All invited to read and discuss their poetry or short stories. Bring about 6 copies of your work to share.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild members host a storytelling program. Audience members are encouraged to bring a 5-minute story to tell.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757
Literati is honored and especially excited to host author, bookseller, and number one human being Lillian Li who will be sharing her debut novel, Number One Chinese Restaurant.
About Number One Chinese Restaurant:
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by The Millions and Cosmopolitan
An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant.
The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.
Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.
Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.
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 inGuernica, 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.
Literati is thrilled to welcome author Nick Dybek who will reading and discussing his new novel, The Verdun Affair.
About The Verdun Affair:
“The Verdun Affair is ravishingly beautiful, and as much about love as about war. Nick Dybek is a storyteller of great power.” –Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“The Verdun Affair is an intensely gripping story set in the immediate aftermath of war. From a still-smoldering battlefield, Nick Dybek conjures a sweeping saga of secrets, lies, mistaken identity, love and betrayal. This is the kind of book you can’t put down.” — Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn
A sweeping, romantic, and profoundly moving novel, set in Europe in the aftermath of World War I and Los Angeles in the 1950s, about a lonely young man, a beautiful widow, and the amnesiac soldier whose puzzling case binds them together even as it tears them apart.
In 1921, two young Americans meet in Verdun, the city in France where one of the most devastating battles of the war was waged. Tom is an orphan from Chicago, a former ambulance driver now gathering bones from the battlefield; Sarah is an expatriate from Boston searching for the husband who wandered off from his division and hasn’t been seen since. Quickly, the two fall into a complicated affair against the ghostly backdrop of the ruined city. Months later, Sarah and Tom meet again at the psychiatric ward of an Italian hospital, drawn there by the appearance of a mysterious patient the doctors call Douglas Fairbanks (after the silent film actor)–a shell-shocked soldier with no memory of who he is. At the hospital, Tom and Sarah are joined by Paul, an Austrian journalist with his own interest in the amnesiac.
Each is keeping a secret; each has been shaken by the horrors of war. Decades later, Tom, now a successful screenwriter, encounters Paul by chance in LA, still grappling with the questions raised by this gorgeous and incisive novel: How to begin again after unfathomable trauma? How to love after so much loss? And who, in the end, was Douglas Fairbanks?
From the bone-strewn fields of Verdun to the bombed-out cafés of Paris, from the riot-torn streets of Bologna to the riotous parties of 1950s Hollywood, The Verdun Affair is a riveting tale of romance, grief, and the far-reaching consequences of a single lie.
Nick Dybek is a recipient of a Granta New Voices selection, a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, and a Maytag Fellowship. He received a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He teaches at Oregon State University. He is the author of When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man and The Verdun Affair.
Literati is excited to welcome author Mark Beyer who will be reading and discussing his new novel, Hired Man.
About Hired Man:
What would you do if a dying stranger begged you to save his daughter and then paid you seven figures to do it? When suburban dad Terry Holbrook stops to help the quickly dying driver of an icy car wreck on a dark, lonely country road, he can’t believe the bloody check thrust into his hands is worth the paper it’s printed on. Yet, in no time, Terry and his family are swept into a dangerous vortex of powerful Detroit drug dealers, vicious blackmailers, homicidal white supremacists and the dead man’s vengeful family. Enter Pearce Butler, a “ghost” who operates both inside and outside the law. But is his true motive to mete out justice? Or simply to get to the money first? From word one, Hired Man speeds like a bullet train through ever-tightening coils of suspense toward a climax as riveting as any in crime fiction.
Mark Beyer is a Detroit-based writer, creative director, and video producer. He and his wife, Linda, live in Beverly Hills, MI. His fiction has been published in the L.A. Reader. Hired Man is his first nove
This local husband-and-wife writing team reads from ‘Til Death: Marriage Poems, their jointly written collection exploring the ups and downs of suburban monogamy from their dual perspectives. The program begins with open mike readings.
7-8:30 p.m., Sweetwaters, 123 W. Washington. Free. 994-6663.
Literati Bookstore is excited to welcome author Fatima Farheen Mirza, who will read and discuss her debut novel, A Place for Us.
About A Place for Us:
Fatima Farheen Mirza’s masterful debut novel gathers together the lives of an Indian Muslim family in California on the eve of its eldest daughter’s wedding. As Hadia’s marriage—one chosen of love, not tradition—brings the family back together, her parents, Rafiq and Layla, must come to terms with the choices that their two daughters, and their estranged son, Amar, have made.
In a narrative that spans decades and sees family life through the eyes of each member, A Place for Us charts the crucial moments in the family’s past, from the bonds that hold them together to the differences that pull them apart.
And as Hadia, Huda, and Amar attempt to carve out lives for themselves, they must reconcile their present culture with their parents’ faith, tread a path between the old world and the new, and learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest of betrayals.
This is a deeply moving and resonant story for our times: a masterful novel of love, identity, and belonging—one that eloquently examines what it means to be both American and Muslim—and announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
Fatima Farheen Mirza was born and raised in the Bay Area, and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a teaching-writing fellow. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
Widely-published Detroit poet Lauren Bernstein-Machlay reads from her latest book, Travelers, a collection of autobiographical poems. Foreword (Traverse City) writer Susan Waggoner notes “it’s through the bravery of the concept-going back to the place where you grew up to plant your flag in uncertain turf-that the book most delivers. Poised between sinking back into nature and leaping forward to revival, flashing glimpses of Detroit stand out.” Followed by a poetry and short fiction open mike.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757.