Membership event for the new Michigan chapter of Sisters in Crime, Saturday, July 29, 2:30 PM. Refreshments, membership sign up, and a panel discussion on “Bad Guys” with author Sarah Zettel, Judge Terrence P. Bronson, Retired U.S. Marshall Louis Stock and Pinkerton Vice President Jason Porter. The panel will be moderated by Judy Lee Burke and the event introduced by Michigan Sisters in Crime President Jan Rydzon. The panel discussion will take place at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase (across the street from Aunt Agatha’s), 212 S. 4th Ave.
Open mike storytelling competition sponsored by The Moth, the NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization that also produces a weekly public radio show. Each month 10 storytellers are selected at random from among those who sign up to tell a 3-5 minute story on the monthly theme. The 3 judges are recruited from the audience. Monthly winners compete in a semiannual Grand Slam. Space limited, so it’s smart to arrive early.
7:30-9 p.m. (doors open and sign-up begins at 6 p.m.), $10. 764-5118.
Shalom Hartman Institute (Jerusalem) Muslim Leadership Initiative facilitator Haroon Moghul discusses his coming-of-age memoir about growing up as a 2nd-generation American Muslim in a post-9/11 world. Signing.
7-8:30 p.m., AADL multipurpose room (lower level), 343 S. Fifth Ave. Free. 327-4555.
Literati is pleased to host Oneita Jackson in support of her books, Letters from Mrs. Grundy and Nappy-Headed Negro Syndrome.
Oneita Jackson is a satirist and Detroit cab driver who has an English degree from Howard University. She was a copy editor for 11 years at the Detroit Free Press. During that time, she served as public editor, wrote music reviews, edited on the Features, Nation/World, and Web desks, and received awards for her headlines. She was a member of the Accuracy and Credibility Committee and the Editorial Endorsement Board for the 2008 City of Detroit mayoral and City Council elections. She also wrote the “O Street” column for three years; it received the newspaper’s 2008 Columnist of the Year award. She stopped writing the column in May 2010 and returned to the News Copy Desk, where she stayed until August 2012. Her next adventure was driving a yellow cab. Her book, Nappy-Headed Negro Syndrome, features observations and commentary on people and culture. These stories about identity are written by a woman who is uniquely, unabashedly, and extraordinarily herself. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Oneita spent her summers in New York City and has lived in Washington, D.C., and Albany, N.Y. She now lives in Detroit. Oneita was recently profiled by Mercedes-Benz.
Literati is pleased to welcome Michelle Kuo in support of her memoir, Reading with Patrick.
A memoir of race, inequality, and the power of literature told through the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young teacher and her gifted student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta.
Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrived in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as a Teach for America volunteer, bursting with optimism and drive. But she soon encountered the jarring realities of life in one of the poorest counties in America, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this stirring memoir, Kuo, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one student, Patrick Browning, and his remarkable literary and personal awakening.
Convinced she can make a difference in the lives of her teenaged students, Michelle Kuo puts her heart into her work, using quiet reading time and guided writing to foster a sense of self in students left behind by a broken school system. Though Michelle loses some students to truancy and even gun violence, she is inspired by some such as Patrick. Fifteen and in the eighth grade, Patrick begins to thrive under Michelle’s exacting attention. However, after two years of teaching, Michelle feels pressure from her parents and the draw of opportunities outside the Delta and leaves Arkansas to attend law school.
Then, on the eve of her law-school graduation, Michelle learns that Patrick has been jailed for murder. Feeling that she left the Delta prematurely and determined to fix her mistake, Michelle returns to Helena and resumes Patrick’s education—even as he sits in a jail cell awaiting trial. Every day for the next seven months they pore over classic novels, poems, and works of history. Little by little, Patrick grows into a confident, expressive writer and a dedicated reader galvanized by the works of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, W. S. Merwin, and others. In her time reading with Patrick, Michelle is herself transformed, contending with the legacy of racism and the questions of what constitutes a “good” life and what the privileged owe to those with bleaker prospects.
Reading with Patrick is an inspirational story of friendship, a coming-of-age story of both a young teacher and a student, a deeply resonant meditation on education, race, and justice in the rural South, and a love letter to literature and its power to transcend social barriers.
“This book is special and could not be more right on time. It’s an absorbing, tender, and surprisingly honest examination of race and privilege in America that helps articulate what is often lost, seemingly intentionally, in national debates over criminal justice and education: the inner life and imagination of a young person.”—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore
Michelle Kuo taught English at an alternative school in the Arkansas Delta for two years. After teaching, she attended Harvard Law School as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and worked legal aid at a nonprofit for Spanish-speaking immigrants in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, California, on a Skadden Fellowship, with a focus on tenants’ and workers’ rights. She has volunteered as a teacher at the Prison University Project and clerked for a federal appeals court judge in the Ninth Circuit. Currently she teaches courses on race, law, and society at the American University in Paris.
Rhys Bowen will talk about her latest Lady Georgie book, On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service.
On Aug. 7, local short story writer Alex Kourvo and young adult novelist Bethany Neal are joined by a guest poet TBA to offer tips for writing memorable poems and getting them published. Also, Kourvo and Neal host an open house for writers to connect with one another and/or work on their projects at 7 p.m. on Aug. 21.
7-8:45 p.m., AADL Westgate Branch, Westgate shopping center, 2503 Jackson. Free. 327-8301.
Literati is thrilled to welcome Lynne Cox in celebration of the paperback release of her latest memoir, Swimming in the Sink.
In this stunning memoir of life after loss, open-water swimming legend and bestselling author of Grayson and Swimming to Antarctica Lynne Cox tells of facing the one challenge that no amount of training could prepare her for.
A celebrated athlete who set swimming records around the world, Lynne Cox achieved astonishing feats of strength and endurance. She was the first to swim the frigid waters of the Bering Strait, the Strait of Magellan, and the coast of Antarctica, and she was the fastest to swim the English Channel. But it is a different kind of struggle that pushes her to the brink. In a short period of time, Lynne loses her father, and then her mother, and then Cody, her beloved Labrador retriever. Soon after, Lynne herself is diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition that leaves her unable to swim and barely able to walk.
But against all odds, and with the support of her friends and family, Lynne begins the slow pull toward recovery, reaching always for the open waters that give her the freedom and mastery that mean everything to her. What follows is a beautifully poignant meditation on loss and an exhilarating celebration of life as, to Lynne’s surprise, she begins to find, within the unfamiliar space of vulnerability, the greatest treasures—like falling in love.
LYNNE COX was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Los Alamitos, California. She has held open-water swimming records all over the world, swimming without a wetsuit. Cox has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Her articles have appeared in many publications, among them The New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Cox lives in Long Beach, California.