Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Milwaukee Talking About? Literary Links to the Shepherd Express, Urban Milwaukee, WUWM's Lake Effect, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

This week's featured review in the Shepherd Express is for Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote Scum (and Shot Andy Warhol), written by Breanne Fahs. Solanas is known for shooting Andy Warhol and for writing The SCUM Manifesto, considered a groundbreaking feminist text. As Mark Borchardt writes: "It was Solanas’ obsession to get her play Up Your Ass produced that ultimately brought her to Warhol. But he was uninterested in the weird socio-political script. And that apathy ultimately set her off. Solanas always saw herself as a writer but her material was so singular, so radical, it could never find an accepting audience. Of course, post-shooting, the media exploitation machine immediately kicked into high gear and finally SCUM Manifesto got the recognition (read: notoriety) she so actively sought."

Nicely paired with the Book Preview feature for Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. Our Friday event turned out to be a big hit, even for a Friday evening in summer. Attendance was more than triple our first event and we sold out of books at the end of the evening. We'll have stock by Tuesday, and you can get a Bad Feminist button at the same time. Oh, and I have one suggestion for the publisher--being that the black buttons are far outpacing demand for the white buttons, why don't you reprint Bad Feminist with a black cover? McSweeneys periodically does this and so does a certain bookstore when it reorders plastic bags. And then do the third printing in pink. I'm just full of ideas.

Will Stotts, Jr. writes up two books in his Dial/Urban Milwaukee column this week. One recent author featured is Cristina Henríquez, whose novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, struck a chord with the reviewer. He writes: "Ms. Henriquez is a wise and knowing guide through the vagaries of acclimating to a new land. She creates a variety of characters from a multitude of backgrounds with warmth and truth. The microcosm she creates reminds us of the subtle differences among America’s many cultures and their important commonalities. Ultimately, we all want the same things. As this powerful book demonstrates, it is only when we are afraid that we forget our neighbor is one of us."

His local author spotlight is for Julia Mary Gibson, who visits Boswell on Friday, September 5 for her Copper Magic, a book for kids. I love the fact is that her identification with Milwaukee is that her parents were radical activists.

Let's see who was featured in WUWM's Lake Effect this week. I'll try to give you as discrete a link as possible to the interview. Sometimes a segment has its own link, but sometimes it's the whole show only. Monday started off with an all author show:
--Danielle Ofri, discussing What Docors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine
--Recently Long-Listed for the Man Booker Prize Joshua Ferris, discussing To Rise Again a a Decent Hour
--Biographer Scott Eyden, on John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

On Wednesday, Rebecca Makkai discussed The Hundred-Year House with Bonnie North. From the website: "The possibility of reinvention lies at the heart of Rebecca Makkai’s newest novel, The Hundred Year House. Part mystery, part family drama, part ghost story, and wholly engaging and entertaining, The Hundred Year House is set in a fictional house in the Midwest that once housed an artist’s colony, and which has many, many secrets left a century later."

Thursday's feature is with Oliver Potzsch, whose novel The Ludwig Conspiracy is now in paperback. Lake Effect timed the interview to air in conjunction with the Milwaukee Film Festival's showing of "Ludwig II." The website notes that "The Ludwig Conspiracy is a historical novel that ties together some conspiracy theories about Ludwig’s death with real, documented history. Pötzsch, who is from Germany, spoke with Lake Effect’s Dan Harmon about how the subject matter in this new novel differs from the history he’d written about before."

On Wisconsin Public Radio's Kathleen Dunn this week, John Munson is keeping the seat warm. Wednesday's guest was Michael Wolraich, author of Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Rebels Who Created Progressive Politics. I was going to make an argument that this book almost goes in our Wisconsin history section as the Fighting Bob LaFollette is a key player, but American history seems okay too. WPR writes: "Host John Munson is joined by the author of a new book about Wisconsin's Progressive Trailblazers...It recounts the battle between Wisconsin Senator Robert 'Fighting Bob' La Follette and Illinois Congressman 'Uncle Joe' Cannon, the House Speaker."

On Joy Cardin, Thursday's guest was Benoit Denizet-Lewis, whose Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog Crazy Country is a memoir and an exploration of dog culture. Yes, it's 32 months in a motor home. I saw the author is traveling to St. Louis and Kansas City on his book tour, but I'm not sure if that is also in an RV. I did not ever think of Joy Cardin as a crazy cat lady, but she defends herself by saying she's had a lot of dogs over the years too. Casey is a yellow lab, for folks who need to know that and the author was also featured in USA Today. In Virginia, dogs are allowed into restaurants. Take note, Wisconsin!

Several book-related guests appeared on Central Time this week. On Monday, Shauna Singh Baldwin reflects on the two-year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shooting. And then on Tuesday, Euly Hong talks to Gene Purcell about the book, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture. I guess Psy's Gangnam Style is the hook here, but the really interesting thought is that this cultural export is government driven.

No comments: