Monday, May 24, 2021

Events this week - Mary Alice Monroe, Brian Broome, Yelena Moskovich, Kate Zambreno, Jamie Pacton

Here's what's going with Boswell this week

Monday, May 24, 7 pm
Mary Alice Monroe, author of The Summer of Lost and Found
in conversation with Margy Stratton
Tickets for this event here.

The Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, sponsored by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company, welcome Mary Alice Monroe back to Milwaukee for a virtual, BYOS (bring-your-own-snacks) event for her latest novel. Tickets are $5 plus sales tax and ticket fee, or upgrade to admission-with-book for $28. $5 from each ticket will be donated to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books and an active conservationist, and she's an inductee in the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame.

This tender and compassionate novel follows the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, a spirit of unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the season. Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature sensitive storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.

From Mary Alice Monroe in Parade Magazine, as part of their new collaboration with Friends and Fiction: "Throughout the past year, I began writing a novel about life in the time of coronavirus. I was interested in how the experience of the pandemic affected families and interpersonal relationships. Because it did - mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends, lovers. I paid attention to my life and the lives of my loved ones, recording what I observed as we marched through the months. I wrote this novel in real-time, and what a roller coaster it has been."

Tuesday, May 25, 7 pm
Brian Broome, author of Punch Me Up to the Gods
in Conversation with Chris Lee
Register for this event here

Boswell Book Company hosts an evening with award-winning poet and screenwriter Brian Broome for a conversation about his debut memoir, a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction. Brian Broome is a poet, screenwriter, and the K Leroy Irvis Fellow in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He’ll chat with Chris Lee of Boswell Book Company.

Broome’s memoir chronicles his early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys, his move to Pittsburgh as a young man, and his years of self-discovery, indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use. He recounts his experiences in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory to reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.

From Darnell L Moore in The New York Times: "Punch Me Up to the Gods is a coming-of-age story that explores Black manhood and queerness in the Rust Belt. The title of the book is a reference to the ways that Black boys are often socialized into rigid conceptions of manhood - sometimes by the use of violence. 'Any Black boy who did not signify how manly he was at all times deserved to be punched back up to God to be remade, reshaped,' Broome writes. With this book, Broome hopes to counter the force of that punch by exploring the beauty of queer Black manhood, while offering a new way to write about that beauty."

Wednesday, May 26, 2 pm
Yelena Moskovich, author of A Door Behind A Door 
and Kate Zambreno, author of Drifts
A Virtual Event
Register for this event here

Boswell presents a conversation between two authors – Yelena Moskovich, author of the novels Virtuoso and The Natashas, and Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines and Green Girl. Her latest book of criticism is To Write As If Already Dead.

In Yelena Moskovich's spellbinding new novel we meet Olga, who immigrates as part of the Soviet diaspora to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Publishers Weekly: “Moskovich mystifies with this vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991... The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender."

And from Kate Zambreno, a haunting and compulsively readable portrait of creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. She photographs her neighborhood, haunts bookstores and galleries, and records her thoughts in a notebook that soon subsumes her work on the novel. As winter closes in, a series of disturbances - the comings and goings of enigmatic figures, the burglary of her apartment - leaves her unsettled… until an intense and tender disruption changes everything.

Yelena Moskovich is a novelist, playwright, critic, and curator for the 2018 Los Angeles Queer Biennial. She has written for New Statesman and Paris Review and in French for Mixt(e) Magazine, and won the 2017 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. Kate Zambreno is author of several acclaimed books and her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, VQR, and elsewhere. She teaches in the writing programs at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Thursday, May 27, 7 pm
Jamie Pacton, author of Lucky Girl
in conversation with Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters
Register for this event here

Boswell hosts Wisconsin YA author Jamie Pacton for a chat with Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters. Jamie Pacton previous novel is The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. Pacton’s new novel is the story of a teen who wins the lottery and the suspicion and jealousy in her small town - a funny, poignant reflection on what money can and can’t fix. Perfect for Rainbow Rowell fans. Elise Bryant earned a BA in Africana studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her MA in special education from Loyola Marymount University.

58,642,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize. Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket or worse. She could let her hoarder mother cash it, but the last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then there’s Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, who declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town. It’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life and has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.

From Kimberly Giarratano in Book Page: "Jamie Pacton’s second novel, Lucky Girl, explores the myriad ways money can change people. When the winning ticket is announced, everyone ponders what they would do with such an enormous windfall, but few consider the risks associated with newfound wealth. Eventually Jane learns of the tragedies that often befall lottery winners, their lives so frequently torn apart - and in some cases ended - by the greed and envy of those around them, and this possible fate makes her decision even more complicated."

Next week preview:

Tuesday June 1, 7 pm
Steven Rowley, author of The Guncle
in Conversation with Christina Clancy for a Virtual Event
Register for this event here.
As our latest entry in the Christina Clancy presents reading series (only half joking), we have an evening with Steven Rowley, author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor. The Guncle is a contemporary novel inspired by the classic novel (and film and musical and another film) Auntie Mame, in which Gay Uncle Patrick (that's GUP or Guncle) takes in his niece and nephew after the death of a close friend who is married to his brother, who desperately needs a stint in rehab. It's funny and thoughtful novel that is perfect for folks who like Elinor Lipman, Stephen McCauley, or Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's Good Company. More later! 

Photo credits
Brian Broome by Andy Johnson
Kate Zambreno by Heather Smith
Elise Bryant by Rachal McCutchen
Steven Rowley by Byron Layne

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