Monday, September 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex, Versailles, and The Thin Place, and Labrador.
Feeling simultaneously of the past, present, and future, Davis’ newest novel places a pair of suburban teen sweethearts into a dark world of urban legend and morality tale-making that includes ominous disappearances, robots, a jealous sorcerer, and vicious mermaids.
From Rosecrans Baldwin on NPR's All Things Considered:
"Duplex is a traditional love story tucked inside an adult fairy tale, wrapped in science fiction. I think there are two planets in the novel. Possibly they're the same world. Possibly they're neighbors. In the end, it doesn't really matter."
From our own Boswellian Stacie M. Williams:
“Mary and Eddie are star-crossed high school sweethearts. Their teacher is having an affair with a sorcerer who has no soul and envies the ability of humans to fall in love. A family of robots who can shrink to the size of a pocket pal live next door with their hirsute human-like beast pet. Adolescent girls gather to ominously share, through hushed whispers, stories of what happened to girls who didn't value their purity: tales that include sudden disappearances, darkened foliage-laden paths, a mysterious rain, and fierce mermaids. Such a strange and wondrous landscape that feels simultaneously of the past and of the future, of urban legend and daymare, Duplex explores the very human search for a connection to "the other"--the other person, place, thing, idea, or self. With its pithy and beauteous turns-of-phrase, this labyrinthine novel of adolescence and mythology is one of the most mesmerizing, hypnotic things I have ever read.”
Kathryn Davis has received numerous awards including a Kafka Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at Washington University, and lives in Vermont and St. Louis, Missouri.
One last review that might grab you, from Alizah Salario in Slate magazine: "Taken on its own terms—as a book that defies genre and storytelling expectations—this off-kilter world in which humans, robots, and Bodies-without-Souls all co-exist hums beautifully to its own rhythm. It’s a series of dreamlike, often erotic, images and interconnected plot lines that don’t so much build to climax as swell to create an intoxicating atmosphere."
Tuesday, September 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Angie Bailey, author of Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds.
Join us for a night of feline hijinks* as Catladyland blogger Angie Bailey introduces her new book Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds. From new bandmates to love connections to lightly-used litterboxes, cat lovers and laugh lovers alike will be delighted by this highly amusing parody.
Do you ever wonder what your cat does when you're not home? Is your keyboard covered with mysterious paw prints? Well, your feline friend might be hiding a secret internet addiction: whiskerslist. The kitty community is more connected than ever with this online hub that brings together cats looking to sell lousy pet toys, rant about their humans, search for a soul mate (or quick hookup), and much more.
With more than 160 hilarious classified ads written for cats, "by" cats, Whiskerslist reveals the inner lives of our furry companions like never before.
From the blog Sandpiper Cat: "Whiskerslist is a laugh out loud worthy read, that will have you rolling your eyes and thinking, 'That is so my cat!'"
Angie Bailey is a freelance writer, blogger, humorist, and professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. She is the creator and writer of the Catladyland blog, which won the 2011 Pettie Award for Funniest Pet Blog/Blogger. She lives with her husband, two kids, and three cats in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.
Wednesday, September 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Brian Tuohy, author of Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI.
Although sports gambling is seen as a victimless crime, 99 percent of what occurs in the United States is done illegally, its untold billions of dollars directly handled by the mob. It is their top money-maker, followed closely by loan sharking activities that often accompany gamblers who cannot pay their bookies in time. When games are fixed today, the money wagered on rigged contests is trafficked through these mob-backed bookmakers.
In addition to extensive interviews with former FBI Agents, bookmakers and professional sports gamblers, Tuohy used numerous Freedom of Information Act requests to dig into over four hundred of the FBI’s case files directly related to sports bribery (the legal term for game fixing and/or point shaving). Covering everything from horse racing, boxing, and college athletic events to the NFL, NBA, and MLB (with a notable exception of the NHL), the files offered valuable information concerning the Bureau’s investigation into fixed sporting events as well as leads to other sports gambling cases. Putting the pieces together was no easy task, but in doing so, Tuohy offers an intriguing look at the possible depth of corruption in American sports historically, and today.
Here's a writeup in The New York Post from Gary Buiso, about how the coked-up Knicks fixed games for drug dealers in the 1981-1982 season.
Brian Tuohy is considered to be America's leading expert on game fixing in sports. While Larceny Games discusses game fixing from a sports gambling aspect, his previous book The Fix Is In: The Showbiz Manipulations of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR examined how the professional leagues influence the outcome of their own games for TV ratings and profit.
Thursday, September 19, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Robb Rice, author of the novel My Summer on Haight Street.
Robb Rice back to his hometown of Milwaukee for a reading and signing of his debut novel, a coming-of-age tale with a tie-dyed backdrop and a psychedelic beat. A Riverside High School alum, he now lives in Santa Monica with his family.
It’s 1967, the Summer of Love. With the war in Vietnam raging and the draft hanging over their heads, three Milwaukee high school graduates set off on very different paths to seek their own destinies and discover that people, places, and things are neither what they expected, nor what they appear to be. Bob Ralston journeys to San Francisco—the epicenter of the hippie movement. John Haus enlists in the army and ends up in Vietnam. Jim Gaston beats the draft and seeks an alternative lifestyle. Each must live with their choices and survive in one of America’s most tumultuous times.
Friday, September 20, 7 pm, at Boswell:
An Evening with the publisher Rebirth Ink, featuring
Linetta Davis, author of Honey and Vinegar and A Black Woman's Burden
Brian Quinn, author of The Tint of Glass Awnings, and
Sherrie Ball, author of The Cutting Room Floor.
Rebirth Ink is a Milwaukee based, small press publisher whose current portfolio and forthcoming publications are not defined by any particular genre but rather by the distinction and quality of the writing. In this renaissance of literature and poetry that is characterized by the small press, Rebirth Ink looks to define itself as a premier publishing house for new or previously published authors, poets and playwrights whose writing is substantial and displays a firm grasp of their chosen craft.
Linetta Davis is a teacher, author, playwright, and creator of Rebirth Ink Publishing. Her play, A Black Woman’s Burden: Her Journey from Pain to Freedom, which points to the road of healing for those surviving sexual abuse, has been performed throughout the Milwaukee area. She is also author of Honey and Vinegar, a personal account of the tragic loss of her father before his fiftieth birthday using journal writing and poetry. While Davis wrote it as a means of understanding and coping with her bereavement, it has also found use as a guide for others who are dealing with great loss and/or unexpressed personal tragedies and are trying to find balance between the sweet and bitter aspects of life.
The Tint of Glass Awnings is Brian Quinn’s first published book. His poetry focuses on exploring the four humors, engaging all the senses in multi-dimensional scenes. A chef and a poet originally from the South, Quinn now lives in Milwaukee with his wife and son.
Author of The Cutting Room Floor, Sherrie Ball is a single mother, student, and writer. Her previously untitled poem “I Do Not Know Your Name,” honoring our military heroes has received viral internet recognition, acclaimed as the "new words to honor the fallen". Ball has also accepted the Written Works award from Southwest Wisconsin's Fallfire Contest from 2008- 2010, has printed a book of historical poetry in collaboration with sculpture artist Florence Bird, and her poem “Victorian/Victorious” is currently displayed at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park located in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where she resides.
Saturday, September 21, 2 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Library's Loos Room at Centennial Hall,
733 North Eighth Street, Milwaukee 53233:
Ellen Hopkins, author of Smoke, Crank, Tilt, and Burned, along with
C. Desir, author of Fault Line.
Smoke, companion novel to Burned by Ellen Hopkins, is a masterful, gripping novel told in verse that weaves the riveting story about a teenage girl who is raised in a religious—yet abusive—family. With her father dead, Pattyn von Stratten is on the run. Alone and in disguise, she begins a new life as a migrant worker on a farm. Meanwhile, her sister Jackie remains extremely isolated back at home in their domineering community. What will it take to rise from the ashes of the past and move into a brighter future? And will they do it apart, or together?
C. Desir’s Fault Line is a gritty and devastating debut novel about teen sexual violence told through the eyes of the victim’s boyfriend, Ben. His new girlfriend, Ani, is everything he’s ever wanted and they’re nearly inseparable. Until the night she goes to a party without him and returns scarred. Broken hearted by the distance she puts between them and unable to get close to her, or the truth of what happened, Ben wonders if there is anything he can do to save the girl he loves.
Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several teen and adult novels, including Crank and Collateral. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative.
C. (Christa) Desir writes dark contemporary fiction for young adults and lives with her husband, three young children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has volunteered as a rape victim activist for more than ten years, including providing direct service as an advocate in hospital emergency rooms. Desir will be appearing at the Voices and Faces workshop at Mount Mary Colllege on October 6 and 7.
Here's a recommendation of Desir's Fault Line, from our own Boswellian Mel Morrow: "This is an important text for all kinds of readers, and I'm so very happy it exists. Narrated by the boyfriend of a teen rape victim, Fault Line brings to life the challenges one faces when they are caught between the desire to rescue and the need to empower someone who has been victimized. Readers experience the ripples of chaos that circle out from one person's tragic moment, shaking the lives of those they love, and how much of a struggle it is to be there for someone who needs to stumble their way through uncomfortable steps on the path to recovery. This debut novel by C. Desir is challenging, yet needed in an age in which someone in the U. S. is sexually assaulted every two minutes, 80% of rape victims are under the age of 30, and 97% of rapists never spend a day in jail."
Plus a sneak preview of next week...
Monday, September 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jane Hamilton Presents Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and The Jane Austen Book Club.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club, comes the story of an American family, ordinary in every way but one. Rosemary Cooke‘s best friend the first six years of her life was her sister, Fern, who Rosemary sees as her “twin,” “funhouse mirror” and “whirlwind other half.” When Fern is forcibly removed, the family begins to fall apart; a chimpanzee, Fern is sent to a research facility, never to come back.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is subversive, visionary, wise, morally complex, and wickedly witty, raising questions about the limits of science and the rights of animals. The praise being showered upon Fowler’s new book ranges from respected fellow novelists to a list of esteemed media outlets: O: The Oprah Magazine, Barbara Kingsolver in The New York Times Book Review, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and Alan Cheuse, Salon, USA Today, Elle Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and many more.
Let's just link to one. Here's Ron Charles in The Washington Post:
"We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves isn’t just about an unusual childhood experiment; it’s about a lifetime spent in the shadow of grief. Clearly, something traumatic happened when Rosemary was five, something that turned her from a loquacious little girl into a quiet young woman. But unearthing the details of that event means digging in a mental landscape strewn with psychological land mines. Others can’t or won’t tell her the truth. Her own memories are confused and clouded. She’s grown wise and skeptical about the slippery nature of family history. ‘Language does this to our memories,’ she says, ‘simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. An oft-told story is like a photograph in a family album; eventually, it replaces the moment it was meant to capture.’"
Karen Joy Fowler is the author of three story collections and six novels, including The Jane Austen Book Club, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for thirteen weeks. Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, she now lives in Santa Cruz, California.
*An appropriate word, as it calls to mind the cartoon cat Mr. Jinx.
What to Read Next — Winter 2017
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