Literati is thrilled to welcome author Jennifer Traig who will be sharing her new book Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting.
About Act Natural:
From a distinctive, inimitable voice, a wickedly funny and fascinating romp through the strange and often contradictory history of Western parenting.
Why do we read our kids fairy tales about homicidal stepparents? How did helicopter parenting develop if it used to be perfectly socially acceptable to abandon your children? Why do we encourage our babies to crawl if crawling won’t help them learn to walk?
These are just some of the questions that came to Jennifer Traig when–exhausted, frazzled, and at sea after the birth of her two children–she began to interrogate the traditional parenting advice she’d been conditioned to accept at face value. The result is Act Natural, hilarious and deft dissection of the history of Western parenting, written with the signature biting wit and deep insights Traig has become known for.
Moving from ancient Rome to Puritan New England to the Dr. Spock craze of mid-century America, Traig cheerfully explores historic and present-day parenting techniques ranging from the misguided, to the nonsensical, to the truly horrifying. Be it childbirth, breastfeeding, or the ways in which we teach children how to sleep, walk, eat, and talk, she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for answers: Have our techniques actually evolved into something better? Or are we still just scrambling in the dark?
Jennifer Traig is the author of Devil in the Details and Well Enough Alone, and the editor of The Autobiographer’s Handbook and Don’t Forget to Write. She holds a PhD in English from Brandeis, and lives with her family in Michigan.
Poetry workshop. All writers welcome to share
and discuss their poetry or short fiction.
BRING ABOUT SIX COPIES OF YOUR WORK.
COPIES WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU.
Hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and Dave Jibson
see our blog at Facebook/Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series
Crazy WisdomnBookstore and Tea Room, 115 S. Main St. Free. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org www.crazywisdom.net
Literati is honored to host Sid Smith who will be sharing her husband’s book Canio’s Secret: A Memoir of Ethnicity, Electricity, and my Immigrant Grandfather’s Wisdom about the life of his grandfather Canio Grieco
About Canio’s Secret:
In 1950s Chicago, a young boy hides in his bedroom closet to escape a father’s habitual rage. There he conjures up another paternal figure in his artistic Italian grandfather, Canio Grieco, his glimpse into happiness. With his wondrous tricks and stories of “Italy,” his library and drawings, his baseball and opera, Canio becomes the model of creativity for the lonely, introverted grandson.
Surviving through ingenuity and imagination, young Greg is fascinated by electricity and the world of men: he sticks his fingers in Christmas light sockets, finds unexpected mentors in a washing machine repair shop, fantasizes about the fate of missing fathers, and eventually betrays his grandfather at the billiard table.
Canio’s Secret is a coming-of-age story chronicling a boy’s poignant struggle to find consolation in his mother’s Catholicism and to break free of his father’s anger. Told through intimate portraits of parents and grandparents, nuns and janitors, friends and local characters, and their unsettling – often humorous – encounters, it is also the vibrant portrait of a multi-ethnic neighborhood soon to be scattered by white flight. And, as the older writer ponders his grandfather’s influence, the memoir becomes a meditation on Canio’s enigmatic advice, offered in the summer of 1953: “Happiness is all that’s required.”
Literati is excited to welcome author Peter Leonard who will be sharing his new book Raylan Goes to Detroit, the latest novel in the Raylan Givens series.
About Raylan Goes to Detroit:
After an altercation with his superiors in Harlan County, Kentucky, Deputy US Marshal, Raylan Givens is offered two choices. He can either retire or finish his career on the fugitive task force in the crime-ridden precincts of Detroit.
Acting on a tip, Raylan and his new partner, deputy marshal Bobby Torres arrest Jose Rindo, a destructive and violent criminal. Rindo is also being pursued by the FBI who arrive shortly after he is in custody. Raylan bumps heads with a beautiful FBI agent named Nora Sanchez, who wants Rindo for the murder of a one of their own.
When Rindo, escapes from the county jail and is arrested in Ohio, Raylan and FBI Special Agent Sanchez drive south to pick up the fugitive and bring him back to stand trial. Later, when Rindo escapes again, Raylan and Nora–still at odds–are reunited and follow the elusive fugitive’s trail across Arizona to El Centro, California and into Mexico where they have no jurisdiction or authority. How are they going to bring Rindo, a Mexican citizen, across the border without anyone knowing
Raylan Goes to Detroit is an exciting continuation of one of Elmore Leonard’s greatest heroes, an edge-of-your-seat, page-turner in the spirit of Elmore’s classic Raylan books.
Peter Leonard, the son of legendary crime novelist, Elmore Leonard, is a national bestselling author of seven thrillers, including Quiver, Trust Me, All He Saw was the Girl, Voices of the Dead, Back from the Dead, Eyes Closed Tight, and Unknown Remains. He lives in Birmingham, Michigan with his wife, Julie and his dog, Sam.
Literati is proud to partner with the Helen Zell Writers’ Program to host the J. Edgar Edwards Reading Series, a reading series organized by first year poetry and fiction students.
Literati is excited to welcome author Stephen Mack Jones who will be discussing his latest novel Lives Laid Away, follow-up to his award-winning novel August Snow.
About Lives Laid Away:
Detroit ex-cop August Snow takes up vigilante justice when his beloved neighborhood of Mexicantown is caught in the crosshairs of a human trafficking scheme.
When the body of an unidentified young Hispanic woman dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette is dredged from the Detroit River, the Detroit Police Department wants the case closed fast. Wayne County Coroner Bobby Falconi gives the woman’s photo to his old pal ex-police detective August Snow, insisting August show it around his native Mexicantown to see if anyone recognizes her. August’s good friend Elena, a prominent advocate for undocumented immigrants, recognizes the woman immediately as a local teenager, Isadora del Torres.
Izzy’s story is one the authorities don’t want getting around–and she’s not the only young woman to have disappeared during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, only to turn up dead a few weeks later. Preyed upon by the law itself, the people of Mexicantown have no one to turn to. August Snow, the son of an African-American cop and a Mexican-American painter, will not sit by and watch his neighbors suffer in silence. In a guns-blazing wild ride across Detroit, from its neo-Nazi biker hole-ups to its hip-hop recording studios, its swanky social clubs to its seedy nightclubs, August puts his own life on the line to protect the community he loves.
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Hammett Prize and the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in the suburbs of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction.
One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.
Readings by U-M creative writing grad students, including poetry by Erika Nestor and prose by ‘Pemi Aguda.
7 p.m., UMMA Auditorium, 525 S. State. Free. 764-6330
Literati is thrilled to welcome author Kristen Roupenian who will be sharing her new collection You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Stories.
About You Know You Want This:
From the author of “Cat Person”–“the short story that launched a thousand theories” (The Guardian)–comes Kristen Roupenian’s highly anticipated debut, a compulsively readable collection of short stories that explore the complex–and often darkly funny–connections between gender, sex, and power across genres.
You Know You Want This brilliantly explores the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them. Among its pages are a couple who becomes obsessed with their friend hearingthem have sex, then seeing them have sex…until they can’t have sex without him; a ten-year-old whose birthday party takes a sinister turn when she wishes for “something mean”; a woman who finds a book of spells half hidden at the library and summons her heart’s desire: a nameless, naked man; and a self-proclaimed “biter” who dreams of sneaking up behind and sinking her teeth into a green-eyed, long-haired, pink-cheeked coworker.
Spanning a range of genres and topics–from the mundane to the murderous and supernatural–these are stories about sex and punishment, guilt and anger, the pleasure and terror of inflicting and experiencing pain. These stories fascinate and repel, revolt and arouse, scare and delight in equal measure. And, as a collection, they point a finger at you, daring you to feel uncomfortable–or worse, understood–as if to say, “You want this, right? You know you want this.”
Kristen Roupenian graduated from Barnard College and holds a PhD in English from Harvard, as well as an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is the author of the short story, “Cat Person,” which was published in The New Yorker and selected by Sheila Heti for The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018. She is currently at work on a novel.
Literati is excited to welcome David Stephen Calonne who will be presenting this new collection of Charles Bukowski’s work The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing.
About The Mathematicsc of the Breath and the Way:
In The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way, Charles Bukowski considers the art of writing, and the art of living as a writer. Bringing together a variety of previously uncollected stories, columns, reviews, introductions, and interviews, this book finds him approaching the dynamics of his chosen profession with cynical aplomb, deflating pretensions and tearing down idols armed with only a typewriter and a bottle of beer. Beginning with the title piece–a serious manifesto disguised as off-handed remarks en route to the racetrack–The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way runs through numerous tales following the author’s adventures at poetry readings, parties, film sets, and bars, and also features an unprecedented gathering of Bukowski’s singular literary criticism. From classic authors like Hemingway to underground legends like d.a. levy to his own stable of obscure favorites, Bukowski uses each occasion to expound on the larger issues around literary production. The book closes with a handful of interviews in which he discusses his writing practices and his influences, making this a perfect guide to the man behind the myth and the disciplined artist behind the boozing brawler.
David Stephen Calonne is the author of several books and has edited four previous collections of the uncollected work of Charles Bukowski for City Lights: Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, Absence of the Hero, More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, and The Bell Tolls for No One.
Reading by local poet Jill Darling.
She is the author of the poetry collections (re)iteration(s), a geography of syntax, Solve For, begin with may: a series of moments, and two collaborative chapbooks with Laura Wetherington and Hannah Ensor: at the intersection of 3, and The First Steps are the Deepest. Her critical poetics essays can be found on Entropy, How2, Something on Paper, The Quint, and Ethos Review. She’s also had poems, essays, and short fiction published in journals including Denver Quarterly, /NOR, Aufgabe, 580 Split, Quarter After Eight, factorial, Rampike, and others. Darling teaches at UM in Dearborn and Ann Arbor, and lives in Ypsilanti. ).
Preceded by an open mike.
7-8:30 p.m. Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, 123 W. Washington. Free. 994-6663.