Monday, January 25, 2021

Boswell events this week - Jennifer Robson, DW Henneken, Alexander McCall Smith, Simon Winchester

Here's what's happening this week with Boswell.

Plus don't forget about tonight!
Monday, January 25, 7 pm
Jennifer Robson, author of Our Darkest Night: A Novel of Italy and the Second World War
Tickets here for this virtual event.

The Lynden Sculpture Garden Women’s Speakers Series returns virtually with an event featuring Jennifer Robson, author of The Gown and Moonlight in Paris, who returns to Milwaukee for her latest novel. Cohosted by The Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee Reads, and Boswell Book Company. Tickets are $5 plus tax and fee, or upgrade to a ticket-with-book, available here. All tickets include a donation back to the Lynden Sculpture Garden.

Robson tells the story of a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer's wife to survive the Holocaust. Inspired by true events, this tale of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice evokes the most perilous days of World War II.

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive: to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met. As Antonina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart.

Tuesday, January 26, 7 pm
DW Hanneken, author of The Home Front
in conversation with Shannon Ishizaki 
Register here for this virtual event  

Join us for a virtual event featuring Greenfield-based author DW (Dave) Hanneken in conversation with Orange Hat Publishing’s Shannon Ishizaki. They’ll chat about Hanneken’s debut historical novel, set in Wisconsin during World War II. 

Writing for the Shepherd Express, Dave Luhrssen says, "The details of 1940s farm life are vivid enough for a Hollywood screenplay." And Kirkus Reviews calls The Home Front, “an engaging tale with a likable female lead and some surprises... A variety of tensions keep the engrossing narrative moving.”

Set in rural Wisconsin during 1944-1945, Hanneken’s novel centers on Maggie Wentworth, a wife, mother, and farmer who struggles to keep her life in balance after her physically abusive husband enlists in the Army and is shipped to Europe during WWII. On one hand, she's happy he left. On the other, she’s been left behind to deal with the challenges of an aging father, a young son, and the temptation of an attractive German POW who is harvesting apples on her farm.

Wednesday, January 27, 2 pm
Alexander McCall Smith, author of Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind
in conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin 
Register here for this virtual event

The January edition of our Readings from Oconomowaukee virtual event series, presented in partnership with Books & Company of Oconomowoc, presents the worldwide bestseller and beloved Scottish author McCall Smith for a chat about his latest, a collection in which he imagines the lives and loves of everyday people pictured in twentieth-century photographs. 

Pictures capture moments in time, presenting the viewer with a window into another life. But a picture can go only so far. Who are the people in the image? What are their fears? What are their dreams. In these fourteen delightful tales, a young woman finds unexpected love while perusing Egyptian antiquities. A family is forever fractured when war comes to Penang, in colonial Malaysia. Iron Jelloid tablets help to reveal a young man’s inner strength. And twin sisters discover that it’s never too late to forge a new path - even when standing at the altar.

There are big stories behind these simple images. Though at first glance they may appear to represent small moments, these photographs in fact speak volumes, uncovering possibilities of love, friendship, and happiness. With his indomitable charm, McCall Smith takes us behind the lens to explore the hidden lives of those photographed; in so doing, he reveals the humanity in us all.

Thursday, January 28, 6:30 pm
Simon Winchester, author of Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World
in conversation with Marcy Bidney 
Tickets here for this event

Acclaimed author and historian Simon Winchester joins us virtually for a discussion of his brand new book. Cohosted by Boswell Book Company and the UWM American Geographical Society Library. Winchester will be in conversation with Marcy Bidney, Assistant Director for Distinctive Collections for the AGSL. This is a particularly special conversation, as Bidney assisted Winchester during his research process for Land, and at least one map from AGSL is featured in the book. 

The author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa explores the notion of property - our proprietary relationship with the land - through human history, how it has shaped us and what it will mean for our future. Land, whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city, is central to our existence. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing and have done with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet.

Winchester examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential question: who actually owns the world’s land - and why does it matter? Publishers Weekly calls Winchester's latest effort "an entertaining and erudite roundup of humanity’s ever-evolving relationship with terra firma."

More info at Boswell upcoming events page.

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