Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Great Events This Week at Boswell--Jason Stein and Patrick Marley, Edward Kelsey Moore, and Christine Sneed and Mike Magnuson. That's a Lot of Conjunctions.

Tuesday, March 26, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jason Stein and Patrick Marley, authors of More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions, and the Fight for Wisconsin.

"When Wisconsin became the first state in the nation in 1959 to let public employees bargain with their employers, the legislation catalyzed changes to labor laws across the country. In March 2011, when newly elected Governor Scott Walker repealed most of that labor law and subsequent ones--and then became the first governor in the nation to survive a recall election fifteen months later--it sent a different message. Both times, Wisconsin took the lead, first empowering public unions and then weakening them. The book recounts the battle between the Republican governor and the unions.

"Jason Stein and Patrick Marley, award-winning journalists for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, covered the fight firsthand. They center their account on the frantic efforts of state officals meeting openly and in the Capitol's elegant backrooms as protesters demonstrated outside. Conducting new in-depth interviews with elected officials, labor leaders, cops, protestors and other key figures and drawing on new documents and thier own years of experience as statehouse reporters, Stein and Marley have written a gripping account of hte wildest sixteen months in Wisconsin politics since the era of Joe McCarthy."

Want to now more? Stein and Marley sat down with Bill Glauber to talk more about More Than They Bargained For.

Wednesday, March 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Edward Kelsey Moore, author of The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat.

First time novelist Moore comes to Boswell to talk about his New York Times bestselling novel about three longtime friends , Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean, in small-town Plainview, Indiana. "Dubbed 'the Supremes' by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life's storms together for the next four decades. Now during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearance as she deals with her husband's humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora."

You see, Dora can see ghosts. Since you find that out pretty early on, I suspect that Knopf was a little concerned that some folks who'd get into a book like this might be thrown off by that detail. But it adds another fun dimension to a story that is a mashup of Fannie Flagg and Tyler Perry, "Steel Magnolias" and "Soul Food."

From Julia Glass, author of Three Junes and The Widower's Tale: "What a delight and privilege it is to be among the earliest readers of this breathtaking debut. The supremely (editor's note: get it?) gifted, supremely entertaining, and supremely big-hearted Edward Kelsey Moore has conjured up the story of an entire community, and at its sparkling center, a trio of memorable heroines. How I long to have Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean on speed dial."

Moore lives in Chicago, where he's enjoyed a long career as a cellist. His short fiction has appeared in the Indiana Review, African American Review, and Inkwell. He'll be appearing at Boswell on Wednesday, March 27, 7 pm, bringing along not just his speaking voice but his cello too.

I throughly enjoyed this novel and will be writing more about it tomorrow!

Thursday, March 28, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts, along with Mike Magnuson, author of Bike Tribes and The Right Man for the Job.

"The debut novel from award-winning writer Christine sneed: a many-layered story of fame, family, and identity.

"The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison-Ford-like stature--his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, and those on the periphery--long to experience the glow of his fame. Anna and WIll are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less-important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them."

From Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins (Walter is appearing at Boswell on May 6): "I grabbed Christine Sneed's novel, Little Known Facts, on my way out the door this weekend and ate it up. It's a great, canny read: wry, observant, inventive in style, rich in character. Christine Sneed knows her Hollywood, but more than that, she knows her people."

From Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Once Upon a River: "The gravitational pull of fame in a celebrity-obsessed culture informs this smart, fresh debut novel about a family living in the shadow cast by its larger than life patriarch."

From Curtis Sittenfeld's front-page rave in The New York Times Book Review: "Sneed is an intelligent and graceful writer, and the elegance of her prose, coupled with her sure-handed observations about human folly, tends to obscure the fact that not all that much happens in most chapters. Major plot developments — breakups, movie premieres — are likelier to occur between chapters than in them. Much of the novel is summary as opposed to real action, but it’s a testament to Sneed’s gifts that it rarely feels stagnant; on the contrary, her sentences are strangely hypnotic, casting a spell that makes it hard to put the book down"

 Yes, it's not a Hollywood novel but it's not a caper novel!

From my blog post on Sneed and her appearance: "We are very, very, very fortunate that Christine Sneed lives in Chicago (Evanston, even closer) and was not just amenable but enthusiastic about coming up to appear at Boswell. We asked if she would like to read with someone else, and she immediately suggested Mike Magnuson, a Wisconsin writer whose Bike Tribes had a nice sale at Boswell. He's going to probably read from his fiction, trying to keep more in the spirit of the evening, but I told him that we're up for anything. I've been told that Southern California has bike lanes too. Sneed and Magnuson are appearing on Thursday, March 28, 7 pm."

And for more on Mike Magnuson and Bike Tribes, here's an interview with him in The Wisconsin State Journal when he talks about the various bicycle tribes, how he did the research, and which tribe is the most hated? Could it be because of their outfits? Note that Magnuson will probably be focusing on his fiction at this event.

Aside from that, Happy Passover, Good Friday, and Easter!

No comments: