical influence in T.S. Eliot’s work, especially in Four Quartets, a poem a lot of the “no ideas but in things” people loathe. It’s no accident that Eliot was trained as a philosopher—unlike Wallace Stevens, say, another philosophical sounding poet who never seems quite as at home with the idiom as Eliot. There’s a popular stereotype of philosophical writing as murky and unintelligible, but actually just the opposite is true of good philosophical writing.

WV: Does poetry impinge on your philosophical writing? Are there areas of overlap in the writing of philosophers and poets in general, or do you find the two types of writing very different?

JK: Well, I suppose the current paradigmatic philosophical writing style is extremely detailed, rigorous and explicit, with few broad strokes. My own philosophical style is somewhat looser and more essayistic, though whether this reflects the influence of poetry I’m not sure. It probably just reflects a preference for the essay over the academic paper.

Read the entire interview here.

Saturday, September 8, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Ruth Silver, author of Invisible: My Journey Through Vision and Hearing Loss.

Silver has had an amazing life, dealing first with vision loss and then hearing. Her strength of will and enthusiasm for life led her to found the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons in Milwaukee, a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping others living with the double disability of deaf-blindness.

Meg Kissinger’s profile in the Journal Sentinel will give you an idea of Silver’s philosophy of life:. As Kissinger notes: “A lot of the book deals with how she managed to find a balance between her mother's desires to shelter and comfort her and her father's demands that she be independent. He threatened to kick her out of the house unless she enrolled in college. Modern-day helicopter parents might cringe at that, but Silver says she gained a lot of confidence and strength from her father's refusal to indulge her.”

Read the entire story here.

Last week Silver came to the store for a walk through and set up. I never cease to be impressed by technological breakthroughs. Silver has a device where folks can ask questions and she is able to respond to them. Should be an educational, entertaining, and inspirational afternoon.

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