Monday, September 30, 2013

Events This Week--Gretchen Primack, Eddie Trunk, Kevin Phillips, Jen Larsen, Kipp Friedman, Brandon Sanderson, Susan Falkman!

Monday, September 30, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Gretchen Primack, author of Kind.

Gretchen Primack’s latest collection of poetry explores the dynamic between humans and animals in the 21st century. “Kind merges my social justice concerns with my poetic concerns,” says Primack, whose work has appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best New Poets, Poet Lore, and many other literary journals. “I’m pleased to share the poems with Milwaukee, where my poetry and activism really began.”

Says poet Celia Bland, “To better understand Gretchen Primack’s work, look to the poets she evokes in her poetry: Pablo Neruda, Stanley Kunitz, Walt Whitman—writers whose works and lives are indistinguishably intertwined in conviction and originality and force.”

A portion of the author’s proceeds from the event will be donated to local animal organizations, including the Wisconsin Humane Society in honor of Sally, the beloved dog she adopted from there.

Kind is Gretchen Primack’s third collection of poetry. She is also co-author of the memoir The Lucky Ones, which was selected as Book of the Year by VegNews Magazine. While in Milwaukee for three years working as a labor organizer with SEIU and then FNHP, Primack studied poetry at UWM with 2009-10 Wisconsin Poet Laureate Marilyn Taylor. She then moved to New York to head Women’s Rights at Work, an anti-sexual harassment project of Citizen Action, and now lives and writes in the Hudson Valley.

Tuesday, October 1, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Eddie Trunk, author of Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Volume 2

"Eddie Trunk is one of the greatest true rock-and-roll fans I've ever met. He hears it, sees it from all angles, with an unusually unbiased point of view."—Slash

In the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, Trunk picks up where he left off by featuring 35 new bands, both legendary and forgotten, and sharing his passion for all things metal. Complete with his favorite playlists, band discographies, memorabilia, trivia, and more than 200 color photographs, this new book combines brief band histories with Trunk's unique personal experiences and anecdotes in a must-read for all fans of rock and roll. Featuring a diverse lineup, from Marilyn Manson and Ace Frehley to Lita Ford and Whitesnake, Volume 2 salutes all those who are ready to rock!

Eddie Trunk is the host and co-producer of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show and is heard on two weekly radio shows: Eddie Trunk Live, which airs on SiriusXM, and the FM-syndicated Eddie Trunk Rocks, in New York City on Q104.3. He lives in New Jersey.

Wednesday, October 2, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jen Larsen, author of Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head.

Here's how these things work. Mel went to a bookseller conference and Green Bay. She met Jen Larsen and decided to read her memoir. Stranger Here turned out to strike a nerve with her, or perhaps it was her funny bone. In any case, she immediately came back to me and said, Larsen's moving to Madison and we should do something with her. We spent some time matching her up and finally decided a great match was Mark Brennan Rosenberg, who was touring for another memoir about body image, Eating My Feelings. And then the tour was cancelled. But now we had two recs on Stranger Here, one from Mel and one also from Hannah. So that's a happy ending of sorts. It will be even happier if 25 or 30 of you come out. Here's Boswellian Hannah Johnson-Breimeier's take:

“Within minutes of meeting the very funny, geeky and totally rad Jen Larsen, I felt like she was my new best friend. Her memoir, Stranger Here, is a soul-searching account of her decision to undergo weight-loss surgery, and the subsequent realization that changing her body to meet society's standard of beauty was not the golden ticket to happiness she thought it would be. With a voice so loud and strong (even when she was feeling neither or) I anticipate that most readers will want to join the Jen Larsen fan club.”

Stranger Here is the brutally honest, humorous, and insightful story of her journey to, through, and beyond that decision. She is unsparing in her self-criticism and self-love. People Magazine calls it “Honest, brave and sparklingly funny,” And Bust Magazine columnist Wendy McClure notes, “For all the noise our culture makes about fat and thin and health and perfect bodies, Jen Larsen's voice rises above the clamor, disarming and funny but unflinching, too. Combining stark honesty with generosity of spirit, this story of loss and recovery is like no other.” Larsen is a writer and editor, and has blogged for several online publications.

Wednesday, October 2, 7 pm, at the American Geographical Society Library, 2311 E. Kenwood Blvd., on the third floor of the UWM Golda Meir Library:
Kevin Phillips, author of 1775: A Good Year for Revolution.
This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the UWM Libraries.

Kevin Phillips has been a political and an economic commentator for four decades. This is his fifteenth book, the last four of which have been New York Times bestsellers. His book, The Cousins’ Wars was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history. We are thrilled to have an event with Phillips in such a unique space. Here's more about 1775.

In 1775, iconoclast historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. Analyzing the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and insights he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. That skill and insight may not be surprising as he notes in the preface that, disillusioned with what he saw as the failing state of the country today, he wanted to “write about a United States taking shape rather than one losing headway.”

Fellow historian Joseph J. Ellis, in his review of 1775 for The New York Times, summarizes: “This is a feisty, fearless, edgy book, blissfully bereft of academic jargon, propelled by the energy of an author with the bit in his teeth. … the story he tells is not neat and orderly because making a revolution is, almost by definition, a dizzy experience that no one at the time fully comprehends. Phillips’s major accomplishment is to recover that sense of excitement, confusion and improvisation as, almost providentially, the perfect storm formed.”

Thursday, October 3, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kipp Friedman, author of Barracuda in the Attic.
This event is co-sponsored by the Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC of Milwaukee.

You may know Kipp Friedman for his photography work in Milwaukee, or perhaps as part of the JCC. But his childhood was not your typical one, as his father was the editor, novelist, playwright and screenwriter Bruce Jay Friedman. Barracuda in the Attic is a collection of essays of a childhood split between city and suburb, mother and father, everyday antics and Hollywood glamour.

Typical of boys in the 60s and 70s, he and his older brothers Drew and Josh sought out horror films, comic books, and sports debates as they gallivanted around New York City and Long Island. Atypically, they also played pool with mobster Joe Gallo, dined with Groucho Marx; and vacationed in the South of France, the Caribbean, and, of course, Hollywood.

Barracuda in the Attic is truly a family affair: written by Kipp, it boasts a cover illustration by Drew Friedman, an introduction by paterfamilias Bruce Jay Friedman, and an afterword by Josh Friedman, as well as being copiously illustrated with photos of the family and their literati friends and hangers-on.

Read more about Kipp Friedman and Barracuda in the Attic on my recent dedicated blog post.

Friday, October 4, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Brandon Sanderson, author of Steelheart, The Rithmatist, and the Mistborn trilogy.

Sanderson, the Mistborn author tapped to finish off Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, embarks on a new young adult series, set in a futuristic Chicago. Humans have split into two groups: those with extraordinary powers (Epics) and those without. The Epics rule with iron fists. Now, a young man joins up with those trying to end the tyranny, to avenge the death of his father who was killed by a mysterious Epic by the name of Steelheart.

Here's Boswellian Jason Kennedy's take on Steelheart:
"Brandon Sanderson has created another amazing and brilliant universe, where everything has been rocked to its very core and humanity is struggling to just survive. In David's world, a calamity occurs which transforms normal people into Epics, who have varying levels of super powers. We would all like to think that most people with super powers would do good by humanity, but these Epics kill at a whim and destroy the normal working order of the world. Steelheart murders David's father, and for the next ten years he attempts to learn as much about the Steelheart and the other Epics as he can so he can avenge his fathers and countless others deaths. It is a dangerous proposition, however. If he can convince others to help him, then they might have a slim chance at best. That's all they need."

Brandon Sanderson is also the author of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy and the recently released YA novel The Rithmatist. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives and writes in Utah.

For more, check out this new interview conducted by Shawn Speakman on the Del Rey/Spectra web page.

Saturday, October 5, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Susan Falkman, author of Body Memories.
This event co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition.

Susan Falkman’s early carving years were spent in Greece and Italy, where she lived for over ten years before moving to the U.S. In addition to the galleries that show her work, her sculptures can be found in botanical gardens, hospitals, universities and other public and private institutions. She lives in Milwaukee with her dog.

A private studio artist, she one day was inspired to create a simple marble work for a friend who was undergoing a mastectomy. That one work led to another and another, growing into a unique exploration of breast cancer through abstract marble sculptures. Eventually the collection became an exhibit which traveled throughout the Midwest and the East Coast for six years, seen by thousands. At each stop, visitors could write down their reactions to the works in a journal, demonstrating the emotional impact that art can have on the individual.

Elegantly photographed by Dean Johnson, and accompanied by stories from cancer journeys undertaken by others as well as quotes from people who shared their own experiences while visiting the exhibit between 1994 and 2006, Body Memories is a moving, evocative book.

Ms. Falkman has taught stone carving at the Carving Studio in West Rutland, Vermont, The Lincoln Center for the Arts, in Milwaukee, at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Cardinal Stritch University. Her sculptures can be found In collections in France, Germany, Greece, Australia, Italy and in the United States.

Preview for Next Week:
Monday, October 7, 6:30 pm, at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 W Loomis Rd, 53132:
Scott Seegert and John Martin, author and illustrator of Vordak the Incomprehensible: Time Travel Trouble (with a special appearance by Vordak).

Vordak the Incomprehensible is a world-class supervillain and the Evil Master of all he surveys. His first books, including Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World, have inspired a whole new generation of minions and fiends.
Scott Seegert was selected to transcribe Vordak's notes based on his ability to be easily captured. He has completely forgotten what fresh air smells like and has learned to subsist on a diet of beetles, shackle rust, and scabs. As far as he knows, he still has a wife and children living in southeast Michigan.

John Martin has the great misfortune of being chosen by Vordak to illustrate this book. He hasn't seen the sun in three years. He is deathly afraid of the dark and spiders, which is unfortunate considering his situation. The last he heard, he also had a wife and children in Michigan.

Vordak the Incomprehensible, Vol. 4: Time Travel Trouble is the next installment in the misadventures of Vordak. After having yet another evil plan to rule the world foiled by Commander Virtue, Vordak travels back in time in an attempt to defeat his arch-nemesis at the point of his greatest vulnerability—his childhood. Kirkus Reviews says, most likely followed by maniacal laughter, "At last, the supervillain tells his side of the story."

To get to Franklin Public Library, take 894 to the Loomis Exit and head south. It's also a bit east of Highway 100 on Drexel Avenue.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What Sold at Boswell for the Week Ending September 28? It's Time for Nonfiction to Pop, with Hastings, Barnes, and Dawkins, Plus Lots of Event Books and a Reminder to Mark Your Calendar for the Doctor Sleep Book Club,

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Someone, by Alice McDermott
2. Enon, by Paul Harding
3. Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King
4. Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon
5. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent

We're hosting a Doctor Sleep book club with former bookseller-turned-rep Halley on Saturday, November 2, 7 pm. Spread the word with our Facebook event page The Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez observers that "In the latter stage of this remarkably prolific writer’s career, his trademark penchant for ghastly, bloody horror is gradually being overshadowed by humane, heartfelt compassion." This review is reprinted in the print edition of the Journal Sentinel today.

After our morning event with Alice McDermott, we had a quick lunch before she got her flight back East. Instead of one of the inevitable pictures of me with the author (there is at least one an earlier blog post this week), I asked if I could take one with Bill, her escort. If you would like to know more about the event, please ask Jane, Anne, or Sharon. She is a wonderful speaker and quite eloquent about the craft of writing.

One thing I noticed is that sometime during the publishing process, the ink color darkened on the Someone jacket. It turned out that original jacket was more yellow than gold and didn't pop well; I had noticed this as well. The final cover works much better, and I particularly like the contrasting spine. Did I mention signed first editions are available?

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Layton's Legacy, by John Eastberg and Eric Vogel (event today, September 29, 3 pm)
2. Catastrophe 1914, by Max Hastings
3. Levels of Life, by Julian Barnes
4. Schlitz: Brewing Art, by Paul Bialas
5. Appetite for Wonder, by Richrad Dawkins

Here's what happens when the new release blog covers fiction two weeks in a row--the bestseller list is filled with titles that haven't yet been covered. I'm just going to mention Max Hastings' new Catastrophe 1914, as Jason had noted to me that his newest was selling quite well. Here's a review in The Washington Times from James Srodes that looks at how today's military intervention rhetoric echo the pre-Great War pundits.

"One of the disturbing echoes for today’s reader is how certain the leaders on both sides of the impending conflict were that the new technologies of warfare would enable them to triumph over their perceived enemies without the traditional cost of the lives of their troops or the destruction of their cities." 

Paperback Fiction:
1. The President's Hat, by Antoine Laurain
2. Buddenbrooks, by Thomas Mann
3. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
4. Tinkers, by Paul Harding
5. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

The release of The Round House reminds me that it's time to update our book club brochure. Let's see if I can limit myself to updated just a few titles instead of a complete overhaul. I would think The President's Hat would also make a good addition. If you want to know about the Buddenbrooks pop, that one is being bought by students!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Indian Inspired Gluten Free Cooking, by Alamelu Vairavan (event Wed. October 16 ,7 pm)
2. The Distancers, by Lee Sandlin
3. Mediterranean Slow Cooker, by Michele Scicolone
4. Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, Volume II (event Tues. October 1, 7 pm)
5. 1775, by Kevin Phillips (event Wed. October 2, 7 pm, at the American Geographical Society Library at UWM Golda Meir Library, 3rd floor)

One doesn't expect to see so many upcoming events being among our bestsellers, but there's a lot of interest in all these events. I'll have more on Eddie Trunk and Kevin Phillips tomorrow, and if I am particularly disciplined, there will also be an email newsletter coming.

Books for Kids:
1. The Eyes of India, by M. W. Greer
2. CommuniTree, by Andrea Skyberg
3. Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo
4. More Than This, by Patrick Ness
5. Squircle, by Andrea Skyberg

I mentioned that authors and arts educators Andrea Skyberg and M.W. Greer were all about collaboration, and their Friday event showed the fruits of their labor with a great multi-media show. Both authors are working on their new projects and each still have at least one school slot open. If you'd like to get in touch with them, please email me. That's some of their work above.

In the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Lore Segal's Half the Kingdom. His verdict? "Slide over, Thomas Pynchon, and make room for another older writer's sardonic novel about contemporary New York, infused with conspiracy theory."

Also don't miss the Higgins blog recaps of John Updike's stories, chronicled week by week as he reads the Library of America John Updike collection, Collected Early Stories.  

In addition to the Rodriguez review noted above, the print edition of the Journal Sentinel also offers Nina Tannenwald of the San Francisco Chronicle and her take on  Eric Schlosser's Command and Control.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Gift Post--The Rise of Babar Merchandise, and the Smoothing of the Rough Edges in the Character of Babar.

Here's a display I've been working on for about a year. Babar product started showing up from our gift vendors last fall, from both Galison (now part of Chronicle) and Schylling. The problem was that while we got our wooden letter magnets right away, the kaleidoscopes, wooden car, and wooden puzzle did not ship for several months.

At the Minnesota gift show, I chatted with the rep, reminding her that I still wanted these items when they became available. They wound up shipping in September. By then, we also spotted a round Babar puzzle, and that seemed like enough for a display.

Of course no display would be completete without the classic Babar titles. In order, the books by Jean de Brunhoff are The Story of Babar, The Travels of Babar, and Babar the King. de Brunhoff wrote two more books that are out of print in English, The ABC of Babar and Zephir's Holiday (there's probably something unpublishable in the first, and Zephir is Babar's monkey friend who hasn't held up as well as the elephant is featured in the second, elephantless). The series continued to be penned by his son Laurent.

There are also a number of contemporary board books, including a contemporary ABC title. Interestingly enough, the second most popular title after the original on our wholesaler's demand list is one that is quite contemporary, Babar's Yoga for Elephants .

Babar was a staple of my childhood, and while there is a cartoon series that has brought him to a wider audience, it hasn't been as heavily licensed as Dr. Seuss or Curious George.  I used to take the books out of the library all the time, and had an LP (yes, a vinyl album) storybook, that chronicled the adventures of Babar, Celeste, Arthur (that rascal!), Zephir, and the rest of the gang.

Babar, like many other children's book characters, is a product of his time, as this critic said, reflecting the waning days of French imperialism. Some folks can have issues with the underlying "civilize the barbarians" message and benevolent dictator pose of King B. The books written by his son Laurent are said to smooth the rough edges of Babar's character.

Let me say that after looking at the books, you wonder why someone isn't trying to license Make Way for Ducklings or some other children's book without quite the amount of baggage. That said, if elephants were able to fend for themselves, we might not have the same issues with ivory poaching.

Apparently this has not been the case in Japan, where there are said to be several boutiques.Ellie Pithers in the UK Telegraph noted earlier this year that there's a line of menswear created by Soulland based on the original illustrations. I'm going to hold out for the Otis the tractor work shirts. Or the Anatole line of berets and smocks. As I remember, he was quite the compassionate mouse.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Short Post--A Few Photos of Patrick Ness, Hannah and Kathleen Kent, Antoine Laurain

My father loved a good photo op, and I always said that I wasn't going to be that guy, running around with a camera and making everyone pose. That said, there were a lot of  camera-ready moments this week at Boswell and I'd be remiss if I didn't share them. The one I did miss was Paul Harding, who visited for Enon. We had a great time with him, both at the store and at Nicolet High School, where he spoke to several classes. I also learned that the name is pronounced with a long e and an emphasis on the first syllable.

Authors sometimes worry about a dual event with another author, but I think they are generally a win win, as long as you match the authors up well. In this case, Little, Brown asked us to do a joint event with the unrelated Kents. It was the first time that Hannah Kent of Burial Rites had met Kathleen Kent, of The Outcasts, but they realized very quickly that their work had a lot of common. It was not just that they were both writing historical fiction--these heroines were tough! Look at how much fun they are having. We had fun too.

Antoine Laurain charmed fifty folks with his presentation of The President's Hat. It's a rare tour when I have memorized the itinerary, but I had spoken so much to his publicist Meryl that I kind of knew it by heart. Mr. Laurain collects keys, so we gave him one of the old keys to our store. For his part, I received a beautiful pencil case made by his girlfriend. It's a mark of French and American solidarity. That case is pretty cool, but instead I chose a photo of Laurain and myself in front of Stacie's Paris window.

We were lucky enough to have a stock signing with the wonderful Patrick Ness, whose new book, More than This, has been getting amazing reviews. The enthusiasm from booksellers and librarians alike has been likewise over the top. We invited a number of children's librarians to meet Mr. Ness and get their book signed. Included are Jannis and Hannah from Boswell, plus librarians from North Shore, Cudahy, Greenfield, Hales Corners, and Whitefish Bay. Needless to say, one of the attendees is more of a library's aide. His specialty is pulling books off the shelf. 

Do I even need to say this? Signed copies are available of all these titles. Please request your signed copy in the notes field when you order from us online.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A New Month of Indie Bound Recommendations, Featuring #1 Pick "The Rosie Project" and "The Tilted World," The New Novel from Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly (Coming to Boswell October 24, 7 pm)

It's time for another October Indie Next flier. This week's #1 book is The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. We've had a number of folks read and enjoy this novel, including Sharon, Mel, and myself.

#1 Pick: The Rosie Project (Simon and Schuster), by Graeme Simsion
“Don Tillman is a brilliant geneticist, but he has always been rather socially maladroit. Imagine his surprise when a friend tells him that he would make a wonderful husband. Intrigued, he starts The Wife Project and commences the search for the perfect spouse. While in the midst of his extremely precise hunt for a wife, Rosie Jarman blows into Don’s life like a wild wind. Rosie is on a quest of her own — The Father Project — the search for her biological father. Rosie is the antithesis of Don's image of the perfect wife of his scientific calculations, but somehow he finds himself putting The Wife Project on the back burner to aid Rosie. Much ado about a comedy of errors ensues in this hilarious, quirky romance!” —Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Another personal favorite of Hannah's is Men We Reaped, the new memoir from Jesmyn Ward.

Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury), a memoir by Jesmyn Ward
“Men We Reaped is one of the rare nonfiction books that seem destined to become a literary classic. National Book Award-winner Ward intertwines the story of her life growing up poor and black in rural coastal Mississippi with the lives of five young men she was close to — including her brother — who died within a two-year span soon after she finished college. Ward writes with fire and passion as she captures the day-to-day systemic injustices and struggles that she and her family faced. Also clear is the deep love and roots that tie her to the people and place where she was raised. This book will break your heart, make you think, and get you angry. In the tradition of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, this is memoir at its finest." —Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

We've only got one event featured this month. It's for The Tilted World, the collaborative novel from husband-and-wife team Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly.

The Tilted World (William Morrow), by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
“In a compelling, poetic, and detailed manner, Franklin and Fennelly bring to life a little-known catastrophe in American history. The Tilted World weaves together the stories of two endearing characters — an orphan who grows up to be a decorated World War I hero turned Prohibition revenuer and a bootlegging firecracker of a woman who yearns for her lost child. Add the setting of a town on the brink of destruction by deluge and some unsavory characters looking to profit from calamity, and the reader will be swept away by their story.” —Sara Peyton, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

In conjunction with our in-store event on Thursday, October 24 (7 pm), Stacie has put together a display of flood books, including Five Days at Memorial, Southern Cross the Dog, and Jesmyn Ward's novel, Salvage the Bones.

Tom Franklin has proven to be a bookseller favorite over the years, from his short-story collection Poachers (thanks, Suzanne, for this correction!) to his novel Smonk, which was the obsession of many a Downer Schwartzian. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter had something like six recs from Boswellians, and was awarded one of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the coveted Golden Dagger Award.

The new novel is once again a different species, being a collaboration with Fennelly, a poet. Fennelly's most successful book to date, however, is Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother, proving she's got the prose chops too. Of the latest, Library Journal gave The Tilted World a starred review, noting that their newest is "a pleasurable work of historical fiction rife with religious symbolism and romance."

We're very excited to welcome back Franklin to Milwaukee and welcome for the first time Beth Ann Fennelly. Show them some midwestern hospitality when they appear on Thursday, October 24.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Read My First Open Road Media Novel, Adam Langer's "The Salinger Contract."

When Open Road Media started in 2009, I really didn’t think I’d ever be dealing with them. For one thing, they were really focused on buying ebook rights to backlist titles, and we didn’t even have an ebook strategy. We have one now, I guess, but there’s always a machine between you and the customer. Ask an independent bookseller, and even if they have an aggressive ebook strategy, there’s more satisfaction in selling a physical book.

And then there’s the frontlist vs. backlist. We’ve been known to get behind an older title or two, but most of the things we rec, have events for, and display are new titles. And ironically, the growth of POD (print on demand ) technology makes it more difficult to get behind a lot of deep backlist—the books are more likely to have a higher price, a lower discount, or nonreturnability. I should note here that there is absolutely no consistency among publishers regarding how POD titles are sold in stores.

But Open Road has slowly branched out. For one thing, they are now doing print editions of their books, and those print editions are not necessarily print on demand. You’ve read previously that we’ve all be cheering the return to print of Barbara Pym’s backlist, and I was assured that these titles were not print on demand, at least for now. I am proud to say, by the way, that we are proudly celebrating the Pym centenary, having sold 35 Pyms in the first half of 2013, compared to 6 for all of 2012. Jane, Anne and I (with the help of John and Earl and others) are planning our 101st birthday bash for January 2, 2013.

It turns out that Open Road is also getting into the new book business. Last May while planning my schedule for Book Expo America, my Ingram rep invited me to an Open Road party with the promise that I’d get to say hi to Adam Langer, a writer I really enjoy. I’ve read all his novels, but still think most fondly of Crossing California, now out of print*. It was my hope that Open Road might pick that book up. Maybe if the new novel works (cross fingers). I should note that you can buy Crossing California in Spanish. Really! Cruzar California was published in 2012 and it’s available at Ingram.

But for now, I’m thinking about The Salinger Contract, the new novel from Adam Langer (photo credit by Anthony Collins and credit for getting me that photo is Nancy Rohlen) that is scheduled to be available on September 17. It sort of continues the cycle of novels that stated with The Thieves of Manhattan. Like his previous novel, the main character is Adam Langer, and while Thieves contemplated memoir fraud and what a writer might do to tell a story, this is more about what a write might do to make a buck. Adam and his wife are living in Bloomington, where they’ve decamped from New York (Editor's note--it's the second book I've read this month set in Blooming, following Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves). In New York, Adam was the book editor of Lit magazine and the somewhat successful author of a novel in stories called Nine Fathers. Now he’s a househusband while his wife teaches at Indiana.

Into his life comes Conner Joyce, a mystery writer whose sales reputation has gone on a downhill trajectory after a successful first novel. After meeting up at the going-out-of-business Borders (editor’s note—once Borders announced its closing, regularly scheduled events moved out of the store as the day-to-day operations were moved to liquidators, who did things like close the bathrooms. Adam is sort of shocked that Conner remembers his interview (they went camping together), but he’s even more shocked when he gets a call telling him an amazing story—Dex, a mysterious Chicagoan approached him to write a novel under the strangest of terms, and claims that many other famous authors have previously taken him up on his offer.

And then he contacts Adam again. He’s violated the terms of his contract and he’s in big trouble. The story becomes a question of what makes an author write, and how mixed up is the need to create with the need to earn. Why so often do first novels have that passion that seems to burn out later? Is it being under the gun of a contract? And how involved is the need to please? If you got the advance but didn't really have to answer to anyone, would your book wind up better or worse.

Why the Salinger reference in the title? He's one of the guys Dex supposedly convinced to write a private book, along with Harper Lee and few fictional creations who play more closely into the plot, like Margot Hetley, whose amazingly popular novels are sort of Charlaine Harris crossed with Anne Rice and J.K. Rowling.

Langer's story is a modern Hitchockian psychological thriller, but it's also an insider's look at publishing. I've talked about the "books on books" section that is shopped by bookstore groupies. Langer's last few novels could be shelved in books on books/fiction. It's a case of "write what you know and then make it ridiculously over the top false." In a sense, it's the publishing process through a funhouse mirror--I saw Caroline Leavitt use the "funhouse" reference in her recommendation, and it's so apt that I've got to steal it. Hope you don't mind a little literary appropriation.

So yes, it's an Open Road Media original, but it's still a paperback original. I'll let you know when I catch them publishing a hardcover. I guess Mitchell Reiss's Negotiating with Evil had a hardcover edition but it was simultaneous with the paperback and might have actually been print on demand. I'll keep looking.

It turns out, of course, that this seems to be a good time for Open Road release The Salinger Contract, what with the announcement that previously unpublished Salinger work will finally find its audience. There's also the Salinger documentary from Shane Salerno, and the tie-in Salinger biography from Salerno and David Shields.

Further down the pike comes Pearl S. Buck's The Eternal World, a recently discovered novel from Pearl S. Buck and The Tenth Circle, from thriller writer Jon Land. We're also slowly seeing the print editions to authors such as Mary McCarthy and Frederick Forsythe. How traditional can you get?

*Editor's Note. Langer notes that Crossing California is still available as an ebook

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Releases! Dara Horn, Stephen King, Allan Garganus, Jennifer duBois, and Jhump Lahiri Hit the Shelves.

So it's Antoine Laurain day, after all this time. Why do all the over-the-top, put-Daniel's-reputation-on-the-line events have to all come so bunched up together? When I was discussing the book and the possible idea of a tour stop for Antoine Laurain, I mentioned that I'd dig out my old Mylene Farmer CDs to play in the store. Mylene Farmer was a major French phenomenon of the 1980s and 1990s. Mylene Farmer is of course referenced in The President's Hat, as she is the favorite singer of Fanny, the put-upon mistress in the book.Here's the video for Désenchantée, which came out after the book is set, but that's ok, right?

But all this, while very exciting, is not central to today's blog, which is focusing on new hardcover fiction. After linking to some mixed reviews for Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland (Knopf), which is on sale today, our rep Jason emailed me the really great Entertainment Weekly. I like the way that this review from Melissa Maerz continues the conversation about twists and how they affect the reading of the story.

"The Lowland is about how history is just the same mistakes made by different generations. But it's also about how time can trick you into believing that change is possible. While writing her dissertation, Gauri wonders, ''What caused certain moments to swell up like hours, certain years to boil down to a number of days?'' Lahiri plays with that question brilliantly, devoting pages to fleeting moments, only to deliver the book's most life-shattering event in a telegram just seven words long. From hour to hour, these characters may be free, but what happens to them from decade to decade feels fated. The Lowland offers new revelations right up to the last page, creating a palpable dread of what's to come. Some say that a twist is most effective when the reader figures it out a split second before the author reveals it. But Lahiri shows that a twist can be even more devastating when you've been afraid that it might happen all along."

Also just out is the new novel from Alan Garganus, Local Souls (Liveright). Best known for Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All is said to have written a Winesberg, Ohio of the New South in his three novellas about a town in North Carolina. Among his fans is John Irving, who praises his flawless storytelling, and Ann Patchet, who counts Guganus among the best writers of our time. His roundup from the Wall Street Journal, not just unauthored but now un-cut-and-pastable, seems more mixed. Hey, at least you're allowed to read it. I guess the book takes the form of beauty parlor chatter, as he or she puts it, but I think the overall effect with said reviewer is positive.

Charles Finch was also mixed, alas. He writes "Taken collectively these commotions make Falls seem like a town imagined by Stephen King, not the cheerful regionalist microcosm Gurganus seems to hope." What a nice seque! Doctor Sleep (Scribner), the sequel to The Shining, is out today from Stephen King. This "riveting "novel is about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. In USA Today, Brian Truitt has no such hesitations about weighing in on Doctor Sleep, calling it a "tour de force."  And NPR's interview shows how the legacy of alcoholism played such a heavy part in the creation of this book.

Horrifying in a different way is Jennifer duBois's second novel, Cartwheel (Random House), the follow up to A Partial History of Lost Causes. There's a been a lot of buzz about how duBois's story is inspired by the Amanda Knox case, but thinking back, her first novel used Garry Kasparov or someone awfully similar to him as one of the major characters. The story shifts to Lily Hayes and the locale is Argentina. The publisher notes that with mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation fo the ways we decide what to see--and to believe--in one another and ourselves. Booklist gave it a starred review: "Sometimes bleak, duBois' ambitious second novel is an acute psychological study of character that rises to the level of the philosophical, specifically the existential. In this it may not be for every reader, but fans of character-driven literary fiction will welcome its challenges."

And finally, there is Dara Horn's A Guide for the Perplexed (W.W. Norton) from Dara Horn, said to be a spellbinding novel about how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul. The story starts with Josie Ashkenazi, who has invented an application that records everything the user does, but she's abducted in Egypt, leaving her affairs to her jealous sister Judith. The story jumps to Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. I had to copy this almost exactly from the copy as I was having trouble getting the plot exactly right, a problem I could have solved if I only read the book. Geraldine Brooks did, and calls it "learned and heartfelt, an exploration of human memory, its uses and misuses, that spans centuries in a twisty brad full of jaw-dropping revelations and breathtaking reversals."

So what have the critics said? Andrew Furman in the Miami Herald writes "Dara Horn crafts a richly layered novel that allows her to probe with great sensitivity and depth the themes that have emerged as her inescapable subjects--the urgency to retrieve and commemorate a past rapidly fading from memory; the contemplation of alternative, often fantastical worlds that might have been and may still be; and the patterns of human experience that eerily recur across cultures and generations." If you think I quoted too much out of that review, that was just one sentence.

King, Horn, Garganus, and Lahiri are Boswell's Best through at least next Monday, September 30. I should note that this makes two fiction roundups in a row. I promise next time I will concentrate on nonfiction or kids' books.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Coming This Week--Boswell's Event Post for Alice McDermott, Paul Harding, Karen Joy Fowler, John Eastberg and Eric Vogel, Antoine Laurain, Hannah Kent and Kathleen Kent, M.W. Greer and Andrea Skyberg, and a preview for Gretchen Primack Next Monday. Whew!

This may be the best event week of the year from my perspective, but please don't tell the other weeks. I know them pretty well from the last few years, and some of them have jealous streaks. And the first week of November can be very prickly, what with all the Halloween clean-up that needs to happen.

I'll start each presentation with some publisher copy, following up with a tangent and at least one interesting link, all to convince you that you should really consider moving into that apartment on Lake Drive. I'm not going to put the copy in quotes because 1) Nobody else does and 2) It will play havoc with the quotations inside the copy.

Monday, September 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jane Hamilton presents Karen Joy Fowler, author of We are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.”

Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she’s managed to block a lot of memories. She’s smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, “Rosemary” truly is for remembrance.

I had an interesting conversation with Jane Hamilton about whether you should give away Fern's identity when writing about the book. In the end, we agreed that knowing the twist right away is fine. Part of the great experience of Fowler's novel is the construction of the story, and that works even without the surprise.

Rob Thomas in the Wisconsin State Journal decided to review the book without the revelation. He writes "Fowler (Sarah Canary, The Jane Austen Book Club) is a brilliant writer who confidently plays with literary form and reader expectations while still keeping her story’s emotional thread taut and alive. Beside Ourselves is a book of surprises both dramatic and emotional." The Madison paper reviewed Fowler in conjunction with her visit to A Room of One's Own tomorrow. Their event starts at 6:30 pm.

Spread the word with our Facebook event page.

Tuesday, September 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Antoine Laurain, author of The President's Hat.
This event is co-sponsored by L'Alliance Française de Milwaukee and The Brass Rooster.

Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.

After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand's black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments' soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It's a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow . . . different.

Has Daniel (editor's note: not me) unwittingly discovered the secret of supreme power?

Yes, he has, but unfortunately, he loses the hat to someone else. This genre, of following the object instead of the people as the thread of the story, has a long and storied history, but the only example I can think of early on Monday morning is The Red Violin, a film from 1998. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks might fall into this genre.

There's a wonderful reading group guide to download, where in an interview, Antoine Laurain discusses François Mitterand, the eighties, and how Laurain's background as a filmmaker came into the story. I am trying to bring something to the party myself, by locating my Mylene Farmer albums (not vinyl but cd) for us to play in the store tomorrow.

Spread the word with our Facebook event page.

Wednesday, September 25, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Paul Harding, author of Enon and Tinkers.

The publisher tagline: "A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughter."

"Harding is an extraordinary writer, for the intoxicating power of his prose, the range of his imagination, and above all for the redemptive humanity of his vision. With painstaking brilliance, Enon charts one man's attempt to salvage meaning from meaningless tragedy, to endure the ubiquitous presence of a loved one's absence. A superb account of the banality and uniqueness of bereavement, it more than earns its place alongside such non-fictional classics as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and CS Lewis's A Grief Observed. That Enon is a work of fiction that feels authentic as memoir makes it all the more astonishing."---Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times

"An extraordinary follow-up to the author's Pulitzer Prize-winning debut…Harding's subject is consciousness rooted in a contemporary moment but bound to a Puritan past. His prose is steeped in a visionary, transcendentalist tradition that echoes Blake, Rilke, Emerson, and Thoreau, and makes for a darkly intoxicating read."--The New Yorker

“Enon is a lovely book about grief, the ways in which we punish ourselves for feeling it, and, ultimately, how we rebuild our lives even when they seem unsalvageable." --Collette Shade, New York Daily News

"Enon, however, is far from merely the story of one man's descent. Amid all the episodes of real-world dissipation, the book's best writing arrives in the many instances where Charlie encounters visions, both good and bad. Haunted by memories of his daughter, he frequently lapses into beautiful reveries of their time together. The author makes simple things — like the pair feeding birds from their hands, or Charlie buying his daughter a bike or remembering their last conversation — both joyful and heartbreaking. Harding conveys the common but powerful bond of parental love with devastating accuracy."--John Barron, Chicago Tribune

I could go on all day, but you get the point. The other point I want to make here is that Harding's appearance for Tinkers was one of the most talked about of the year. Even folks who hadn't read the book were drawn to Harding. Maybe it's his previous life as a musician, but he has the presence of a performer.

Spread the word with our Facebook event page.

Thursday, September 26, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kathleen Kent, author of The Outcasts and The Heretic's Daughter, along with Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites.

The big news is that Fox6 has picked Burial Rites as their inaugural selection of the Studio A book club. Studio A is a new afternoon local show that mixes news and entertainment.  If you haven't heard about the show, the Fox folks say "Studio A will focus on what’s happening and what’s current in our area, as well as what makes Milwaukee such a vibrant place to live and raise a family." You can read more in this piece.

We've been yapping away at how excited we are about the coming of the Kents. I've been calling it The New Kent Family Chronicles, but the problems with this are manifold, most notably 1) Hannah and Kathleen are unrelated and 2) Nobody seems to know the reference to the old John Jakes novels (North and South, et al)

So we've got me and Jane and Anne and Jannis talking the book up. The trick on these events with first novels is that even when everyone is crazy about the book, it's another trick entirely to get the crowd to come out for the event. I remember how shocked I was at the success of Elizabeth Kostova's event for The Historian in Brookfield, but I'm equally aware that even high profile authors can get poor turnouts without a lot of work on the booksellers' part.

We've got dedicated blog posts about every event listed thus far. I haven't been linking to them, as I figured that most of you are regular blog readers, but I'd be remiss if I didn't give an extra push to Kent, who as a newcomer without the Francophile hook, needs it.

Just a few more recommendations. Lucy Scholes in The Guardian calls Burial Rites "A debut of rare sophistication and beauty – a simple but moving story, meticulously researched and hauntingly told."

But we don't want to leave out Kathleen Kent. Author of The Heretic's Daughter, which Chelsea Cain (she's appearing with Chuck Palahniuk on October 12 at the UWM Union Wisconsin Room, by the way) called this first novel in The New York Times "a powerful coming-of-age tale in which tragedy is trumped by an unsinkable faith in human nature."

Her new novel, The Outcasts, is a taut, thrilling adventure story about buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west.

It's the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she'd been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them both rich, chasing rumors of a pirate's buried treasure.

Meanwhile Nate Cannon, a young Texas policeman with a pure heart and a strong sense of justice, is on the hunt for a ruthless killer named McGill who has claimed the lives of men, women, and even children across the frontier. Who--if anyone--will survive when their paths finally cross?

As Lucinda and Nate's stories converge, guns are drawn, debts are paid, and Kathleen Kent delivers an unforgettable portrait of a woman who will stop at nothing to make a new life for herself.

More on Kent's website. And here's our Facebook event page.

Friday, September 27, 7 pm:
M.W. (Michael) Greer, launching The Eyes of India, reading with Andrea Skyberg, author of Squircle and Communitree.

Andrea Skyberg, the artist and writer behind Snickeyfritz, will discuss her new titles, Squircle, and, CommuniTree, and M.W. Greer will launch his first book, The Eyes of India. Their books each feature artwork produced with the creative help of students from area schools. Skyberg andGreer will share their stories and offer insight into how artists and teachers can explore collaborations of their own.

Andrea Skyberg is an artist and writer who also works with schools as an artist educator. Her children’s books, Squircle and Snickeyfritz were honored as Mom’s Choice Award winners.

M.W. Greer is author and illustrator of the mid grade novel The Eyes of India. When not writing books, Greer works as an interactive designer building educational training.

They are the owners of Wooden Nickel Press, an independent publisher that specializes in children’s books with high artistic creation blended with engaging, lesson-driven stories.

These local events with entrepreneurial authors may not be as glamorous as hosting a Pulitzer prize winner, but they can often be the most rewarding. I received a thank you note from one of the authors who read here in the past few weeks, saying that her event was one of the highlights of her writing life. How can that not warm your heart?

I should note, however, that we expect our local authors to work hard. When you've got a schedule like this, it's hard for me to make your work stand out, and that's why we have a lot of requirements to make sure the event is a success.

Saturday, September 28, 11 am (note time):
Alice McDermott, author of Somone, That Night, Child of My Heart, Charming Billy, At Weddings and Wakes, After This, and A Bigamist's Daughter.

I was surprised to see that That Night was McDermott's highest demand backlist title on Ingram. Who knew? Here's some publisher copy.

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age—come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.

One thing that makes talking up the event easy, aside from the four amazing reads from Boswellians, is that there are lots and lots of great reviews of the book.

"Each slide, each scene, from the ostensibly inconsequential to the clearly momentous, is illuminated with equal care. The effect on the reader is of sitting alongside the narrator, sharing the task of sifting the salvaged fragments of her life, watching her puzzle over, rearrange and reconsider them — and at last, but without any particular urgency or certitude, tilting herself in the direction of finally discerning their significance." --Leah Hager Cohen in The New York Times Book Review

After a seven-year hiatus, National Book Award winner Alice McDermott returns with her seventh novel, Someone, a quiet tour de force of a story. McDermott writes in lyrical yet methodical prose about an ordinary woman living an ordinary life, a seemingly nonstory with heartache, joy, suffering and beauty all simmering beneath the scattered recollections that make up the novel.--Elaina Smith in The Kansas City Star

Just as McDermott manages to write lyrically in plain language, she is able to find the drama in uninflected experience. This is the grand accomplishment of Someone, a deceptively simple book that is, in fact, extraordinarily artful, a novel that traces the arc of an unexceptional, almost anonymous life and, seemingly by accident though of course on purpose, turns a run-of-the-mill story into a poem." --Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

I agree with Charles that McDermott's prose is almost like poetry, but unlike some poets turned novelists, the language never competes with the story. If folks are wondering about the odd time, such as our friend John, who just finished the book yesterday (we had a spirited conversation about the ending), we're added on to two days in Chicago, and 11 am event allowed Ms. McDermott to leave for home earlier. Whatever it takes, right?

I love that one of McDermott's books was translated as A Visit to Brooklyn. I'm pretty sure that this is At Weddings and Wakes, but it could have also been appropriate for Someone as well. More on the Facebook event page.  Help spread the word!

Sunday, September 29, 3 pm (note time), at Boswell:
John Eastberg (left and below) and Eric Vogel (at right), authors of Layton's Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection, 1888-2013.

Frederick Layton (1827-1919) was among the very first art collectors in America to fund a purpose-built civic art gallery for the public's use and enjoyment. Second only to the 1874 Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the 1888 Layton Art Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, presented a new model for the single-patron art museum in America, one significantly different from the established museums of Boston and New York. Frederick Layton and his British architect George Audsley developed a new vision for a more intimate art museum experience. They drew upon their knowledge of English precedents to create a refined, single-story, top-lit, urban gallery that would influence the development of the American art museum well into the twentieth century.

Layton's Legacy draws on a recently discovered archive of Layton family papers, travel journals, and vintage photographs and on five years of extensive archival research in the United States and Great Britain. John C. Eastberg traces the trajectory of the collection's development from its English origins through its grand European acquisitions, Gilded Age art auctions in New York, Progressive-era renovations, postwar deaccessions, and demolition of the original gallery, all leading to a new era of curatorial innovation and major American art acquisitions at the end of the twentieth century. Eric Vogel looks more closely at the architectural history of the original Layton Art Gallery and its influence on the continuing lineage of the single-patron art museum.

Layton's Legacy also includes the first fully illustrated documentation of the entire 125-year history of the Layton Art Collection, demonstrating its formative place in the development of the American art museum. It includes object entries from more than twenty scholars of American and European painting, furniture, and decorative art and features the works of artists Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, Frederick Church, Thomas Cole, Bastien Lepage, William Bourguereau, James Tissot, Frederic Leighton, and Alma Tadema, among many others. Eminent scholars of nineteenth-century art, Dianne Macleod and Giles Waterfield, contribute forewords.

This may be the book's launch, but it's not the last you'll hear of what will definitively be the art book of the season, at least for the Milwaukee area, and dare I say it, Wisconsin. Though priced at $75, this is clearly $125 worth of book, with the price subsidized by foundation money. It's truly spectacular and any sophisticated Southeastern Wisconsiner should have this book in their library. It wouldn't hurt to have signatures from both authors too.

Spread the word using our Facebook event page.

Preview! Monday, September 30, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Gretchen Primack, author of Kind.

Gretchen Primack’s latest collection of poetry explores the dynamic between humans and animals in the 21st century. “Kind merges my social justice concerns with my poetic concerns,” says Primack, whose work has appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best New Poets, Poet Lore, and many other literary journals. “I’m pleased to share the poems with Milwaukee, where my poetry and activism really began.”

Says poet Celia Bland, “To better understand Gretchen Primack’s work, look to the poets she evokes in her poetry: Pablo Neruda, Stanley Kunitz, Walt Whitman—writers whose works and lives are indistinguishably intertwined in conviction and originality and force.”

Kind is Gretchen Primack’s third collection of poetry. She is also co-author of the memoir The Lucky Ones, which was selected as Book of the Year by VegNews Magazine. While in Milwaukee for three years working as a labor organizer with SEIU and then FNHP, Primack studied poetry at UWM with 2009-10 Wisconsin Poet Laureate Marilyn Taylor. She then moved to New York to head Women’s Rights at Work, an anti-sexual harassment project of Citizen Action, and now lives and writes in the Hudson Valley.

A portion of the author’s proceeds from the event will be donated to local animal organizations, including the Wisconsin Humane Society in honor of Sally, the beloved dog she adopted from there.

I'm happy to say that the books of Primack, Greer, and Skyberg are all available for purchase on the Boswell website. It's something that I've been remiss about in the past (uploading self-published and micro press titles that are not on our feed from our supplier), but I'm trying to be better!

And yes, there's an event page for Primack's reading as well. If you know Primack from her time in Milwaukee, and want to help spread the word about her upcoming appearance, an easy way is to post this event page to your wall.