Monday, October 29, 2018

Event Yourself!: Christopher Sturdevant's Wisconsin History, Amitav Ghosh at UWM, Thrills with Mindy Mejia and Kate Moretti, poetry with Austin Smith and Dora Malech, Murder and Mayhem, and Laurie Keller, Alan Silberberg, and Daniel Mason next Monday. Sorry, Dorie Greenspan is sold out.

Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Christopher Sturdevant, author of Cold War Wisconsin

Milwaukee author and Chairman of the Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum tells the tales of the Badger State’s role in the showdown between East and West.

For decades, Wisconsin’s nuclear missiles pointed to the skies from Waukesha’s back yard, awaiting Soviet bombers. Joseph Stalin's daughter sought refuge in the small town of Richland Center. With violence in Vietnam about to peak, a cargo ship from Kewaunee sparked a new international incident with North Korea. Manitowoc was ground zero for a Sputnik satellite crash, and four ordinary Madison youths landed on the FBI's most wanted list after the Sterling Hall Bombing.

Sturdevant recounts the stories of everyday Wisconsinites during the years that the Cold War gripped the world with fear of espionage and nuclear winter in this book, which preserves a fading piece of Wisconsin history.

Christopher Sturdevant is Chairman of the Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum, a children's librarian in Milwaukee, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Sturdevant has represented Team USA in master's level track championships on three continents.

Thursday, November 1, 7:00 PM, at UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, 2400 E Kenwood Blvd:
Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

The Kennan and Vilas Distinguished Lecture series hosts Amitav Ghosh for a talk entitled Embattled Earth, sponsored by Institute of World Affairs, Vilas Trust, Department of English, UWM Letters and Sciences, and Boswell.

Ghosh traces the entangled history of commodities, conflict, and climate change in the Indian Ocean. Since Vasco da Gama’s voyage, the Indian Ocean has been the theatre of rivalries over commodities. For centuries the main players were Western colonial powers, but lately the countries of the Indian Ocean rim have become the principal drivers of anthropogenic climate change, an ongoing process that will have catastrophic consequences for the billions of people who live
around the Indian Ocean.

This lecture explores the continuities between the resource conflicts of the past and the future by focusing on two transformative imperial wars: the Anglo-Dutch spice wars of the 17th century and the 1st Opium War of 1840-42. It also poses a question: are the imperatives of empire and military supremacy among the major drivers of climate change?

Amitav Ghosh is a novelist and essayist, author of The Calcutta Chromosome, the Ibis Trilogy, and the essay collection In an Antique Land. He has won the Prix Médicis étranger, an Arthur C. Clarke Award, and in 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Utah Award in the Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah.

Thursday, November 1, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
A Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee Preview, featuring Mindy Mejia, author of Leave No Trace and Kate Moretti, author of In Her Bones

Boswell offers a preview event for Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee with two critically-acclaimed authors of thrilling new crime novels, Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me To Be, in conversation with with Kate Moretti, author of While You Were Gone.

Mejia’s latest thriller is set in the glacial lakes and untouched forests of the Minnesota Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned, presumed dead. Ten years later, the son is discovered ransacking an outfitter store, violent and uncommunicative, refusing to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life. As a therapist is drawn closer to this enigmatic young man, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

Moretti’s latest is a novel that questions the nature of guilt, obsession, and familial ties that follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. Edie is a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job, an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother, and a growing obsession with the families of her mother’s victims.

Mindy Mejia is author of The Dragon Keeper and Everything You Want Me to Be. Kate Moretti is author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone.

Friday, November 2, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Austin Smith, author of Flyover Country, and Dora Malech, author of Stet

An evening of poetry from the Princeton University Press Series of Contemporary Poets, featuring University of Wisconsin graduate Smith and Malech, who teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Building on Smith’s reputation as an accessible and inventive poet with deep insights about rural America, Flyover Country draws profound connections between the Midwest and the wider world. Inspired by his childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois, tales of rural life lead the way in this collection focused on family, violence, and memories.

Malech’s latest is a collection of serious and playful poems that tap the inventive possibilities of the anagram and other constraining forms, combining lyric invention and wordplay. “Stet,” from the Latin for “let it stand,” is a proofreading term meaning to retain or return to a previous phrasing. Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.

Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois. He is author of Almanac, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Ploughshares. He teaches at Stanford University. Dora Malech is author of Say So and Shore Ordered Ocean. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Best American Poetry. She is Assistant Professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Saturday, November 3, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, at Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave:
Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee

Murder and Mayhem returns to Milwaukee in 2018! This year’s event features a whole day full of the excellent author panels and interviews you’ve come to expect from this mysteriously good event.Enjoy panels, one-on-one interviews, and schmooze with the authors. Find your new favorite writer or hang out with an old favorite. Bring books from home to get signed or buy them from Boswell.

News on Lou Berney's November Road - Lawrence Kasdan, whose filmwork includes The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, and numerous screenplay credits in the Star Wars franchise, is adapting Berney's latest. Per Deadline: "Kasdan will write and direct, and will produce the film with Shane Salerno's The Story Factory. The producers intend to fast-track the project, and for it to be Kasdan’s next film. Distributors are circling and that part of the deal should be made shortly."

Tickets for the whole day cost $40, plus ticketing fees, available at

This year, Murder and Mayhem features a criminally good lineup, including special guests Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone and Andrew Gross, bestselling collaborator of James Patterson whose latest is a historical thriller set in New York's garment district. The rest of the lineup includes Ed Aymar, Susanna Calkins, Joe Clifford, Angel Colon, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Matthew FitzSimmons, Bryan Gruley, Jennifer Hillier, Chris Holm, Julie Hyzy, Owen Laukkanen, Elizabeth Little, Jess Lourey, Nadine Nettmann, Clare O’Donohue, Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie, Lori Rader-Day, Tom Schreck,Victoria Thompson, and Fred Van Lente.

Sold out - Saturday, November 3, 12:00 PM, at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, 3133 E Newberry Blvd:
A Cookbook Author Luncheon with Dorie Greenspan, author of Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook

Alas, Bartolotta's lunch at Lake Park Bistro featuring Dorie Greenspan is sold out. Signed copies of Everyday Dorie can still be requested for pickup after the event. Personalization requries pre-payment.

Dorie Greenspan is author of Dorie's Cookies, a 2017 James Beard Award-winner for Best Baking and Dessert book, Around My French Table, named Cookbook of the Year by the IACP, and Baking: From My Home to Yours, a James Beard Award winner.

Monday, November 5, 4:00 PM, at Boswell:
It’s a Potato Party! With Laurie Keller, author of Potato Pants!, and Alan Silberberg, author of Meet the Latkes

We’re having a potato party and every spud’s invited! It’s an awesome afternoon with author-illustrators Laurie Keller and Alan Silberberg and their perfect pair of potato themed picture books, activities, and yes, potato-based snacks. Please register for this free event at

A potato and his eggplant nemesis struggle to find the perfect pants in a hilarious, heartwarming tale of forgiveness by author-illustrator Laurie Keller. Potato is excited because Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants store is selling POTATO PANTS! Potato rushes over early, and just as he’s about to walk in, who does he see inside? Mean, pushy eggplant who was rude to him the other day. Can these vegetable rivals make peace in the name of fashion?

Alan Silberberg’s Latkes family is just like yours or mine. Except that they’re potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. After they light the menorah and gobble the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, complete with mighty Mega Bees who use a giant dreidel to fight against the evil alien potatoes from Planet Chhh. It’s up to the Latke family dog to set the record straight. But he’ll have to get the rest of the Latkes to listen to him first!

Michigan-based Laurie Keller is author-illustrator of books one, two, and three of the Arnie the Doughnut series, Do Unto Otters, and We Are Growing!, the 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Winner. Alan Silberbergis an award-winning author, cartoonist, and children’s TV creator who has worked with Nickelodeon and Disney. He’s the author and illustrator of the middle grade novel Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, which won the Sid Fleishman Humor Award.

Monday, November 5, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Daniel Mason, author of Winter Soldier

While several of us were big fans of Daniel Mason's first book, The Piano Tuner, little did we know that The Winter Soldier would be one of the hot books of fall. Both the publisher and both wholesalers are currently out of stock on this title. While we have enough copies for our event, let us say now that if you miss this event, you're going to regret it later. It's a Monday, so we're pretty sure your evening is free!

Part mystery, part war story, part romance, Winter Soldier tells the story of a medical student who enlists when World War I erupts across Europe. In a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus, he finds himself falling in love with the mysterious nurse from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine.

From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front, from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone.

Daniel Mason is a physician and also the author of A Far Country. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, he is currently Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in the humanities and medicine.

Bookmark our upcoming events page for Boswell's schedule.

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