Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Ticketed Event with Sally Mann at Boswell on Independent Bookstore Day, April 30, 7 pm. A Presentation is Followed by a Conversation with Liam Callanan.

We're so excited about Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 30. Yes, we've bought all the limited edition items that bookstores will be selling. No, we will not have enough Neil Gaiman coloring books. No, you cannot place holds on these items - you must show up at Boswell and wait in line. And yes, some of these items will be limited. In particular, for the first hour, it's one Neil Gaiman coloring book per person in line.

At 11 am (tentative), we'll be hosting our favorite musicians for kids, Fox and Branch, for a concert.

At 2 pm, we'll be doing a replay of our popular Boswell Quiz Bowl. Think you know a lot about books? You just might be able to play on a team and get a Boswell gift card prize.

At 5:30 pm, we'll be closing to the general public for a ticketed event with Sally Mann, visiting Milwaukee for the paperback tour of her acclaimed memoir, Hold Still. Her presentation will be followed by a conversation with Milwaukee's Liam Callanan, beloved author of the novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints, and the recent collection Listen and Other Stories.

Tickets are $20, and include a paperback copy of Hold Still. For those who already have the book, and for couples who don't have a gift recipient picked out for their second copy (Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation are coming up, and it's always someone's birthday), a $14 Boswell gift card is available on the night of the event only. And yes, if you can't attend, we will get a copy signed for you. And yes, you must buy a ticket to attend. Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets, event #2522156. You can also call them at 800-838-3006. (Photo credit of author is Liz Liguori.)

Here's a little more about Hold Still from her publisher.

"In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

"Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life."

From Dwight Garner, in The New York Times: "I held (Walker) Evans’s writing in mind while reading Hold Still, the photographer Sally Mann’s weird, intense and uncommonly beautiful new memoir. Ms. Mann has got Evans’s gift for fine and offbeat declaration. She’s also led a big Southern-bohemian life, rich with incident. Or maybe it only seems rich with incident because of an old maxim that still holds: Stories happen only to people who can tell them."

Emily Rapp Black writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Mann is not just a visual artist but, it turns out, an earnest and energetic storyteller. In prose that is as lyrical and surprising as her photographs, she offers a spirited account of her early formative experiences of horseback riding and rebellion in the Southern landscapes that deeply informed her childhood. In one particularly beautiful scene, Mann recalls her early rapture in a dark room when she realizes that "something mediocre is better than nothing": a wonderfully generous ethos for any creative artist to adopt, regardless of medium." (At left, "Sally Mann and Honey in car, courtesy of the author and Little, Brown).

And Sebastian Smee notes in The Boston Globe: "Hold Still, subtitled A Memoir with Photographs (there are photographs, and not just by Mann, on almost every page), arrives four years after Mann delivered the Massey Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University. I was lucky to attend these talks, which ranged confidently over personal history, the South, race, art, and death. Read aloud, with accompanying slides, they were intelligent, heartfelt, hilarious, disarming. All these qualities, I’m happy to report, have arrived intact in the memoir. Mann has a wordy, headlong style that can feel breathlessly over-the-top one minute and as earthily matter-of-fact as pillow talk the next. Her book is divided into four parts, but it flows like wine-fueled gossip."

We could add 25 more links to similarly enthusiastic reviews, but we'll save those for later!

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