Monday, June 11, 2018

Event alert: Jennifer Egan and Andrew Sean Greer in conversation (ticketed), plus Julia Fine, Karma Brown in conversation with Amy E. Reichert, Edgar Cantero in conversation with Matt Wild, Sue Burke

Tuesday, June 12, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Julia Fine, author of What Should Be Wild

DePaul University professor and Chicago-based writer Julia Fine comes to Boswell with her darkly funny debut novel about a highly unusual young woman who must venture into the woods to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries.

Maisie, born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, has spent her childhood sequestered in the family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father has warned her that local villagers talk of men disappearing inside this dark wood; when they return, their minds are addled, their stories strange. What he has not told her is that for centuries, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge.

But one day Maisie’s father disappears and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the woods for the very first time, she encounters a strange and terrifying world filled with love, excitement, and dark human forces. Yet the further she strays, the more the wood calls to her. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.

Julia Fine teaches writing at DePaul University and is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s M.F.A. program.

Wednesday, June 13, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Karma Brown, author of The Life Lucy Knew in conversation with Amy E. Reichert, author of The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go

Two awesome authors. Two brand new novels. One wonderful event! Bestselling author Karma Brown visits Boswell for a conversation with Wisconsin’s Amy E. Reichert about fiction and families, secrets and surprises, and the unexpected twists of their characters’ lives.

Brown’s newest, The Life Lucy Knew, is the emotionally charged story of a woman finding out that everything she knows about her life might not be true. One fateful morning, Lucy awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she loves is not her husband. The happily-ever-after she remembers is what doctors are calling a “false memory,” created after an accidental head injury. When the life she believes she had slams up against the reality she’s been living for years, Lucy must make a difficult choice about which life she wants and who she really is.

Three generations. Seven days. One big secret. In The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go, Reichert unfolds a mother-daughter story told by three women whose time to reckon with a life-altering secret is running out. When Gina’s mother suffers a stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go.

Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and author of the bestsellers Come Away With Me, The Choices We Make, and In This Moment.

Amy E. Reichert is the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, Luck, Love and Lemon Pie, and The Simplicity of Cider, and serves on Hartland (Wisconsin) Public Library’s board of directors.

Thursday, June 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Edgar Cantero, author of Meddling Kids

Milwaukee Record presents Edgar Cantero for a stop at Boswell on the paperback tour of Meddling Kids, the enjoyably batty book that’s perfect for fans of horror and hilarious hijinks and anyone who grew up on Saturday mornings filled with sugar-coated cereal and Scooby-Doo.

In the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster: another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion.

Thirteen years have passed and those former kid detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be explained away by a guy in a mask. The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

Edgar Cantero is a writer and cartoonist born in Barcelona in 1981. Meddling Kids is his second novel in English; his first was The Supernatural Enhancements.

See our goofy ad on Milwaukee Record's website.

Friday, June 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach, in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less

Presenting two Pulitzer Prize winners in conversation! Jennifer Egan, winner of the Pultizer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad and current winner of the Carnegie Medal for Manhattan Beach, is joined by Andrew Sean Greer, current winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Less. It’s a first for Boswell and it’s a one-of-a-kind event that is only happening in Milwaukee.

Manhattan Beach, Egan’s first foray into historical fiction, takes us into a world before and during World War II, populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.

And here’s more about Less. Arthur Less, a failed novelist, is about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail from Less’s boyfriend of the past nine years. He can't say yes - it would be too awkward - and he can't say no - it would look like defeat. On the desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. So how does Arthur arrange to skip town? He accepts them all. What could possibly go wrong?

Tickets to this event are $19 and are available at The price includes admission, all taxes and fees, and a paperback copy of Manhattan Beach or Less or both at a special price of $34. Only 300 tickets available for this event.

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five previous works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by The San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. 

Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction, including A Visit from the Goon Squad, which also received the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist.

Saturday, June 16, 2:00 pm, at East Branch, Milwaukee Public Library, 2320 N Cramer St:
Sue Burke, author of Semiosis

Milwaukee native and Clarion workshop alumnus Burke visits Milwaukee Public Library’s East Library Branch for a discussion of Semiosis, a sweeping sci-fi epic of first contact that spans generations of humans struggling to survive on an alien world. Boswell is cosponsoring this event.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches... and waits. They weren’t prepared for a planet which provides a lush but inexplicable landscape or to deal with the ruins of an alien race. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

Perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer, Burke spins this knowledge into a remarkable tale of interspecies interaction, taking cutting edge botanical and ecological science and driving it to the logical extreme for her impressive debut.

Chicago-based Sue Burke spent many years working as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including those in the Milwaukee area. A Clarion workshop alum, Burke has published more than thirty short stories in addition to working extensively as a literary translator.

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