Monday, October 27, 2014

Event post for Week of October 27--Christopher Buehlman, Craig K. Collins, Pete Fromm, Patrick Rothfuss, plus Curbside Splendor's Erika Wurth and James Tadd Alcox.

Monday, October 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Christopher Buehlman, author of The Lesser Dead, The Necromancer's House, and more.

For those of you who love American Horror Story, I think Christopher Buehlman might be the literary equivalent. He's the kind of fellow who doesn't write the same book twice, but plays with genre, subverts with wit, but keeps things so dark and gruesome that I'll say up front that I am too timid a reader to tackler his work. That said, our buyer Jason Kennedy says that he is one of the finest horror writers writing today and that his new book, The Lesser Dead, is at the same quality level as his previous work.

For those who don't know, it's a 1970s New York vampire novel, narrated by a 14-year-old (for the last half century) vampire named Joey Peacock. The family maid made him what he is today. So the problem is that a new breed of vampire, child vampires, is roaming the city and making things problematic for the existing blood eaters. And as always, Buelman's story involves some nifty bits of misdirection amidst the with and bloodiness.

Publishers Weekly gave The Lesser Dead a starred review, praising Buehlman for his atempt to "reclaim the genre from angsty goths and return it to its fearsome and ferocious origins." And for those who haven't figured it out yet, Christopher Buehlman is known locally is Christophe the Insult Comic at the Bristol Renaissance Faire And for all the poets shopping the store who are wondering what their next move should be, I should also note that the author was the recipient of the 2007 Bridport Prize for poetry.

Wednesday, October 29, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Craig K. Collins, author of Thunder in the Mountains: A Portrait of American Gun Culture.

Collins chronicles how a small-town boy from small towns in the West that were seeped in gun culture turned against his past after a near-fatal accident. After a stint as a journalist and business executive, he now runs his Center for Gun Analytics.

Thunder in the Mountains is not a debate on gun ownership or violence; it's a very personal memoir about how Collins' life was shaped by gun violence, most notably a series of hunting accidents and one friend's father who committed suicide.

Booklist, the journal of the American Library Association, writes: "It's not really a book about the broader side of America's gun culture; it's a book about the way a man's life was shaped by that culture and how gun violence touched his life."

Thursday, October 30, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Pete Fromm, author of If Not for This.

It's hard to believe that Pete Fromm is from Shorewood, so completely has he immersed himself in Pacific Northwest culture. His newest is the story of Maddy and Dalt, a couple who meet in Wyoming and settle in Oregon, and Fromm himself is a long-time Montanan (and a former ranger). He's probably not lonely; a recent author who visited Boswell said there are more authors per capita in Montana than perhaps any other geographic area west of that small slice of Brooklyn along the G train.

In a way, If Not for This is about a couple's love, and it's also the story of illness, as Maddy is soon stricken with multiple sclerosis. As Publishers Weekly writes: "The descriptions of Maddy's illness the exhaustion, the fear, and the day-to-day work that a degenerative disease occasions are closely observed and heartbreakingly realistic. Maddy and Dalt's story feels true from the first page to the last."

Fromm is a core faculty member of the low-res writing program at Pacific University. You may also remember that a previous novel, As Cool as I Am, was released as a film last year, starring Claire Danes and James Marsden. How cool is that?

Friday, October 31, 7 pm, at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Slow Regard of Silent Things at the UWM Ballroom, 2300 E. Kenwood Blvd. (Note that buying the book is not the same as buying the ticket; see below for correct link)

1. Walk-up tickets are most likely available, but to secure your place, please visit Brown Paper Tickets now. Tickets are $22 and include a copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things, plus all taxes and fees. We should note that this is very comparable with Mr. Rothfuss's other ticketed events.

2. This event is co-sponsored by the UWM Bookstore. It is through them that we are able to get this great venue. You can also by tickets at the bookstore, and if you are UWM student, faculty, or staff, you qualify for a discount. ID is required, only one discounted ticket per ID.

3. There is a parking garage underground and most street parking restrictions end at 7 pm, though that should allow you to park at most spots by 6 pm.

4. Mr. Rothfuss welcomes costumes. It's Halloween, after all.Visit Brown Paper Tickets for more info.

Saturday, November 1, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Erika Wurth, author of Crazy Horse's Girlfriend,  and James Tadd Alcox, author of Does Not Love.

One of the most dynamic newer small presses around is Curbside Splendor, based in and around the Chicago area (I'm still not sure if they have offices). We're happy to be continuing our Satuday night series - yes, this is the third one and that makes a series.

Tackling issues of poverty, alcoholism, and drug abuse, Erika T. Wurth’s poignant debut, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, features Margaritte, a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a small Colorado town. Set in an archly comedic alternate reality version of Indianapolis completely overrun by Big Pharma, James Tadd Adcox’s debut novel, Does Not Love, chronicles Robert and Viola’s attempts to overcome loss through the miracles of modern pharmaceuticals.

Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, by Erika T. Wurth (an Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee raised outside of Denver, who teaches at Western Illinois University) thoroughly shakes up cultural preconceptions of what it means to be Native American today. Margaritte hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her, and is determined to create a different future with her unreliable new boyfriend. Fighting against her surroundings, she dreams of moving far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen-pregnancy eats her alive.

Sandra Cisneros, author of the classic novel. The House on Mango Street, offers praise: “Erika T. Wurth writes about a young woman's longing with such heart and soul, it made me want to cry.”

James Tadd Adcox’s debut novel, Does Not Love, follows Robert and Viola’s marriage, which is crumbling after a series of miscarriages. Viola finds herself in an affair with the FBI agent who has recently appeared at her workplace, while her husband Robert becomes enmeshed in an elaborate conspiracy designed to look like a drug study. Adcox's work has appeared in TriQuarterly, the Literary Review, PANK, Barrel House, and Another Chicago.

From the rockin' Roxane Gay, a recommendation: “James Tadd Adcox is a curator of the curious and the intimate, the real and the surreal. More than anything, Adcox is a writer who knows how to make the reader believe the impossible, in his capable hands, is always possible, and the ordinary, in his elegant words, is truly extraordinary.”

In addition, I should note that Boswellian Todd Wellman has read and recommends both novels.

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