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Thursday, October 27, 2016
November at Women & Children First: Feminist Authors, Holiday Shopping, and Small Business Saturday Festivities! (Chicago,IL)
November at Women & Children First
means 2017 calendars are here along with boxed holiday cards and plenty
of community events to get you in the spirit! We hope you can join us
for all of the neighborhood festivities on Small Business Saturday,
which will also mark the launch of our holiday book drive in
collaboration with SitStayRead.
note, we won't be hosting Sappho's Salon this month, because we want to
make sure that there is absolutely nothing distracting you from voting
on Tuesday, November 8th!
Thank you for your continued support of your local feminist bookstore!
W & CF
Lori Ostlund, Anne Raeff, and Christine Sneed on the Short Story vs. the Novel
Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
Three fiction writers who have published both short stories and novels candidly discuss each form's strengths and shortcomings. Lori Ostlund's novel After the Parade
was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was a
finalist for the 2016 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction. Her first
book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won
the 2008 Flannery O'Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award,
and the 2009 California Book Award for First Fiction. Her work has
appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories. She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco with Anne Raeff and their two cats. Anne Raeff is the author of The Jungle Around Us, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her essays have appeared in the New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica, among others. She is also the author of the novel Clara Mondschein's Melancholia. Anne is currently a high school English and history teacher at East Palo Alto Academy. Christine Sneed is the author of two story collections, The Virginity of Famous Men and Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry, and two novels Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts.
She received the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, Ploughshares'
Zacharis First Book Award, and the Chicago Writers Association's Book of
the Year Award. She lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern
Weaving together personal stories, history, and analysis, Same Family, Different Colors explores the myriad ways skin-color politics affect family dynamics in the United States. Colorism and color bias, the preference for or presumed superiority of people based on the color of their skin, is a pervasive and damaging but rarely discussed phenomenon. In this unprecedented book, Lori Tharps
explores the issue in African American, Latino, Asian American, and
mixed-race families and communities. Tharps, the mother of three
mixed-race children with three distinct skin colors, uses her own
family as a starting point to investigate how skin-color difference is
dealt with across the country and throughout American history. Groundbreaking and urgent, Same Family, Different Colors is a solution-
seeking journey to the heart of identity politics, so that this more
subtle cousin to racism, in the author's words, will be exposed and
Lori Tharps is an associate professor of journalism at Temple University and the coauthor ofHair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America and Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Essence. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.
Just in time for Tuesday's election, join us for a reading
and book-signing with local author William Hazelgrove for his new book
exploring the life of Edith Wilson. After President Woodrow Wilson
suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day
responsibilities of the executive office. Mrs. Wilson had had little
formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four
years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs.
Wilson assumed the authority of the office of the president for
seventeen long months. Though her Oval Office presence has been largely
forgotten, one senator at the time called her "the Presidentress who had
fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First
Lady to Acting First Man."
William Elliott Hazelgrove, a Chicago resident, is the author of ten books. His books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist and received the Booklist Editors' Choice Award. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in the New York Times, LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and WGN. Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson has been optioned by Storyline Entertainment.
Award-winning novelist Randa Jarrar's new story collection moves seamlessly between realism and fable, history and the present, capturing the lives of Muslim women and men across myriad geographies and circumstances. With acerbic wit, deep tenderness, and boundless imagination, Jarrar brings to life a memorable cast of characters, many of them "accidental transients" (a term for migratory birds that have gone astray seeking their circuitous routes back home). Fierce and feeling, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali is a testament to survival in the face of love, loss, and displacement.
Randa Jarrar is the author of the novel A Map of Home,
which received an Arab-American Book Award and was named one of the
best novels of 2008 by the Barnes & Noble Review. She grew up in
Kuwait and Egypt and moved to the United States after the first Gulf
War. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Utne Reader, and others. She blogs for Salon and lives in California.
Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. Reading and Signing
This book examines rape
culture in college football by taking a deep dive into how various
institutions--the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media,
the police, and fans--use the same strategies over and over again when a
college football player is accused of sexual assault to ensure that
scrutiny dies down quickly,
no institution ever has to change how it operates, and the evaporation
of these cases looks natural. In short, nothing ever changes. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
unpacks this societal playbook piece by piece and not only advocates
that we destroy the old plays, but also suggests we replace them with
ones that will force us to finally do something about this issue.
Jessica Luther is an independent writer and investigative
journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has
appeared in the Austin Chronicle and Sports Illustrated. This event is co-sponsored by the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic of Chicago.
Caits Meissner with special guests C. Russell Price and Marty McConnell Let It Die HungryFriday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m.
For this reading, Caits will be joined by local poets
C. Russell Price (Tonight, We F*** the Trailer Park Out of Each Other) and Marty McConnell (Wine for a Shotgun). Recklessly sensual, provocative, and profoundly curious, Meissner's coming-of-age poems seek to anchor
place in a messy world, blurring the edges of hard borders and
disparate identities. Finding joy, connection, and determination in
desperate spaces, as well as the slippery terrain of a changing self,
Meissner's voice is at once a reckoning, a proclamation, and an open
question. Sprinkled with the author's illustrations, the book's
multidisciplinary approach also includes lesson plans, originally
utilized in a women's prison, that invite the reader to write their own
way out of polarizing dichotomies--and into the vast grey space of what
it means to be alive.
poetry has been awarded first place prizes from the Pan-African Literary
Forum, the Ja-Nai Foundation and City College's Jerome Lowell DeJur
Prize in Creative Writing. She has been widely published in journals and
anthologies including Drunken Boat, the Offing, and the Feminist Wire.
She is currently writer in residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, a
creative writing instructor in a women's prison, and a part-time
lecturer at the New School University.
followed by Q&A for adults about writing and publishing books for kids!
A READ LOCAL EVENT
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, Spiro's board books explore the basics of aerospace engineering and quarks by tying the concepts to a baby's world. Both books offer visually stimulating illustrations and use age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well!
Ruth Spiro's debut picture book, Lester Fizz,
was a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year. She lives
in Chicago, Illinois. This event will begin with an interactive story time followed by a Q&A for aspiring authors of kids' books.
Claudia Casper in conversation with Christine Rice
This unsettling novel is set
thirty years in the future, in the wake of a third world war. Runaway
effects of climate change have triggered the collapse of nation-states
and wiped out more than one-third of the global populati
on. One of the
survivors, a former soldier nicknamed Mercy, suffers from PTSD and is
haunted by guilt. His pain is eased when he meets a dancer named Ruby, a
performer who breathes new life into his carefully constructed
existence. But when his long-lost brother Leo arrives with news that
Mercy's children have been spotted, the two brothers travel into the
wilderness--a journey that will test their moral code.
Claudia Casper is the author of two previous novels, The Reconstruction and The Continuation of Love By Other Means. She is writing a screenplay adaptation of The Reconstruction for a 3D feature film co-production. She teaches writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
For this event, Claudia will be in conversation with local author Christine Rice. Rice's story collection Swarm Theory was named as a finalist in the Chicago Writers Association's 2016 Book of the Year Awards. Her writing has appeared in the Big Smoke, the Chicago Tribune, Metro Parent, the Good Men Project, and her radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. Christine is the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine (hypertextmag.com)
and the director of Hypertext Studio Writing Center. She has taught at
Columbia College Chicago since 1992. Chris was recently awarded the 2015
the Ragdale Rubin Fellowship. You can find out more at christinemaulrice.com.
A National Poetry Series winner, selected by and with a foreword by Tracy K. Smith, Scriptorium
is concerned with questions of religious authority. The medieval
scriptorium, the central image of the collection, stands for that
authority but also for its subversion. In addition to exploring the ways
language is used, or abused, to claim religious authority, Scriptorium
also addresses the authority of the vernacular in various time periods
and places, particularly in the Appalachian slang of the author's East
Tennessee upbringing. Throughout Scriptorium, the historical
mingles with the personal: poems about medieval art, theology, and verse
share space with poems that chronicle personal struggles with faith and
Melissa Range is the author of the poetry collection Horse and Rider
and the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment
for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, the Sewanee Writers'
Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation.
Originally from East Tennessee, Range currently lives in Wisconsin and
teaches at Lawrence University.
Tara Betts with Special Guests Erika Sanchez and Eve Ewing
Of Tara Betts's new poetry collection, Break the Habit, author Maria Gillan says, "these are poems that make the reader weep in the same way a great jazz singer does by touching the very core of what it means to be human." Break the Habit is a personal, lyrical work that speaks to the varied ways one
experiences loss--divorce, death, and abandonment--but it is also about
the choices one makes in the aftermath of loss. For this event, Tara
will be joined by Chicago poet, essayist, and educator Eve Ewing and Erika Sanchez, a poet, essayist, and fiction writer whose YA novel is forthcoming in fall 2017.
Tara Betts is the author of Arc & Hue, and the chapbooks Never Been Lois Lane, 7 x 7: kwansabas, and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali.
Tara holds a MFA from New England College and a PhD from Binghamton
University. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in
several magazines and anthologies, including Essence, Poetry magazine, Nylon, Cicada, Octavia's Brood, the Break Beat Poets, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. Tara currently teaches at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Storyteller Dot Kane will be visiting
the bookstore to offer another fun session of "Storycise," a
combination of storytelling, dance, yoga, comedy, and exercise for
children. This playful
work-out encourages children to use their bodies, voices, and
imagination to dance through stories, developing cardiovascular stamina,
strength, balance, original stories, literacy, and a lifelong love of
With a background in dance, theater, and early
childhood education, Dot Kane has been delivering her unique style of
storytelling since 1992 and is a favorite presenter and keynote speaker
at teacher workshops all over the Midwest. Since 1997, Dot has performed
a weekly in-house interactive television show on Lurie Children's
Hospital of Chicago's television station, Skylight TV.
Small Business Saturday/Indies First:
20 Books in 20 Minutes: Kids' Edition
Saturday, November 26 - ALL DAY
from Black Friday by shopping local on Small Business Saturday/Indies
First. Indies First is a national campaign of activities and events in
support of independent bookstores that was started by Sherman Alexie in
2013. We'll have coffee provided by The Coffee Studio all morning. The
first shoppers of the day will get a free bookish tote bag when they
spend $25 or more!
Then, at Noon, we'll be hosting 20 BOOKS IN 20 MINUTES: KIDS' EDITION.
Jamie and Linda will have ten minutes each to pitch their favorite 10
picture books of the season! But, that's not all! We're also
participating in the Small Business Saturday (SBS) Passport program
along with more than a dozen Andersonville shops and restaurants. Get
your passport stamped at all participating businesses and you'll be
entered into a raffle to win gift certificates and other prizes donated
by those businesses.
KOKUMO is a musician,
performance artist, poet, trans activist, and organizer. Her work can be
found all over the Internet, and her words have been spoken even further. Her first play, The Faggot Who Could Fly, headlined the Gwendolyn Brooks Conference when she was only 23. Her first book of poems, Reacquainted With Life, is a testament to the resilience that she represents. KOKUMO is currently based in Chicago.
makes it easy to support local
businesses while shopping for friends and family (or yourself!) at the
14th annual Late Night Andersonville. For four hours only, more
than 40 beloved Andersonville stores and restaurants will be open late,
offering great savings on gifts and meals, plus free refreshments and
entertainment. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page to learn more
about the special deals we'll be offering!
A girl's quest for perfection results in dangerous consequences in this smart, suspenseful YA novel by the author of Playlist for the Dead.
Kara gets perfect grades. She never messes up. But she finally gets so
tired of living with all that pressure, she does something she never
thought she'd do. Something risky and illegal. And then before she knows
it, Kara's life veers wildly off its perfect course, and she's forced
to decide if she wants to go back to the quest of perfection or not.
Michelle Falkoff's fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among others. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and currently serves as director of communication and legal reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law.
Nami Mun's first book, Miles from Nowhere,
received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Chicago Public
Library's 21st Century Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize
for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Her stories have been published in the New York Times, Granta, Tin House, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, among many others. She is currently an assistant professor of creative writing in Chicago.
Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
Please Note: This is a ticketed, off-site event, which will be held at Wilson Abbey (935 W. Wilson). Purchase of a ticket to this event includes one copy of Laura Jane Grace's book. BUY TICKETS HERE.
Billboard just named Tranny by Laura Jane Grace one of the 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time! In this memoir, the provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.
Since its inception in 1997, Against Me has been one of punk's most influential bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece
climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their
old ones. They suffered legal woes; a revolving door of drummers; and a
horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to
sabotage their shows.
But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Tom Gabel--a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until Rolling Stone's May 2012 profile did fans know that Gabel was transgender, identifying as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace. Tranny
is the intimate story of Against Me's enigmatic founder, weaving the
narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of
never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More
than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
Since coming out as transgender in 2012, Laura Jane Grace has been an outspoken advocate for transgender awareness. She has a daughter and lives in Chicago
The Christmas Truck, SitStayRead, and Women & Children First will be once again hosting a very special wishing tree this year, beginning November
26th through the end of December, to put diverse books in the hands of
area elementary school kids. Everyone is welcome to donate a new book to
a child in need whose name is decorating a star on the book tree, which
will be on display in our front window.
To promote the wishing
tree and introduce folks to the literacy program SitStayRead, we'll be
hosting this kid-friendly event with a story time and coloring! There
will be dog teams for kids to visit with, a reading of both The Christmas Truck and Chicago adventure book Cozy Fan Tooty, written for middle-grade readers by author (and SitStayRead board member) J. B. Blankenship.