Monday, November 15, 2021

One more week of Boswell events before a small Thanksgiving break - Cecily Wong/Dylan Thuras, Neal Shusterman (in person), Gary Shteyngart, Sandra E Brown (in person)

Here's what's happening at Boswell, in person and virtual.
Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras, authors of Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide
A Virtual conversation with Michael Harlan Turkell
Monday, November 15, 7 pm
Register for this virtual event here

Boswell presents a virtual evening with Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras. The curious minds behind Atlas Obscura turn to the hidden curiosities of food in Gastro Obscura, a gateway to fascinating stories about human history, science, art, and tradition.

Truly a feast of wonders, this breathtaking guide transforms our sense of what people around the world eat and drink. Covering all seven continents, Gastro Obscura serves up a loaded plate of incredible ingredients, food adventures, and edible wonders. Ready for a beer made from fog in Chile? Sardinia’s “Threads of God” pasta? Egypt’s 2000-year-old egg ovens? But far more than a menu of curious minds delicacies and unexpected dishes, Gastro Obscura reveals food’s central place in our lives as well as our bellies, touching on history, culture, far-off travel, and hidden gems that might be right around the corner.

Alice Waters says, "This captivating book celebrates the incredible global diversity of food, ingredients, and cooking practices. What could be more important in this moment in time than to be so delightfully engaged in the many ways food cultivates - through sometimes eccentric means! - a profound sense of togetherness." 

And because I watch Top Chef, here's Tom Colicchio: "Like a great tapas meal, Gastro Obscura is deep yet snackable, and full of surprises. In these pages, you'll find riveting stories of human culture ancient and present, history, climate, mythology, commerce and geography -- all through the lens of that thing you thought you already knew: food. This is the book for anyone interested in eating, adventure and the human condition."

Cecily Wong is a writer at Atlas Obscura and author of the novel Diamond Head, recipient of an Elle Readers' Prize. Dylan Thuras is Cofounder and Creative Director of Atlas Obscura. Michael Harlan Turkell, a once aspiring chef, now photographer, author, and podcast host, has captured the inner workings of kitchens for his "Back of the House" project. His book Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar won the IACP award for Culinary Travel Writing.

Tuesday, November 16, 6:30 pm
Neal Shusterman, author of Roxy
Hybrid Event at Boswell
Register for the in-person event here.
Watch the broadcast event by registering here.

Neal Shusterman, one of the authors behind the bestselling Dry, joins us live and in-person at Boswell for a conversation about his riveting new thriller that explores the opioid crisis. This event is best for readers age 13 and up.

Mask required for event attendees at Boswell. Please note that the author may not be masked during the event.

Roxy is an allegorical take on the opioid epidemic which provides an utterly unique point of view on the lives of those struggling with drug dependencies. Isaac turns to Oxycontin when an ankle injury threatens his chance at a soccer scholarship. Meanwhile, Ivy uses Adderall in an attempt to get her life on track. As the two sink into addiction, Roxy captures the allure of drugs and the horrible spiral that addiction can entail.

From Booklist: "This allegorical take on the opioid epidemic provides an utterly unique point of view on the lives of those struggling with drug dependencies. Surprisingly, this approach does not water down the stark realities besetting Ivy and Isaac as they sink into addiction. Rather, it captures the drugs' allure, from granting small benefits and initial highs, before taking the reader through the horrible spiral that addiction can entail. Gritty and unflinching, this book portrays the opioid crisis in a way older YA readers can feel and understand."

Neal Shusterman was our last author to visit for a Boswell event before the COVID shutdown, in March 2020, at the Wauwatosa Public Library.

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books, including the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, the Skinjacker trilogy, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award.

Wednesday, November 17, 7 pm
Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends
in Conversation with Chris Lee for a Virtual Event
Register for this virtual event here.

Boswell welcomes Gary Shteyngart, a novelist The New York Times calls “one of his generation’s most original writers,” for a conversation about his latest novel. Eight friends, one country house, four romances, and six months in isolation collide in a book that reads like a great Russian novel; call it Chekhov on the Hudson. In conversation with Chris Lee of Boswell Book Company.

It’s March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group gathers in a Russian-born novelist’s country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most. Both elegiac and very, very funny, Our Country Friends is Shteyngart's most ambitious book yet.

Conversation partner Chris Lee picked Our Country Friends as one of his top 5 books of the year. He says: “Extraordinary. I love every word Shteyngart’s ever written, and this is his best novel by an upstate country mile. I said I never wanted to read a 2020 pandemic novel, but I was wrong. I needed to read one - this one.” And Salman Rushdie adds, “Shteyngart’s most moving novel, Chekhov and Boccaccio reimagined in America in the year of the pandemic, is a powerful fable of our broken time.”

From Diane Cole in The Washington Post: "Throughout, Shteyngart emphasizes that, immigrants or not, each one of his characters has been displaced, not just from their coddled cosmopolitan settings, but from the assumption of safety. Made vulnerable by Covid in a way they have not experienced before, Sasha’s always talkative guests struggle with a predicament they prefer not to verbalize: that no amount of wealth or talent or intellectual smarts can save anyone from disease or death. And so they push against their pandemic-induced emotional free fall in the only way they know: by freaking out and acting out at the slightest provocation."

Gary Shteyngart is author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, as well as Absurdistan, Lake Success, and the memoir Little Failure, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Thursday, November 18, 6:30 pm
Sandra E Jones, author of Voices of Milwaukee Bronzeville
in Conversation with Sharon Adams for a Hybrid Event at Boswell
Register for the in-person event here
Or watch the virtual broadcast event by registering here.

Join us for an evening in-person at Boswell featuring Sandra E Jones, author of a new book that captures the history and spirit of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville.

Mask required for event attendees at Boswell. Please note that the author may not be masked during the event.

Some people don't have to imagine what Milwaukee's Bronzeville was like. They have only to remember. They recall Walnut Street alive with businesses serving a hardworking Black population making something out of the meager resources available to them. They describe religious establishments such as St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal, St. Benedict the Moor, Calvary Baptist and St. Matthew CME attending to the spiritual life and remember the Flame, the Metropole and Satin Doll nightclubs taking care of entertainment and secular needs.

Above all, they recollect a people looking out for the well-being of all within its realm. Gathering interviews with residents of the now-vanished neighborhood, Jones reimagines Bronzeville not just as a place, but as a spirit engendered by a people determined to make a way out of no way.

Sandra E Jones has lived her entire life in Milwaukee. She earned a doctorate from the UWM and served as Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and as Assistant Director of the UWM Cultures and Communities curriculum development program. Sharon Adams is the cofounder of Walnut Way Conservation Corp and Adams Garden Park.

We're taking a Thanksgiving event break. See you on November 30 with our virtual event for Lisa McMann. More event info here.

Photo credits!
Cecily Wong by Heather Hawksford
Dylan Thuras by Timothy Shivers
Neal Shusterman by Corby Gerstler
Gary Shteyngart by Brigitte Lacombe

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