Monday, April 4, 2022

Four events for the week: Stewart O'Nan with Chris Lee, Readings from Oconomowaukee with Kim Fay, Cara Black at Boswell, and Lisa Damour at USM

Tuesday, April 5
7 pm Stewart O’Nan, author of Ocean State
in conversation with Chris Lee for a virtual event - click here to register!

Join us for an evening with master storyteller Stewart O’Nan, author of more than twenty books, for a conversation about his latest novel, Ocean State, a compelling and heartbreaking story of working-class life and death in a small town on the east coast. O’Nan will be in conversation with Chris Lee of Boswell Book Company. Though the book is set in Rhode Island, I still must issue my "Go Team Pittsburgh" chant.

Set in a working-class town on the Rhode Island coast, O'Nan's latest is a crushing, beautifully written, and profoundly compelling novel about sisters, mothers, and daughters, and the terrible things love makes us do. In the first line we learn that a high school student was murdered, and we find out who did it. The story that unfolds from there with incredible momentum is thus one of the build-up to and fall-out from the murder, told through the alternating perspectives of the four women at its heart.

Here’s Chris’s take on the novel: “Stewart O’Nan writes novels that are can’t-look-away captivating, full of gorgeous prose, and just unrelentingly real. In Ocean State, teenage love goes terribly wrong in a little-to-lose, blue collar town on the East Coast. O’Nan gets so close to these people they feel like your family as he zooms in on the overlooked moments that nudge a young woman along from desperately in love to just plain desperate.”

The New York Times posted a lovely review of Ocean State, concluding that "O’Nan is subverting the thriller, borrowing its momentum to propel this bracing, chilling novel. Whereas thrillers tend to use murders as a prurient jumping-off point, the entryway to the reader’s pleasure — that chance to play Columbo or Kinsey Millhone in our heads — O’Nan takes his time, humanizing this story to make the hole where the victim was suitably substantial."

Stewart O'Nan is the author of numerous books, including Wish You Were Here, Emily, Alone, and Henry, Himself. His novel Last Night at the Lobster is a national bestseller and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 6, 7 pm
Kim Fay, author of Love & Saffron
in conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a virtual event

Readings from Oconomowaukee hosts Kim Fay with her #1 Indie Next pick and instant bestseller Love & Saffron, a book that’s perfect for fans of 84, Charing Cross Road: a witty, tender novel of two women in America during the 1960s who discover how food connects us all. For this event, Fay will be in conversation with Goldin of Boswell and Baudoin of Books & Company, our event cohost. This is a Lisa pick - I'm so glad she was convinced it would be a great Oconomowaukee pick.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of Love & Saffron now. Click here to order from Boswell, or here to order from Books & Company.

When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter and a gift of saffron to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic - exotic fare in the Northwest of the sixties. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.

A brief respite from our chaotic world, Love & Saffron is a gem of a novel, a reminder that food and friendship are the antidote to most any heartache, and that human connection will always be worth creating. J Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest, says: "Part historical fiction, part friendship saga, and part carnival for the senses, Love & Saffron isn't just for food lovers - it's an ode to risk-takers, trailblazers, and the chefs in all of us. With lush descriptions of food and a resonant historical setting, Love & Saffron is a sweet, savory, and emotional pleasure. It's like a dinner with friends you won't want to end."

A former bookseller, Kim Fay is author of Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, winner of the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards’ Best Asian Cuisine Book in the United States, and The Map of Lost Memories, an Edgar Award finalist for Best First Novel. She is also the creator/editor of a series of guidebooks on Southeast Asia.

Thursday, April 7, 6:30 pm
Cara Black, author of Murder at the Porte de Versailles
in-person at Boswell Book Company 

Boswell is pleased to present an evening with Cara Black, author of Three Hours in Paris, to celebrate the release of her 20th novel in the beloved Aimée Leduc mysteries. This novel entangles Parisian PI Leduc in a dangerous web of international spycraft and terrorist threats in Paris’s 15th arrondissement. Cohosted by our friends of Alliance Française de Milwaukee. You know things are back to as normal as things can get nowadays when Cara Black comes to town!

Registration is required to attend this in-person event. Click right here to register. And be sure to order
your copy of Murder at the Porte de Versailles now, too! Signed copies and personalization available on pre-orders, but signed copies will not be shipped or available for pickup until after the event.

It’s November, 2001, and in the wake of 9/11, Paris is living in a state of fear. A gathering for family and friends is disrupted when a bomb goes off at the police laboratory, and Boris Viard, the partner of Aimée's friend Michou, is found unconscious at the scene of the crime with traces of explosives under his fingernails. As Aimée scours the streets of the 15th arrondissement trying to extract herself from a dangerous web of international spycraft and terrorist threats, she has to ask herself if she should succumb to pressure from Chloe's biological father and move them out to his farm in Brittany. But could Aimée Leduc ever leave Paris?

Black’s latest is one of CrimeReads Most Anticipated Books of 2022. From the starred Booklist review: "Black’s series is at home on bestseller lists and has long been a particular favorite of librarians and library patrons… The story unwinds against the backdrop of 9/11 and, more personally, the question of whether Aimée should move to Brittany with her three-year-old daughter, Chloe, and her biological father. Forget it, Aimée: we want you in Paris, not clomping about a farm in Birkenstocks."

Cara Black is the author of twenty books in The New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series as well as the thriller Three Hours in Paris. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.

Thursday, April 7, 7 pm
Lisa Damour, author of Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls
in-person at University School of Milwaukee, 2100 W Fairy Chasm Rd

REDgen and University School of Milwaukee present Lisa Damour, Director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls and author of Under Pressure and Untangled for a talk entitled "Under Pressure: Stress, Anxiety and Resilience, Thriving in Uncertain Times."

Registration is required to attend this event – click here to visit the Eventbrite registration page now. Be sure to note USM’s COVID safety policies. Boswell will be on hand selling copies of Under Pressure and Untangled, as well.

As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with girls, Lisa Damour has witnessed a rising tide of stress and anxiety among the youth in her research. Knowing no parent wants to see their child in emotional overload, Damour offers helpful solutions to the stresses of growing up in the modern era. In her informed guide for parents of daughters, Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinct developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups. Providing realistic scenarios and welcome advice on how to engage daughters in smart, constructive ways, Untangled gives parents a broad framework for understanding their daughters and helps mothers and fathers understand, connect, and grow with their daughters.

Lisa Damour graduated with honors from Yale University, worked for the Yale Child Study Center, and received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. She is author of numerous academic papers and chapters related to education and child development. Damour is a faculty associate of the Schubert Center for Child Studies and a clinical instructor at Case Western Reserve University.

Photo credits
Stewart O'Nan by Trudy O'Nan
Kim Fay by Cortney Kelley
Cara Black by Laura Skayhan
Lisa Damour by Collen Chrzanowski

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