Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guest Blog! Susan Engberg Says a Few Words About Her Upcoming Reading for "Above the Houses", now in Paperback

I'm honored to host Susan Engberg to read at Boswell for her latest collection, Above the Houses, now in paperback. But I'm not too honored to badger her to say a few words!

Some thoughts for Boswell Book Company’s email newsletter and blog:

~From my first days in Milwaukee in the late summer of 1979, I’ve relished the never-fail pleasure of a trip to the bookstore at 2559 N. Downer Avenue—at first friendly Webster’s, then for such a long inspired tenure Harry W. Schwartz’s, and now, hooray, Boswell Book Company.

~And thanks to the fine old building for housing some of my previous readings. Now I’m delighted to appear once more in the store, this time to celebrate the paperback edition of my fourth collection of stories, Above the Houses.

~When people ask what my stories are “about,” I might at first laugh a little to ease the strain of attempting to fit myself into a niche and then say something like, Oh, you know, sort of everything—life, loss, work, loneliness, illness, mindfulness, sex, joy, love, death—you name it. I’m not being evasive. I’m not trying to get off the hook. Far from it: I’m totally hooked by the wonder of all our stories. May I ask what you are “about”? (And may I please take notes?)

~I’m also often asked why I continue to focus on stories and novellas rather than hefty novels. It’s about the harmony I feel with stories. We seem to belong together. A long time ago I really fell in love with the power of the story form, its ancient roots, its simultaneous affinities to both flowing narrative and poetic compression. So few elements can make such fullness. For now, I just want to go on experimenting with that expansive, beautiful, difficult simplicity.

Engberg will be reading a new story at the event. Note that the accompanying jacket photo is for the hardcover. Long story. It involves weighing the book, believe it or not. I'm not going to tell you any more than that, but it worked out well for us.

Please join us for this bookstore story unveiling!



Cool Bill said...

Susan Engberg's UPCOMING reading??? So is the date and time a secret? Is it hidden somewhere within the incredibly wordy (boring) text? Will you be posting it at some undisclosed date on a future blog entry or on another site?

Or are you just so gosh darn embarrassed to market your author readings in a comprehensible way, golly gee whiz.

Any help here will be appreciated.

Rebecca said...

The event is on Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00 pm.

You can find a list of upcoming events on our main web site, here:

or, better yet, on Facebook, where you will get reminders.

We're still getting the hang of managing our online presence, so your understanding is appreciated.