Monday, June 13, 2022

Six events coming soon! Rajika Bhandari (in-person), Nabil Ayers (in-person and virtual), Hugh Howard (virtual), Ann Hood (virtual), David Sedaris (ticketed, in-person), Susan Hartman (virtual)

Monday, June 13, 6:30 pm
Rajika Bhandari, author of America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility
in conversation with Elly Fishman, in-person at Boswell - click here to register

Boswell hosts an evening with Rajika Bhandari for her new memoir, America Calling, an unflinching and insightful book that explores the global appeal of a Made in America education that is a bridge to America’s successful past and to its future. In conversation with Elly Fishman, who teaches in the Journalism Department at UWM. This event is cosponsored by Education Credential Evaluators.

Growing up in middle-class India, Bhandari has seen generations of her family look westward, where an American education means status and success. But for a time, she resisted the lure of America because those who left never returned. As a young woman, however, she found herself following her heart and heading to a US university to study. When her relationship ended and Bhandari failed to move back to India as a foreign-educated woman, she found herself in a job where the personal was political. As an expert on international higher education, she has been immersed in the lives of the international students who come to America from over 200 countries, the universities that attract them, and the tangled web of immigration that a student must navigate.

America Calling is both a deeply personal story of Bhandari’s search for her place and an incisive analysis of America’s relationship with the rest of the world through the most powerful tool of diplomacy: education. At a time of growing nationalism, a turning inward, and fear of the 'other,' America Calling is ultimately a call to action to keep America’s borders - and minds - open.

Rajika Bhandari is author of five academic books and one previous nonfiction book, and her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Diplomatic Courier, among others. Elly Fishman is the author of Refugee High: Coming of Age in America

Tuesday, June 14, 6:30 pm
Nabil Ayers, author of My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family
in conversation with Justin Barney, in-person at Boswell - register here!

Boswell Book Company welcomes Nabil Ayers for a conversation about his new memoir, My Life in the Sunshine, about his journey to connect with his absentee father, legendary jazz musician Roy Ayers, a journey which ultimately redefines what family really means. In conversation with Justin Barney, Music Director of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, our cohost for this event.

Throughout his adult life, whether he was opening a Seattle record store in the 1990s or touring the world as the only non-white band member in alternative rock bands, Nabil Ayers felt the shadow and legacy of his father’s musical genius, and his race, everywhere. Growing up, Nabil only meets his father a handful of times. In 1971, a white, Jewish, former ballerina chose to have a child with the famous Black jazz musician Roy Ayers, fully expecting and agreeing that he would not be involved in the child’s life. In this highly original memoir, Nabil Ayers recounts a life spent living with the aftermath of that decision, and his journey to build an identity of his own despite and in spite of his father’s absence.

The early praise for this book sounds great. From Grammy-nominated Michelle Zauner, author of Crying in H Mart: "Across a soundscape of 70s New York jazz, 90s Pacific Northwest grunge, and 00s indie rock, Nabil traces the image of his father through song. With growing fascination and heartbreak, he draws out meaning from the shadow of absence, and ultimately redefines what it means to be a family." And from Ashley C Ford, author of Somebody’s Daughter: "Ayers writes with a quiet urgency that drove me toward the end of this book with bated breath. Race, class, inheritance, music, family, and love are all up for questioning, pulled apart, and formed with new definitions along the way."

Nabil Ayers has written about music and race for publications including The New York Times, NPR, and The Root. Ayers is the President of Beggars Group US, where he has released albums by many Grammy Award-winning artists.

Boswell presents an evening with biographer Hugh Howard for his new book, Architects of an American Landscape, which explores how Frederick Law Olmsted and Henry Hobson Richardson created original all-American idioms in architecture and landscape that influence how we enjoy our public and private spaces to this day. Cohosted by Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, and Milwaukee School of Engineering.

This event is presented in tandem with the Villa Terrace exhibit In the Park with Frederick Law Olmsted: A Vision for Milwaukee, which runs from April 14 to September 18 this summer. Click here to find more information about that exhibit.

As the nation recovered from a cataclysmic war, two titans of design - Henry Hobson Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted - profoundly influenced how Americans came to interact with the built and natural world around them through their pioneering work in architecture and landscape design. The small, reserved Olmsted and the passionate, Falstaffian Richardson could not have been more different in character, but their sensibilities were closely aligned. This dual portrait explores their immense impact on the landscape of America.

From the Washington Independent Review of Books: "Hugh Howard gets it marvelously right in Architects of an American Landscape, his joint biography of two Gilded Age luminaries. Both men are strikingly important in our nation’s cultural history, and the author nails his pairing of the two with solid scholarship and graceful, vivid writing… Superb." And from Ralph Gardner, Jr., of WAMC Northeast Public Radio: "A work of serious scholarship. But it also felt like a paid vacation, traveling back to the horse and buggy days of the 19th century through the nation’s transformation into a fledgling world power… One of the book’s many pleasures is Hugh Howard’s talent for describing buildings from the ground up."

Hugh Howard is author of numerous books on architecture and design, including Architecture’s Odd Couple, Thomas Jefferson: Architect, and Houses of the Founding Fathers, as well as the memoir House-Dreams.

Thursday, June 16, 7 pm
Ann Hood, author of Fly Girl
in conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a virtual event - register here! 

Boswell Book Company and our friends of Books & Company present a new installment of the Readings from Oconomowaukee event series with a virtual conversation featuring Ann Hood, author of Fly Girl, an entertaining and fascinating memoir of this gifted author’s adventurous years as a TWA flight attendant.

Be sure to order your copy of Fly Girl now, too! Click here to order from Boswell. Or, click here and order from Books & Company.

In 1978, in the tailwind of the golden age of air travel, flight attendants were the epitome of glamor and sophistication. Fresh out of college and hungry to experience the world and maybe, one day, write about it, Ann Hood joined their ranks. After a grueling job search, Hood survived TWA’s rigorous Breech Training Academy and learned to evacuate seven kinds of aircraft, deliver a baby, mix proper cocktails, administer oxygen, and stay calm no matter what the situation. As the airline industry changed around her, Hood began to write, even drafting snatches of her first novel from the jump-seat. She reveals how the job empowered her, despite its roots in sexist standards. Packed with funny, moving, and shocking stories of life as a flight attendant, Fly Girl captures the nostalgia and magic of air travel at its height, and the thrill that remains with every takeoff.

Early author readers are loving Fly Girl. From Laura Lippman, author of novels like Dream Girl and Lady in the Lake: "At first blush, Fly Girl is a charming, layered memoir about Ann Hood’s life as a flight attendant who knew the industry in its glory days - and its-not-so-glorious days post-deregulation. But it’s also something much more, nothing less than a manifesto calling us to embrace joy and adventure, however we define them. I have always loved Ann’s stories and now I know why she has so many: She has lived, in the best, fullest sense of that word. She can't make the sun stand still, but, boy does she make it run." And from Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train: "A brisk history lesson, an affectionate homage, and a thoughtful critique of the airline industry, Fly Girl soars."

Ann Hood is author of the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Obituary Writer, and The Knitting Circle, and the memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief.

Friday, June 17, 2 pm
David Sedaris, author of Happy-Go-Lucky
A Ticketed Event - register here! Tickets are limited, with a free signing to follow.

Boswell presents a special in-person reading and signing with David Sedaris, celebrating the release of his latest collection of essays, Happy-Go-Lucky, his first new collection in four years, which Library Journal says is "Sedaris at his best, provocative and hysterical." For this event, Sedaris will be joined by opening reader Cindy House, author of Mother Noise.

Please note that this event is almost sold out. 

This event features a ticketed reading followed by a free book signing. Tickets for the reading cost $29 plus sales tax and ticket fee, and include admission to the reading, signing line priority, and a copy of Happy-Go-Lucky. Important ticket purchasing information: ID that matches the ticket-purchaser's name will be required to check in to the event. 

Free signing to follow the reading. Once reading ticket holders have gone through the line, anyone else who would like to meet David Sedaris will be welcomed into the store. Sedaris loves to meet his fans, so we will stay as long as it takes for everyone to get a chance to say hello. Register for the free signing line using the ticket link above and selecting the Free Signing option. On the day of the event, we will email you a notification when our doors are opening for the free signing portion of the evening. We'll have lots of copies of Happy-Go-Lucky and Sedaris's other books for sale; books brought from home are welcome, too.

For this event, Sedaris will be joined by opening reader Cindy House, author of the memoir Mother Noise. House's book is a poignant and beautiful collection of essays and graphic shorts about what life looks like twenty years after recovery from addiction and how to live with the past as a parent, writer, and sober person. And what does Sedaris himself have to say of the book? "The scope of Cindy House’s knowledge is as remarkable as her humor, her depth, and her great skill as an essayist. This is her time."

David Sedaris is the author of twelve previous books, including, most recently, A Carnival of Snackery, The Best of Me, and Calypso. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. In 2019, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, the Jonathan Swift International Literature Prize for Satire and Humor, and the Terry Southern Prize for Humor. 

Monday, June 20, 7 pm
Susan Hartman, author of City of Refugees: The Story of Three Newcomers Who Breathed Life into a Dying American Town
in conversation with Mitch Teich for a virtual event - register for this event here

Boswell hosts an evening featuring journalist Susan Hartman for a conversation about her new book, City of Refugees, which offers an intimate portrait of how newcomers revitalized a fading industrial town which illuminates the larger canvas of refugee life in 21st century America. In conversation with Mitch Teich of North Country Public Radio and former WUWM Lake Effect Producer and Host. Cosponsored by Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition and Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Many Americans imagine refugees as threatening outsiders who will steal jobs or be a drain on the economy. But across the country, refugees are rebuilding and maintaining the American Dream. Hartman follows three newcomers to Utica, New York over the course of eight years as they and their families adjust to new lives in America. They are part of an extraordinary migration of refugees from Vietnam, Bosnia, Burma, Somalia, Iraq, and elsewhere, who have transformed Utica over the past four decades. City of Refugees is a complex and poignant story of a small city but also of America - a country whose promise of safe harbor and opportunity is knotty and incomplete, but undeniably alive.

From Jake Halpern, author of Welcome to the New World: "This is an American tale that everyone should read - the story of three refugees who forged a new life in the Rust Belt. Hartman's journalistic dedication is nothing short of astounding. She spent eight years following her subjects, and it shows. The storytelling is so intimate and the characters feel so deeply real that you will know them like neighbors. Sadia, who is a teenage girl when the book begins, is like the heroine of a great young adult novel. You will root for her on every page, and by the end, you will not be able to wall off your heart from her hopes and dreams."

Susan Hartman has written about immigrant communities for over 20 years, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday. The author of two books of poetry, she was educated at Kirkland College and received an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she now teaches. 

Photo credits
Nabil Ayers by Gabriela Bhaskar
Hugh Howard by Elizabeth Anne Howard
Ann Hood by Beowulf Sheehan
David Sedaris by Anne Fishbein
Susan Hartman by Glenmar Studio

No comments: