Monday, September 20, 2021

This week: Rebecca Donner and Jarrett Adams, plus Mary Roach next Monday

Here's what's going on with Boswell this week. All start times are Central Time.
Thursday, September 23, 5 pm
Rebecca Donner, author of All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
in conversation with Sam Goldberg for a virtual event
Register for the event here.

This event is cohosted by the the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, and Jewish Museum Milwaukee. Sam Goldberg is the Director of Education for HERC. Please note this is now virtual only. When you sign up, please don't be confused by a sold-out-notice general admission. That's a residue of when the event was hybrid. Instead, you will see an active registration link, which will get you your Zoom link.

Wisconsinites know the story of Mildred Fish-Harnack. Born in Milwaukee, Mildred Fish went to UW-Madison, where she met and married Arvin Harnack. We recently celebrated her birthday - the Hoan Bridge was lit up red in her honor. Her story is not well know to others, but this new book, written by her great great niece, could be changing things.

From a profile by Jane Burn in Isthmus: "Donner, who has previously published a novel and a graphic novel, believed there was a story to tell beyond the basics of Mildred’s story (unfamiliar to many, especially outside Wisconsin). Beyond family insights and new documents, Donner says, there were errors and misconceptions that have been perpetuated over the years."

From her interview with Melissa Ingells on Wisconsin Public Radio's Morning Show: "It was very clear that she was hiding a lot, and she was profoundly misunderstood by family members who saw that 'the old Millie' was no longer there. And that the woman who had replaced her - there was something 'hardened' about her, was a quote from somebody. And she seemed very nervous, and when anybody questioned her about what was going on in Germany, she said, 'We don't talk about that.' She couldn't risk saying anything. And she was convinced at that point that she was under surveillance, too. So her brother actually thought she had lost her mind. And ironically, a few of her college friends thought that she had 'gone Nazi' because she was so stern. And because she seemed so severe. Little did they know."

Rebecca Donner is author of the novel Sunset Terrace and the graphic novel Burnout. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Bookforum, and The Believer. Donner was a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography and is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University, and has taught writing at Wesleyan University, Columbia University, and Barnard College.

Friday, September 24, 12:30 pm
Jarrett Adams, author of Redeeming Justice: From Defendant to Defender, My Fight for Equity on Both Sides of a Broken System
in conversation with Mike Gousha for a virtual event
Register for this event here

This event is cohosted by Marquette University Law School. Mike Gousha serves as a distinguished fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School. An award-winning journalist, Gousha explores important public policy issues through his work at the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

Adams was seventeen when an all-white jury sentenced him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, in this unforgettable memoir, a pioneering lawyer recalls the journey that led to his exoneration - and inspired him to devote his life to fighting the many injustices in our legal system.

Jarrett Adams talked to the Chicago Bar Foundation about why he wrote this book: "By opening myself up in this book, I hope to inspire a new generation to take up this cause. Jarrett Adams Law can make a real difference in representing young Black men who are my clients and the immediate lives around them. In order for me to really make a bigger impact though, we need to inspire everyone to understand and empathize with these issues to build the base of advocates and resources necessary for change."

From People Magazine on his nonprofit: "Life After Justice is the organization that I co-created to help exonerees - and we need support. We need monetary resources. More importantly, we need law firms to donate pro bono hours to help us fix this thing. You fix it by getting people out of prison and helping them gain stability and staying out. Over 50 percent of the people who are currently incarcerated have been incarcerated before. So, that means that our incarceration system is the problem, not the person."

Jarrett Adams earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. After working for the Innocence Project in New York, he launched the Law Office of Jarrett Adams, PLLC and now practices in both federal and state courts throughout the country. 

Monday, September 27, 7 pm
Mary Roach, author of Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law
In conversation with Roman Mars for a virtual event
Register for this event here

Join "America’s funniest science writer" (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), Mary Roach, on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet.

This event is cohosted by Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Roman Mars is the host and creator of 99% Invisible, a sound-rich, narrative podcast about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. He is also a co-founder of Radiotopia, a collective of ground-breaking independent podcasts. Most recently, he co-authored The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design. We still have a limited number of tie-in Fuzz patches available with purchase.

From Terry Gross's Fresh Air interview, on how Roach got the idea for this book: "I was flailing around looking for a book topic, as happens every few years, and I got interested in the forensics of wildlife crime - not when the animals are the 'criminals,' but when the animals are the victims. So I got interested in the forensics of animal trafficking, specifically a woman who published a guide for wildlife law enforcement on how to distinguish real versus fake tiger penis that is dried, which is sold medicinally. And I thought, that's kind of a bizarre expertise, and I spoke to her, and I kind of got interested in wildlife forensics. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to tag along on any open cases, and I always like to be on the scene in my books. And so that was a dead end. But as often happens, it morphed into a related topic in which I kind of turned it inside out: What if the animals were the perpetrators of these 'crimes'?"

From Bethany Brookshire in Science News: "The book brims with Roach’s irreverent humor, which particularly shines when she experiences human-animal conflict firsthand. She tastes rat bait to better understand its allure and gets training on how to tell if a human body was mauled by a bear or by a human pretending to be a bear. She even engineers a robbery: 'I had bananas. I was asking for it. I wanted to know what it was like to be mugged by monkeys.'"

Mary Roach is author of best-selling books of nonfiction such as Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and, most recently, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War. Her writing has appeared in Outside, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine.

Photo credits
Rebecca Donner by Beowulf Sheehan
Mary Roach by Jen Siska
Jarrett Adams by Nagine Sakandari

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