We welcome acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa in support of his latest collection, Mare Nostrum.
About the book: “On the bridges to those slippery worlds, we are wrapped in gold foil, disease free. Who is saving whom? The question’s not stated, only implied.” In 2013, the Italian government implemented Mare Nostrum, an operation intended to limit immigration from Africa and the Middle East to European countries. For the refugees, the journeys were harrowing, often ending in shipwrecks or imprisonment, and the arrivals were wracked with uncertainty. Here, the poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience in the Mediterranean. In reclaiming the operation’s name Mare Nostrum (our sea in Latin), he renders us culpable for the losses, and responsible to those risking their lives in pursuit of hope and respite from oppression. The voices are many, and the lyrics ritualistic, as if Mattawa has stirred ghosts from the wreckage. Part narrative, part blessing, this chapbook begs of its readers: Do you remember? Mattawa’s writing is a lighthouse for politics of the twenty-first century, and this chapbook a stunning memorial.
Acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience during Operation Mare Nostrum.
We welcome award-winning author Aaron Hamburger as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of his latest novel Nirvana is Here. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: When his ex-husband is accused of sexual harassment in the #metoo era, history professor Ari Silverman is forced to confront long-buried trauma from his childhood, where he and his high school crush bonded over the raw emotion of Kurt Cobain’s lyrics in the segregated suburbs of 1990s Detroit.
“A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede–even if they leave their mark–to bring new hopes into focus.” –Foreword Reviews
“Deft characterization of a person who seeks to close the space between the past and present self.” –Lambda Literary Review
“Hamburger is tender and provocative in his examinations of sexual abuse, racial strife in ’90s Detroit, and the way that discovering Nirvana changes everything about Ari’s world. The complexities of this novel are deftly handled by Hamburger, whose sensitive and observant prose is a pure joy to read on every page.” –Electric Literature
Aaron Hamburger is the author of a story collection titled The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House), winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, the novel Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, O, the Oprah Magazine, Details, The Village Voice, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Out, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Forward and numerous other publications. In addition, he has also won fellowships from Yaddo, Djerassi, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation as well as first prize in the Dornstein Contest for Young Jewish Writers. He has taught creative writing at Columbia University, the George Washington University, New York University, Brooklyn College, and the Stonecoast MFA Program. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.
We welcome author Sarah Miller in support of her nonfiction book for young readers, The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets. A book signing will follow the event. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders,meet the five children who captivated the entire world. When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family–and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.
Sarah Miller is the author of the historical fiction novels Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was called “an accomplished debut” in a starred review from Booklist and was named an ALA–ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and The Lost Crown, a novel hailed as “fascinating” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and named an ALA–YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
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.
This week’s reading features Nishanth Injam and Monica Rico.
Nishanth Injam is a fiction writer from Telangana, India. He currently lives in Ann Arbor.
Monica Rico is a second generation Mexican-American from Saginaw, MI and a 2019 CantoMundo Fellow. She works for the Bear River Writers’ Conference.
Join author Karin Risko and photographer Rodney Arroyo as they share highlights of their book, A History Lover’s Guide to Detroit, an intimate tour of the city that put the world on wheels. Discover an amazing history of innovation, philanthropy, social justice, and culture.
This event includes a signing with books for sale.
We welcome law professor and author Leah Plunkett in support of her recent book Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book:
From baby pictures in the cloud to a high school’s digital surveillance system: how adults unwittingly compromise children’s privacy online.
Our children’s first digital footprints are made before they can walk–even before they are born–as parents use fertility apps to aid conception, post ultrasound images, and share their baby’s hospital mug shot. Then, in rapid succession come terabytes of baby pictures stored in the cloud, digital baby monitors with built-in artificial intelligence, and real-time updates from daycare. When school starts, there are cafeteria cards that catalog food purchases, bus passes that track when kids are on and off the bus, electronic health records in the nurse’s office, and a school surveillance system that has eyes everywhere. Unwittingly, parents, teachers, and other trusted adults are compiling digital dossiers for children that could be available to everyone–friends, employers, law enforcement–forever. In this incisive book, Leah Plunkett examines the implications of “sharenthood”–adults’ excessive digital sharing of children’s data. She outlines the mistakes adults make with kids’ private information, the risks that result, and the legal system that enables “sharenting.”
Plunkett describes various modes of sharenting–including “commercial sharenting,” efforts by parents to use their families’ private experiences to make money–and unpacks the faulty assumptions made by our legal system about children, parents, and privacy. She proposes a “thought compass” to guide adults in their decision making about children’s digital data: play, forget, connect, and respect. Enshrining every false step and bad choice, Plunkett argues, can rob children of their chance to explore and learn lessons. The Internet needs to forget. We need to remember.
Leah Plunkett is Associate Dean for Administration, Associate Professor of Legal Skills, and Director of Academic Success at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
We welcome Jon Sands as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series, in support of his latest collection It’s Not Magic. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the collection: Snapshots of youth, displayed with verve and sparkling clarity, in a new collection of poems that “dazzles with its linguistic sleight of hand” (Richard Blanco). From jaunts through New York subways, to a Cincinnati Waffle House, to a chance encounter with one’s future life partner, Sands writes in turns autobiographically and imaginatively, drawing on voices from his private world and the public sphere to create an urgent portrait of youth that is almost rebellious in its sheer, persistent joy. Nostalgic and vivid, this collection of poems is written reverie. Selected by Richard Blanco, Jon Sands is the winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series.
Jon Sands is the author of The New Clean and the cohost of The Poetry Gods podcast. His work has been featured in the New York Times and anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He’s received residencies and fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and the Jerome Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
The Michigan Quarterly Review launches its fall issue. Details and contributor bios to come. Stay tuned!
Author and former director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at The University of Michigan visits as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, in support of her new novel The Professor of Immortality. Eileen will be in-conversation with Literati bookseller and author Lillian Li. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: Professor Maxine Sayers once found her personal and professional life so fulfilling that she founded the Institute of Future Studies, a program dedicated to studying the effects of technology on our culture and finding ways to prolong human life. But when her beloved husband dies, she is so devastated she can barely get out of bed. To make matters worse, her son, Zach, has abruptly quit his job in Silicon Valley and been out of contact for seven months. Maxine is jolted from her grief by her sudden suspicion that a favorite former student (and a former close friend of her son) might be a terrorist called the Technobomber and that Zach might either be involved in or become a victim of this extremist’s bombing. Deserting her teaching responsibilities, her ailing mother, and an appealing suitor, Maxine feels compelled to set out and search for her son in order to warn and protect him, even as she knows she should report her suspicions to the FBI to prevent greater carnage.
Eileen Pollack graduated with a BS in physics from Yale and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the novels The Bible of Dirty Jokes, A Perfect Life, Breaking and Entering, andParadise, New York, the short-story collections In the Mouth and The Rabbi in the Attic, and the nonfiction books The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club and Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. Her novella “The Bris” was chosen to appear in Best American Short Stories, edited by Stephen King; two other stories have been awarded Pushcart Prizes, and her essay “Pigeons” was selected by Cheryl Strayed for Best American Essays. Formerly the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, she now lives in New York City.
Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train‘s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.
Tickets available now. Purchase them here.
Literati Bookstore is honored to welcome Ann Patchett to Rackham Auditorium for an event in support of her latest novel, The Dutch House, and in benefit of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
Established in 1996, The Book Industry Charitable Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the bookselling community through charitable programs that support bookstore employees and their families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. Since its inception, the organization has provided more than $6.6 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 7,476 families. Find out more about The Foundation and donate here.
The program will consist of an author talk and Q&A.
A very limited number of VIP tickets are available. These tickets provide access to a 5:30pm-6:30pm pre-event meet & greet with Ann at the Michigan League (light refreshments served), a hardcover copy of The Dutch House, and reserved general admission seating for the event at Rackham. All proceeds, after the price of the book, from this ticket go directly to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. Additional reception details and instructions will be sent to guests ahead of the event.
General admission book bundle tickets are also available and include a pre-signed copy of The Dutch House, to be picked up at the venue the evening of the event.
Surface parking in downtown Ann Arbor may be limited. A detailed map of available (and walkable) parking structures can be found here.
About The Dutch House:
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England’s Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.
Additional event questions? Email John@LiteratiBookstore.com