We’re delighted to welcome our friend Chris McCormick back to the store as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, and in support of his new novel The Gimmicks. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: Set in the waning years of the Cold War, a stunning debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern California, and at its center, one of the most tragic cataclysms in twentieth-century history–the Armenian Genocide–whose traumatic reverberations will have unexpected consequences on all three lives.
“The Gimmicks is a gorgeous epic that astounds with its scope and beauty. With empathy and humor, McCormick unravels the ties between brotherhood and betrayal, love and abandonment, and the fictions we create to live with the pain of the past. This novel will blow you away.”–Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers
“Chris McCormick is a novelist of uncommon vision, empathy, and purpose. The Gimmicks crosses continents and decades to tell a remarkable story of historical trauma, friendship, and the moral combat of professional wrestling. Though haunted by ghosts, The Gimmicks is brilliantly, boisterously alive.”–Anthony Marra, author of NBCC John Leonard Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Chris McCormick is the author of a collection of stories, Desert Boys, winner of the 2017 Stonewall Book Award. Born in 1987 and raised on the California side of the Mojave Desert, he is a graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program and now lives and teaches in Minnesota.
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.
Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Kiley Reid visits as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of her debut novel Such a Fun Age. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
“This is not a world of easy answers but one in which intentions don’t match actions and expectations don’t match consequences, where it is possible to mean something partly good and do something mostly bad. The result is both unsparing and compassionate, impossible to read without wincing in recognition–and questioning yourself. Such a Fun Age is nothing short of brilliant, and Kiley Reid is the writer we need now.” –Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists
Kiley Reid earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship and taught undergraduate creative writing workshops with a focus on race and class. Her short stories have been featured in Ploughshares, December, New South, and Lumina. Reid lives in Philadelphia.
We welcome former TIME correspondent, founder of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and Livingston Awards at the University of Michigan, Charles R. Eisendrath, in support of his collection Downstream from Here: A Big Life in a Small Place. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book:
“Why not learn how to learn by doing? Why not go backwards and forwards at the same time, intro-prospecting what’s gone into our gene pool by letting it come out as the future unfolded? Each of us is a family album that few of us take the time to reference. The trick is learning how to read the pages while making new ones at the same time. The turning part happens by itself — you just need to pay attention.”
Charles R. Eisendrath, in this series of essays spanning four decades, explores the things that grow lives of their own when left undisturbed at a second home — things like an “ancestor room,” a storm-struck forest, a player piano and a childhood fear of wild dogs. These essays are about the loves of a place inhabited temporarily, but which shape a person permanently.
These essays range from Anatolia to Argentina, from FDR’s secret wartime fishing trip to a plane crash in Costa Rica. The margin notes of academic articles lead to a grill admired by James Beard and a Saudi prince. Tenure at the University of Michigan inspires a cherry orchard and bulldozers invite ghosts. Serious, hilarious, inquisitive, spontaneous, Eisendrath introduces us to the people and places, the life, death and afterlife that goes on nonstop, all around us, all by itself.
A FIRST-EVER COLLECTION FROM AMERICA’S MOST DISTINGUISHED HISTORIAN OF MEDICINE AND CULTURAL LIFE
From Howard Markel, author of An Anatomy of Addiction “Absorbing, vivid” —Sherwin Nuland, The New York Times Book Review, front page) and The Kelloggs (2017 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Biography), Literatim is a collection of the writer’s essays on medicine, American culture, and how their intersections compose the interstitial matter of modern life.
Through topics ranging from illness to baseball to the lives of America’s most beloved artists and performers, Markel’s eye for the unexamined corners of contemporary life align with his singular storytelling ability for a collection that demonstrates how literature, like medicine, can be a portal to better understanding the human condition.
Selected and with an introduction by the award-winning and bestselling author, Literatim gathers more than 80 essays, a thirty-year retrospective of Markel’s work from 1987 to 2019. “Although writers and physicians use markedly different tools and approaches,” he writes, “both are recording and interpreting narratives.” Literatim is a stirring and entertaining testament to that persisting truth..
About the Author
HOWARD MARKEL, M.D., Ph.D., is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. His books include Quarantine!, When Germs Travel, and An Anatomy of Addiction. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The New England Journal of Medicine. Markel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
RC Creative Writing alumna Carmen Bugan is a poet and author of the critically acclaimed memoir Burying the Typewriter. She visits in support of her collection of new and selected poems, Lilies from America. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the collection: This selection of Carmen Bugan’s poems offers readers an experience with all the surprise and continuity of a long, complex novel. Childhood, youth, the move from a traditional rural world, dominated by lovingly described grandparents, to exile, urban life, parents aging, children growing – all the private normalities which are so often the material of poetry are here. But, from the striking opening, where the poet’s parents work secretly on a typewriter, buried and dug up after the children are in bed, on Samizdat protests against the government of Romania, normality collides with history. A reality of state surveillance, abuse and incarceration fills the poems with urgency, even as memories are revisited and sometimes revised.
Carmen Bugan’s books include the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (Picador), which has received international critical praise, the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, and was a finalist in the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her collections of poems are Releasing the Porcelain Birds and The House of Straw (both with Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians(Carcanet Press). She is also the author of a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. Her work has been translated into several languages and she is a regular reviewer for Harvard Review Online. Bugan was awarded a large grant from the Arts Council of England, was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, was a Hawthornden Fellow, the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and is a George Orwell Prize Fellow. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford University. She now lives in the USA with her husband and children.
Amy Auscherman, Corporate Archivist for Herman Miller, Inc, discusses her new book Herman Miller: A Way of Living, a chronicle of the rich history of the innovative furniture company, from its founding in the early twentieth century to today.
For more than 100 years, Michigan-based Herman Miller has played a central role in the evolution of modern and contemporary design, producing timeless classics while creating a culture that has had a remarkable impact on the development of the design world. Ten chapters and thousands of illustrations in this new book tell the Herman Miller story as never before, documenting its defining moments and key leaders.
Amy Auscherman has managed the company’s extensive design archive since 2014, She also served as an editor for WHY Magazine, curated exhibitions, and contributed to design history scholarship through writing and lecturing. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, AIGA’s Eye on Design, AXIS, Curbed, Dwell, Fast Company, PIN-UP, Surface, among many others. Podcast and television appearances include TED’s WorkLife with Adam Grant and Viceland’s Nuts+Bolts with Tyler, The Creator.
The event is in partnership with the Michigan chapter of Docomomo US and will be hosted by Martin Bandyke, morning drive host on ann arbor’s 107one. It includes a signing with books for sale.
Author Kate Wisel visits as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series and in support of her collection of linked stories Driving in Cars with Homeless Men. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bars, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of a working-class Boston. With riotous energy and rage, the women portrayed run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.
Kate Wisel is a native of Boston. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in publications that include Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, Tin House online, Redivider as winner of the Beacon Street prize, and on the Boston subway as winner of the “Poetry on the T” contest. Kate Wisel lives in Chicago.
We’re pleased to welcome Alexander Weinstein back to the store as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of his new story collection Universal Love. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the book: A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World.
Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping stories, a young boy tries to understand what keeps his father tethered to the drowned city they call home. A daughter gets to know her dead mother’s hologram better than she ever knew her living mother. And, at a time when unpleasant memories can be erased, a man undergoes electronic surgery to have his depression, and his past, forever removed.
Alexander Weinstein is the author of the critically acclaimed Children of the New World and the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Among his many publications, his fiction was awarded the Lamar York Prize and the Gail Crump Prize, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and has been collected in the anthology 2013 New Stories from the Midwest. He is a professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University and a lecturer at the University of Michigan.
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.
Jan. 22 • Khaled Mattawa has published five books of poems, translated several books of poetry, and edited anthologies of Arab American writing. Recently his Mare Nostrum appeared from the Quarternote Chapbook Series of Sarabande Books. He has a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He teaches creative writing at UMich and edits Michigan Quarterly Review.