Vargas was born in the Philippines and when he was twelve years old his mother sent him to the United States to live with her parents. While applying for a driver’s permit, he found out his papers were fake. More than two decades later, he is still here illegally, with no clear path to American citizenship. To some people, he is the “most famous illegal” in America. But for Jose, he is only one of an estimated 11 million human beings whose uncertain fate is under threat in a country he calls home.
Dear America is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book—at its core—is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but about the unsettled, unmoored psychological state in which undocumented immigrants find themselves. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about what it means to not have a home.
This event includes a signing with books for sale. Doors will open at 6 pm to offer the opportunity to connect with community agencies and representatives who will be staffing information tables in the lobby.
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and theatrical producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. His best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in 2018. Most recently, he co-produced Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed play What the Constitution Means to Me, which opened on Broadway in spring 2019.
This event is part of the 2020 Washtenaw Read. The Washtenaw Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Participating libraries include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Saline, and Ypsilanti. For more information about Washtenaw Reads and previous years’ reads, go to wread.org.
Literati is pleased to be on hand as a bookseller for the University of Michigan LSA Honors Program’s Leland Stowe Memorial Lecture, delivered by author Anu Partanen.
The lecture celebrates the best in journalism, broadly understood. Stowe was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1930 and one of the early American journalists to raise concerns about Hitler’s rise to power. During World War II, he was a war correspondent. He was a Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan 1956–1969 and died in 1994.
Anu Partanen’s work has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic. A journalist in Helsinki for many years, she has also worked at Fortune magazine as a visiting reporter through the Innovation Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She lives in New York City.
After the first draft is done, the real work begins. But what is the best way to revise your novel or memoir? In this workshop, Alex Kourvo will show you the easy way to revise your work, taking it step by step from first read-through to final comma.
This is part of the monthly Emerging Writers Workshops, which offer support, learning, and advice for local authors. Each month, two weeks after the workshop, there is a meet-up where the instructors will read samples of your work and offer advice and assistance in a casual, supportive atmosphere.
Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s imprint Fifth Avenue Press.
We welcome debut novelist Jennifer Acker in support of The Limits of the World.
About the book: Spanning four generations and three continents, The Limits of the World illuminates the vast mosaic of cultural divisions and ethical considerations that shape the ways in which we judge one another’s actions. A dazzling debut novel–written with rare empathy and insight–it is a powerful depiction of how we prevent ourselves, unwittingly and otherwise, from understanding the people we are closest to.
“The Limits of The World is such a smart, compassionate and elegant novel, so deeply invested in morality and the subtleties of families, cultures, and continents, that it feels delicious and exciting to recall that this is Jennifer Acker’s debut.”–Lauren Groff, author of Florida
Jennifer Acker is founder and editor in chief of The Common. Her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review, and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and organizes LitFest. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband. The Limits of the World is her debut novel.
Jim Ottaviani comes to the library to launch (no pun intended) his new book : Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier. In this graphic novel Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humor and incredible drive of Mary Cleave, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.
The U.S. may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. It took years to catch up, but soon NASA’s first female astronauts were racing past milestones of their own. The trail-blazing women of Group 9, NASA’s first mixed gender class, had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space, but they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for everyone.
This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.
In Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid, local author William D. Lopez examines the lasting damage done by this daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
Exploring the chaos of enforcement through the lens of community health, Lopez discusses deportation’s rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals. Focusing on those left behind, Lopez reveals their efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep their families together as they attempt to deal with a deportation machine that is militarized, traumatic and implicitly racist.
This event includes a signing with books for sale, and is part of the 2020 Washtenaw Read. For more information about Washtenaw Reads and previous years’ reads, visit wread.org.
Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson • Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss their own poetry and short fiction. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.
Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an hour. All writers welcome to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; firstname.lastname@example.org or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
Open-mic storytelling competitions. Open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. Come tell a story, or just enjoy the show!
6:30pm Doors Open | 7:30pm Stories Begin
*Tickets for this event are available one week before the show, at 3pm ET.
*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.
REVOLUTION: Prepare a five-minute story about rebellion. Renewal, upheaval, or ridding a system of evil. Whether macro or micro, tell us about a moment of complete transformation, progression, regression. A call to arms or a call to action, share a story of change and the power of resistance.
ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.
We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.
Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.
Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!
$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.
8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.
Literati is pleased to be on hand as a bookseller as the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan presents Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, authors of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power and Assault on Campus.
The fear of campus sexual assault has become an inextricable part of the college experience. But why is sexual assault such a common feature of college life? And what can be done to prevent it? Drawing on the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Columbia University, the most comprehensive study of sexual assault on a campus to date, Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan’s new book presents an entirely new framework that emphasizes sexual assault’s social roots, transcending current debates about consent, predators in a “hunting ground,” and the dangers of hooking up.
Based on years of research interviewing and observing college life―with students of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds―Hirsch and Khan’s study reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault so predictable, explaining how physical spaces, alcohol, peer groups, and cultural norms influence young people’s experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault.
Book sales and signing will follow the discussion.
Cosponsors: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), Departments of American Culture, Sociology, Women’s Studies, School of Education