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Shorewood author Hayes joins us for a conversation about his latest book, which chronicles an oft-overlooked part of Lloyd Wright’s architectural legacy - his forays into affordable housing. In conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Catherine Boldt. Cohosted by Shorewood Historical Society and Shorewood Public Library
Click here and register now for this virtual event. And preorder your copy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House now, too!
While the grandiosity of Fallingwater and elegance of Taliesin are recognized near universally, Frank Lloyd Wright’s work on his American System-Built Homes is less appreciated. The project fell apart following wartime shortages and disputes between the architect and his developer. While continuing to advocate for the design of affordable small homes, Wright never spoke publicly of ASBH. As a result, the heritage of many Wright-designed homes was forgotten.
When Nicholas and Angela Hayes became stewards of the unassuming Elizabeth Murphy House, they began to unearth evidence that ultimately revealed a one-hundred-year-old fiasco fueled by competing ambitions and conflicting visions of America. The couple’s forensic pursuit of the truth untangled the ways Wright’s ASBH experiment led to the architect’s most productive, creative period. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House includes a wealth of drawings and photographs, many of which have never been previously published. Historians, architecture buffs, and Wrightophiles alike will be fascinated by this untold history that fills a crucial gap in the architect’s oeuvre.
Nicholas D Hayes leads innovation at a water technology company and is the award-winning author of Saving Sailing. A columnist for Sailing Magazine, he lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.
Linda Rui Feng chats about her new book, a lyrical novel set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution. This is a novel that’s won over the critics (starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist) and booksellers alike – our own Daniel calls it quietly beautiful.
Click right here to register for this virtual event right now. And order your copy of Swimming Back to Trout River from Boswell today, too!
1986 in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a letter from her parents who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing determination to stay in the idyllic countryside with her beloved grandparents threatens to derail her family’s shared future. What Junie doesn’t know is that her parents, Momo and Cassia, are newly estranged from one another in their adopted country, each holding close private tragedies and histories from the tumultuous years of their youth during China’s Cultural Revolution. In order for Junie’s father to fulfill his promise, he must make one last desperate attempt to reunite all three members of the family before Junie’s birthday, even if it means bringing painful family secrets to light.
From the aforementioned Booklist review: “Feng's lithe debut moves with grace from Communist China to San Francisco and the Great Plains, and from the 1960s to the 1980s, as it follows four interlocked lives… With the lightest of touches, Feng vividly portrays the experience of living in China during Mao's rule as well as the pressures of being a new immigrant. Looking deeply into the ‘invisible mesh’ that links her characters' lives, Feng weaves a plot both surprising and inevitable, with not a word to spare.”
Born in Shanghai, Linda Rui Feng has lived in San Francisco, New York, and Toronto. She is a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Universities and is currently Professor of Chinese Cultural History at the University of Toronto. She has been twice awarded a MacDowell Fellowship for her fiction, and her prose and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Fiddlehead, Kenyon Review Online, and Washington Square Review.
Boswell hosts an evening of conversation featuring Jerry Enzler, former Founding Director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, for his biography of the iconic frontiersman and mountain man of the American West, Jim Bridger. In conversation with historian Douglas Brinkley, author of books such as American Moonshot and The Wilderness Warrior.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And purchase your copy of Jim Bridger from Boswell now, too!
Even among iconic frontiersmen like John C Frémont, Kit Carson, and Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger stands out. Straddling the fur trade era and the age of exploration, Bridger lived the life legends are made of. In a biography that finally gives this outsize character his due, Enzler taps newly discovered sources and takes this frontiersman’s full measure for the first time and tells a story that would do Jim Bridger proud.
Born in 1804 and orphaned at thirteen, Bridger made his first western foray in 1822, traveling up the Missouri River with Mike Fink and a hundred enterprising young men to trap beaver. At twenty he “discovered” the Great Salt Lake. At twenty-one he was the first to paddle the Bighorn River’s Bad Pass. At twenty-two he explored the wonders of Yellowstone. Though he could neither read nor write, Bridger mapped the tribal boundaries for the Great Indian Treaty of 1851. Enzler charts Bridger’s path to becoming “King of the Mountain Men.”
Jerry Enzler served as founding director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium for thirty-seven years. He has written and curated national exhibitions and films and has published historical articles on Jim Bridger, river history, and more. Douglas Brinkley is Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair and Professor of History at Rice University, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and CNN’s official historian.
Madison-based essayist Swanson chats about his debut book of reportage, in which he embarks on a personal quest across the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate. He’ll chat with Steven Wright, author of the novel The Coyotes of Carthage. Cohosted by Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library.
Click right here on this red sentence to register for this Zoom event. And preorder your copy of Lost in Summerland for 20% off list price now, too! We'll take personalized autograph requests for orders placed before May 14th.
Traversing the country, Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country’s political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs.
From Publishers Weekly: “Journalist Swanson investigates in his searching debut what he sees as America’s pervasive spiritual restlessness and alienation. Full of measured skepticism, Swanson’s sharp interrogation of contemporary American life hits hard and true.”
Barrett Swanson’s essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Travel Writing. He was the Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Swanson grew up in the Milwaukee area.
The Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, sponsored by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company, welcome Mary Alice Monroe back to Milwaukee for a virtual, BYOS (bring-your-own-snacks) event for her latest novel, the latest in her New York Times bestselling Beach House series.
Tickets are $5 plus sales tax and ticket fee, or upgrade to admission-with-book for $28. Books can be picked up at Boswell or, for an additional fee, shipped via USPS media mail. $5 from each ticket will be donated to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Purchase your tickets now at monroelynden.eventbrite.com.
This tender and compassionate novel follows the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, a spirit of unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the season. Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature sensitive storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.
From Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers: "Like so many of you, I start my summer season with the enchanting novels of Mary Alice Monroe. I'm a devoted fan of her magical depictions of the lowcountry and the charms of her characters.”
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books and an active conservationist. She’s been inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the Southern Book Prize for Fiction. She is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.
Boswell Book Company hosts an evening with award-winning poet and screenwriter Brian Broome for a conversation about his debut memoir, a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction. He’ll chat with Chris Lee of Boswell Book Company.
Click right here to register for this Zoom virtual event now. And preorder your copy of Punch Me Up to the Gods for 20% off list price, too!
Broome’s memoir chronicles his early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys, his move to Pittsburgh as a young man, and his years of self-discovery, indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use. He recounts his experiences in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory to reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.
From Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: “obliterates what we thought were the limitations of not just the American memoir, but the possibilities of the American paragraph.” And from Boswell's Chris Lee, himself a former Pittsburgher: “Generous, fearless, funny, and gentle, Broome chronicles his own story to understand how and where he (along with so many other Black outsiders) doesn’t fit in America. His sentences are pure style, a joy to read, and he slips between as many voices as he has existences: Black, gay, poor, masculine, abused, uncool, scared, addicted, ashamed, angry, proud, and full of joy. And on and on. Broome interrogates the world with the rigor and tenacity of the greats, and Punch Me Up to the Gods is everything a great memoir should be.”
Brian Broome is a poet, screenwriter, and the K Leroy Irvis Fellow in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism. Chris Lee holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Boswell presents a conversation between two authors – Yelena Moskovich, author of the novels Virtuoso and The Natashas, and Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines and Green Girl.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast on Zoom. And purchase your copy of both authors from Boswell now – click the titles above to order.
In Yelena Moskovich's spellbinding new novel we meet Olga, who immigrates as part of the Soviet diaspora to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Publishers Weekly: “Moskovich mystifies with this vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991... The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender."
And from Kate Zambreno, a haunting and compulsively readable portrait of creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. She photographs her neighborhood, haunts bookstores and galleries, and records her thoughts in a notebook that soon subsumes her work on the novel. As winter closes in, a series of disturbances - the comings and goings of enigmatic figures, the burglary of her apartment - leaves her unsettled… until an intense and tender disruption changes everything.
Yelena Moskovich is a novelist, playwright, critic, and curator for the 2018 Los Angeles Queer Biennial. She has written for New Statesman and Paris Review and in French for Mixt(e) Magazine, and won the 2017 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. Kate Zambreno is author of several acclaimed books and her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, VQR, and elsewhere. She teaches in the writing programs at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is the 2021 nonfiction Guggenheim Fellow. Her forthcoming work of criticism, To Write If Already Dead, releases in June.
Boswell hosts Wisconsin YA author Jamie Pacton for a chat with Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters. Pacton’s new novel is the story of a teen who wins the lottery and the suspicion and jealousy in her small town - a funny, poignant reflection on what money can and can’t fix. Perfect for Rainbow Rowell fans.
Click right here to register for this virtual event. And purchase a copy of Lucky Girl foir 20% off list price now, too!
58,642,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize. Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket or worse. She could let her hoarder mother cash it, but the last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then there’s Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, who declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town. It’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life and has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.
Noelle Salazar, bestselling author of The Flight Girls, says “Lucky Girl is for every person who has ever felt unable to help those they love, stuck and yearning for a better life, and unwilling to give up on themself - or others.” And Joy McCullough adds, “With heart, humor, and honesty, Lucky Girl explores what it truly means to have enough. Jamie Pacton has written another smart, relatable heroine readers will rootfor to the last page (and beyond!).”
Jamie Pacton is author of The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. Elise Bryant earned a BA in Africana studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her MA in special education from Loyola Marymount University. She is author of Happily Ever Afters.
All event times are Central Time. To see a full event listing, visit our Upcoming Events page here. Read posts from The Boswellians (our bookseller contributed) here and Boswell and Books (from Daniel Goldin) right here blogs, and visit our blog post archive right here.