Monday, April 3, 2017

Event Alert: artist Keith Knight, baseball expert Bob Buege, Jim Higgins on Wisconsin writers, and don't forget about Andrew McCarthy

Here's what's going on at Boswell this week.

Tuesday, April 4, 4:30 pm, at Boswell:
Keith Knight, illustrator of Jake the Fake Keeps It Real

This event is cosponsored by 4Core. Here's a little more about their mission: "In an age where strong African-American men and boys appear to be diminishing, the 4Core are committed to putting a positive image of African-American boys in the forefront as they plant seeds in their own community, raising revenue to support increasing the cultural representation across the arts, while growing their impact and legacy."

From one of the funniest and most highly regarded cartoonists in America, and the creator of three popular comic strips: the Knight Life, (th)ink, and the K Chronicles, now comes graphic novel, Jake the Fake Keeps It Real written by actor/comedian Craig Robinson and popular author, Adam Mansbach, sure to be a delight fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

For the past two decades this multi-award-winning artist illustrator has brought the funny back to the funny pages with his uniquely personal style. Read this Publishers Weekly profile about how Mansbach and Knight came together: "He and Knight share a friendship that began with a chance encounter more than a decade ago, when they were both living in the San Francisco area (Knight has since moved to North Carolina). 'Adam and I were both invited to make presentations to a college class,' Knight recalled. 'I loved what he was presenting, and he loved what I was presenting, and we discovered that we had a lot in common. We’re both originally from Boston and love the Red Sox, we’re both hip-hop fans, and we were both rappers in different bands. We’d hang out quite a lot. He had recently written Angry Black White Boy, which I loved, and I always hoped to work with him – and was waiting for that time.'"

Keith Knight is a rapper, social activist, father, and educator. He’s also one of the most highly regarded cartoonists in America, and the creator of three popular comic strips: the Knight Life, (th)ink, and the K Chronicles. Knight is the recipient of the Eisner Award and the NAACP History Maker award. His art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Ebony Magazine.

Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Bob Buege, author of Borchert Field: Stories from Milwaukee’s Legendary Ballpark.

Anyone lucky enough to live on Milwaukee’s near north side between 1888 and 1952 could experience the world without ever leaving the neighborhood. Nestled between North Seventh and Eighth Streets and West Chambers and Burleigh, Borchert Field was Milwaukee’s major sports venue for 64 years. In this rickety wooden stadium (originally called Athletic Park), Wisconsin residents had a close-up view of sports history in the making, along with rodeos, thrill shows, and even the multiple eruptions of Mount Vesuvius.

In Borchert Field, baseball historian Bob Buege introduces the famous and fascinating athletes who dazzled audiences in Milwaukee’s venerable ballpark. All the legendary baseball figures—the Great Bambino, Satchel Paige, Ty Cobb, Joltin’ Joe, Jackie Robinson, the Say Hey Kid— that played there. Olympic heroes Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, and Jesse Owens displayed their amazing talents in Borchert. Borchert Field is long gone, but every page of this book takes readers back to the sights, sounds, and spectacle of its heyday.

Bob Buege is the author of The Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy and Eddie Mathews and the National Pastime. He is president of the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association, director of the Wisconsin Old Time Ballplayers Association, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

Thursday, April 6, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Jim Higgins, author of Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar.

Wisconsin Literary Luminaries offers succinct appreciations of ten writers associated with the Badger state, from the humble cabin in the woods where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up, to contemporary playwright Ayad Akhtar's multicultural dramas. Explore how Aldo Leopold and Lorine Niedecker drew on their close observations of the natural world. Contrast the distinct novels that Jane Hamilton and Larry Watson set on Wisconsin apple orchards. Delve into Thornton Wilder's enduringly popular Our Town and the wild fiction of Milwaukee natives Ellen Raskin and Cordwainer Smith, who wrote like no one else.

Jim Higgins is the arts and books editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he has reported since 1983. Higgins was part of the Journal Sentinel writing team that won the Association of Food Journalists 2004 award for special projects for a series on obesity. He is also a two-time winner of the Sentinel staff-voted award for humor writing.

Read an excerpt of Wisconsin Literary Luminaries in the Journal Sentinel, focusing on Ellen Raskin, author of the 1979 Newbery Award winning novel, The Westing Game. 

And next week: Monday, April 10, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Andrew McCarthy, author of Just Fly Away

Andrew McCarthy has worn many hats. He's beloved for his starring film roles in Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, and Less than Zero. He appeared on Broadway in the Tony-Award-winning production of Side Man. He's directed series such as Orange Is the New Black and The Blacklist. And his work as a travel writer and Editor at Large for National Geographic led to his bestselling memoir, The Longest Way Home, and the editor slot for Best American Travel Writing 2015.

From his interview with Kevin Smokler in Salon: "I started doing a version of this book probably eight or nine years ago, an adult novel about a guy who had a child out of wedlock from a one-night affair and how that secret affected his marriage. Then I struggled a few years and put it aside to write that other travel book that you’d mentioned, all the while directing, too. Then at a certain point when I came back to the novel . . . I was actually sitting on a plane to go to Los Angeles and I thought of it suddenly from the girl’s point of view as 'my dad’s an asshole, he’s got this other kid across town.' So suddenly I was writing what I knew instantly was sort of a YA book. I found that very liberating. I was suddenly telling a story that I wanted to tell all the while without knowing this was the story I wanted to tell till I start telling it.

Tickets are $19 and include admission to the event and a copy of Just Fly Away. Visit Brown Paper Tickets now.

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