Upcoming Events

Due to COVID-19, our in-person events have been cancelled. We're hoping to reschedule as many things as we can -  many events may become virtual, while others still will become featured interviews and essays. If you want to hear about events in your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter or the Boswell and Books blog. And, you can always pre-order or reserve a signed copy of your favorite author's new title if you can't make an event.

Did you miss a virtual event you were excited about? Find recordings of a number of our past virtual events on our Event Video page.


Stef Wade, author of The Very Last Leaf
A Virtual Event
Monday, August 10, 4:30 pm

Milwaukee children’s book author Stef Wade virtually visits for a launch celebration of her latest picture book that asks, how do leaves know when it’s time to fall?

Broadcast via Zoom, registration will be required. Here's the link, so click it to register! And purchase your copy of The Very Last Leaf from us for 20% off list price.

Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? This funny and encouraging picture book tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day. These delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make a perfect book for any period of transition in life. Kirkus calls the illustrations charming and says The Very Last Leaf is “a reassuring story that should leave readers feeling a bit more self-confident.”

Stef Wade is co-creator and writer for the former cooking and home blog Haute Apple Pie. She is author of A Place for Pluto. A graduate of Marquette and DePaul Universities, she is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


Cara Black, author of Three Hours in Paris
in Conversation with Erin Lewenauer for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, August 11, 7:00 pm

Boswell virtually welcomes Cara Black back to Milwaukee. Author of the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc investigations chats about her first standalone thriller, a reimagining of history in which she brings to life Nazi-occupied Paris of 1941. Black will be in conversation with Erin Lewenauer of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of Three Hours in Paris from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light - abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why. Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, imagines a young American markswoman who is recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Black brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity and drive to take on Hitler himself.

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Paula Woods says, “Beyond Black’s encyclopedic knowledge of Paris, her deft interweaving of WWII history and spycraft with a relatable female protagonist puts Three Hours in Paris on par with other top thrillers.”

Cara Black is author of nineteen books in the Aimée Leduc series and has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards. Erin Lewenauer is the Event, Marketing, and Membership Coordinator of Alliance Française de Milwaukee and a book critic whose writing has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Seattle Times, and Rain Taxi.


Randall Kenan, author of If I Had Two Wings
in Conversation with Kim Suhr for a Virtual Event
Wednesday, August 12, 7:00 pm

Randall Kenan, former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, joins us virtually for his second volume of stories, a riveting collection centered in Down East North Carolina. He’ll chat with Kim Suhr, Director of Red Oak Writing, our event cosponsor.

Register for this Zoom event by clicking this link right here, and purchase your copy of If I Had Two Wings from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, says “Randall Kenan is an American master and If I Had Two Wings is his latest gift to us.” Mingling the earthy with the otherworldly, shot through with humor, and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity, Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. If I Had Two Wings is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies from fictional Tims Creek, NC.

Boswellians who’ve read Kenan’s collection also have good things to say. From Daniel Goldin, “Kenan’s stories are both classic and modern, folk-infused and of-the-moment, exploring race, gender, and identity. It’s been almost thirty years since Let the Dead Bury the Dead, which I still own in hardcover; Kenan’s been busy teaching and focusing on his nonfiction writing, including several books on James Baldwin. The wait was worth it!” And Chris Lee adds, "This book is something special. Kenan so well captures the atmosphere of Down East North Carolina that you’ll feel the thick inland air close on your skin as you read. Each story is a masterclass in subtle surprise, and each life is rendered so fully that once you close the pages you’ll feel you’ve also spent a lifetime in Tims Creek. You won’t want to leave."

Randall Kenan is author of A Visitation of Spirits and Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. Kenan is a biographer of James Baldwin and has written extensively about Baldwin’s work and life. He is Professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and author of the story collection Nothing to Lose.


Laura Jamison, author of All the Right Mistakes
in Conversation with Donna Drosner for a Virtual Event
Thursday, August 13, 6:00 pm

Whitefish Bay author Jamison chats about her debut novel, a story of five college friends, all Dartmouth grads, who’ve arrived at forty in very different circumstances. It's perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Big Little Lies. She’ll chat with Donna Drosner, Director and Senior Investment Consultant of Baird’s Drosner Phillips Ristau Group.

Broadcast via Zoom, this event requires registration to view – click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of All the Right Mistakes from Boswell for 10% off list price.

When successful Heather writes a wildly popular advice book detailing the key life mistakes of her four college friends, they feel the sting of her cruel words. Despite their status, these women face everyday obstacles, including work problems, parenting challenges, secondary infertility, racism, sexism, financial stress, and marital woes - and as they weather their fortieth year, each one can’t help but wonder if their life might have been different if they had followed Heather’s advice.

Kirkus calls Jamison’s debut, “Engrossing… a compelling and enjoyable ride with five women who supposedly have it all.”

Laura Jamison is an attorney based in Whitefish Bay, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.


Kirkland Hamill, author of Filthy Beasts
in Conversation with Christina Clancy for A Virtual Event
Monday, August 17, 6:00 pm (note updated time)

Hamill discusses his debut memoir, the riches-to-rags tale of a wealthy family who lost it all and the unforgettable journey of a man coming to terms with his family’s deep flaws and his own long-buried truths. He’ll chat with Wisconsin’s Christina Clancy, author of The Second Home.

Broadcast via Zoom, you can register with this link for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of Filthy Beasts for 20% off list price from Boswell Book Company.

Following a rancorous split from New York’s upper-class society, Hamill’s newly divorced mother moves the family from their East Coast elite circle to her native Bermuda, leaving the three young boys to fend for themselves as she chases after the highs of her old life: alcohol, a wealthy new suitor, and other indulgences. A fascinating window into the life of extreme privilege and a powerful story of self-acceptance, Filthy Beasts recounts Hamill’s journey through luxury hotels and charity stores, private enclaves and public shame as he confronts his family’s many imperfections, accepts his unconventional childhood, and finally comes to terms with his own secrets.

In the New York Times Book Review, Jason Sheeler writes, "Hamill’s tragicomic memoir [is] about survival - and recovery: of his identity, memories and compassion for his mother... Wendy deserves placement in the gay canon, somewhere between Endora on ‘Bewitched’ and Jessica Lange in anything directed by Ryan Murphy." And Boswell Book Company's Chris Lee adds, "Hamill is that rare beast, a most generous kind of memoirist who opens up his entire world to you, without hedging or over-explanation, and trusts you to understand it. Particularly sensitive is Hamill’s writing about brotherhood and the childhood traumas which resulted from necessary self-preservation yet delayed his own self-discovery."

Kirkland Hamill has written for Salon and The Advocate, and was formerly the chief development and marketing officer at the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Christina Clancy is author of the novel The Second Home and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. She earned a PhDin Creative Writing at UWM.


Kathleen Rooney, author of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey
in Conversation with Caitlin Horrocks for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, August 18, 6:00 pm (note updated time)

We’re pleased to host a virtual event with the author of the beloved Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Rooney will chat about her new novel, based on the incredible true story of a WWI messenger pigeon and the soldiers whose lives she forever altered. She'll chat with Horrocks, author of The Vexations.

Broadcast via Zoom, registration is required to view this event. Click right here and register today! Purchase a copy of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price – paperback link above. Hardcover edition also available here.

Pulitzer Finalist Rebecca Makkai calls Rooney’s latest “brilliant and surprising at every turn.” From the green countryside of England and the gray canyons of Wall Street come two unlikely heroes: one a pigeon and the other a soldier. Answering the call to serve in the war to end all wars, neither Cher Ami, the messenger bird, nor Charles Whittlesey, the Army officer, can anticipate how their lives will briefly intersect in a chaotic battle in the forests of France, where their wills will be tested, their fates will be shaped, and their lives will emerge forever altered.

Kathleen Rooney is author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and the coeditor of René Magritte: Selected Writing. She is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. A former bookseller, she teaches English and creative writing at DePaul University. Caitlin Horrocks is author of The Vexations and the forthcoming Life Among the Terranauts.


Maggie O'Farrell, author of Hamnet
in Conversation with Jane Hamilton for a Virtual Event
Wednesday, August 19, 2:00 pm

Boswell Book Company and Inklink Books of East Troy, WI kick off their joint Ink/Well virtual event series with Costa Award winning author Maggie O’Farrell for a chat about her latest, Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague. She’ll be in conversation with Wisconsin’s own Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards and The Book of Ruth.

Broadcast via Zoom, registration is required to view this event. Click right here to register right now! Purchase a copy of Hamnet for 20% off list price right here from Boswell Book Company, or call InkLink Books to place an order at (262) 642-9607.

O'Farrell, author of This Must Be the Place and the memoir I Am I Am I Am, now brings us a deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare's 11 year old son Hamnet - a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain - and the years leading up to the production of his great play. The novel returns us to another, far earlier time of widespread disease: England in 1580.

Writing for the New York Times, Geraldine Brooks (People of the Book) says, "Hamnet is an exploration of marriage and grief written into the silent opacities of a life that is at once extremely famous and profoundly obscure... This novel is at once about the transfiguration of life into art - it is O'Farrell's extended speculation on how Hamnet's death might have fueled the creation of one of his father's greatest plays - and at the same time, it is a master class in how she, herself, does it."

Maggie O'Farrell is author of The Hand That First Held Mine, Instructions for a Heatwave, and I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. Jane Hamilton is author of seven books, including two Oprah's Book Club selections.


Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Grown Ups
in Conversation with Chris Lee for a Virtual Event
Sunday, August 23, 1:00 pm

Boswell hosts a virtual event with British author Emma Jane Unsworth for a chat about her latest, one of Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020 and a favorite of several Boswell booksellers. It’s Fleabag meets Conversations with Friends in this brutally honest book about living online. She’ll chat with Boswell Book Company’s Chris Lee.

Broadcast via Zoom, registration is required to view this event. Click right here and register today! Purchase a copy of Grown Ups from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

Boswellians absolutely love this edgy debut. Chris says, “this book is so good it’s giving me anxiety attacks.” Madi says, “I cannot stress enough how well this book handles the stigmas and struggles that women face, including female relationships that are much more than catty bickering. Grown Ups makes you want to hug your best friends and call your mother.” Kira calls it, “a quirky, she's-already-come-of-age novel with a cast of characters that you can't stand and can't believe you so clearly identify with.” And Parker adds, “Unsworth tosses the falling tree and the forest aside and asks the question, 'if I don't post about it did it really matter? And what happens if no one cares?'”

Jenny McLaine’s life is falling apart. Her friendships are flagging. Her body has failed her. She’s just lost her column at The Foof because she isn’t the fierce voice new feminism needs. Her ex has gotten together with another woman. And worst of all: Jenny’s mother is about to move in. Having left home at eighteen to remake herself as a self-sufficient millennial, Jenny is now in her thirties and nothing is as she thought it would be. Least of all adulthood.

Emma Jane Unsworth is author of the novels Hungry, the Stars and Everything and Animals. She wrote the screenplay of Animals and the film, directed by Sophie Hyde, premiered at Sundance. She regularly writes essays for newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian Weekend.


Liza Wiemer, author of The Assignment
In Conversation with Boswell's Jenny Chou for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, August 25, 7:00 pm

Milwaukee author Wiemer chats about her brand new YA novel, inspired by a real-life incident, which explores discrimination and antisemitism and reveals their dangerous impact.

This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Register right here for this event! And purchase your copy of The Assignment from Boswell for 20% off list price.

When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of high school seniors to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan and Cade are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand. As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for intolerance, justice, and love to prevail?

Thanhhà Lại, author of Butterfly Yellow, says “This wise and nuanced novel has loving arms that, while hugging two teens who must confront a popular teacher, also can reach all those who are belittled and unheard.”

Liza Wiemer is also author of the YA novel Hello?. Wiemer lives with her family in the Milwaukee area.


Peter Geye, author of Northernmost
in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for A Virtual Event
Wednesday, August 26, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company and Books & Company of Oconomowoc welcome Minnesotan Peter Geye for a virtual Oconomowaukee chat about his latest, a thrilling ode to the spirit of adventure in which one man’s terrifying story of survival in an Arctic wasteland reverberates profoundly in the life of his distant descendant. He’ll be in conversation with proprietors Goldin of Boswell and Baudoin of Books & Co.

Click this red sentence to register for this Zoom event today! And purchase your copy of Northernmost for 20% off list price from Boswell Book Company here, or from Books & Company here.

From author of the acclaimed novel Wintering comes a novel which braids together two remarkable stories of love and survival. In 1897, Odd Einar Eide returns home from a near-death experience in the Arctic only to discover his own funeral underway. More than a century later, Greta Nansen has begun to admit that her marriage is over. Desperately unhappy and unfulfilled, she makes the decision to follow her husband from their home in Minnesota to Oslo, but on impulse, she diverts her travels to Hammerfest: the town of her ancestors, the town where her great-great-grandmother was born and for some reason never returned.

Nathan Hill, author of The Nix, says, “We might as well give Peter Geye the Nobel Prize for winter, or declare him the poet laureate of snow. Partly a tale of heroic survival, partly a meticulously researched history, and partly an epic romance, Northernmost is, most of all, a beautiful, big-hearted, triumphant novel.”

Peter Geye is author of the novels Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering.


Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood
in Conversation with Taylore McBride and Markesha Hilliard for A Virtual Event
Thursday, August 27, 5:30 pm

UWM ACCESS presents a virtual conversation with author Megan Giddings, who'll chat with Milwaukee educators Taylore McBride and Markesha Hilliard about Lakewood, Gidding's startling debut novel about class and race that evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation. It's one part The Handmaid’s Tale, one part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Register for this event by clicking this link now! And purchase your copy of Lakewood from Boswell Book Company today!

Boswell Book Company's Daniel Goldin says, "What a fascinating story Lakewood is - a coming-of-age story with a strong dose of social justice-framed psychological horror!" And he's not the only one who thinks so - Lakewood was named a Most Anticipated / Must Read Book pick by Lit Hub, Ms. Magazine, Essence, Glamour, and many, many more.

When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. On paper, her new job is too good to be true. All Lena has to do is lie to her friends and family about the research being done. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family. Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.

Megan Giddings is a Features Editor at The Rumpus, and her stories have been published in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, and The Iowa Review. She is a recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant for feminist fiction.


A Virtual Event
Thursday, August 27, 7 pm

Colón, CEO and President of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, shares his compelling story and an actionable and powerful approach to living and leading.

Register right here for this Zoom event. And purchase your copy of My Journey from Boxing Ring to Boardroom from Boswell Book Company today.

Héctor Colón chronicles his life, from a challenging childhood through his international boxing success to his current position as CEO of one of the Midwest’s largest nonprofit organizations. Far more than just a business memoir, Héctor’s book offers an actionable and powerful approach to living and leading. Entrepreneurs, leaders young and old, and anyone looking for hope in an ever-changing and challenging world will find inspiration in Colón's story. A true servant leader, Héctor shares the lessons and virtues he learned from his boxing career, his business career and his strong connection with God.

Héctor Colón joined Lutheran Social Services as president and CEO in July 2017. Previously, Colón served as director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, where he led initiatives including efforts to reform the juvenile justice system, end chronic homelessness, transform mental health care, and end a 30-year wait list for disabilities services.


Adib Khorram, author of Darius the Great Deserves Better
in Conversation with Nic Stone for A Virtual Event
Friday, August 28, 7 pm

Join Boswell for an evening with Adib Khorram, who’ll chat about his new companion novel to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay. For this special event, Khorram is in conversation with Nic Stone, author of the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin.

This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required via Eventbrite. Click here to register right now! You can register for free, or select one of the book-purchase-with-registration options which come with an exclusive set of signed character cards - sidewalk pickup or media mail shipping. Please note, you must purchase a copy of the book through this Eventbrite page to receive the signed cards.

Darius now has it all: a boyfriend, an internship, a spot on the soccer team. It’s everything he’s ever wanted - but what if he deserves better? Since his trip to Iran, a lot has changed. Darius was just starting to feel okay, like he finally knew what it meant to be Darius Kellner. But maybe okay isn't good enough. Maybe Darius deserves better.

Boswellian Jenny Chou, a big fan of Khorram’s first novel, says, “I love the detailed and laugh-out-loud observations Darius makes of the world around him. And Khorram’s writing wields such a powerful impact that reading his work is both a joy and a journey back through the emotionally draining days of high school. Another shining star of a book.” And Kirkus’s starred review says, “This coming-of-age masterpiece packs a multitude of truth and heart.”

Adib Khorram is author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay, which earned several awards, including the William C Morris Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. Nic Stone is author of Dear Martin, a William C Morris Award finalist. She is also the author of the teen titles Odd One Out, an NPR Best Book of the Year and Rainbow Book List Top Ten selection, and Jackpot. Stone is a Spelman College graduate.


Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field
in Conversation with Liam Callanan for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, September 1, 7:00 pm

Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street and The Flight of Gemma Hardy chats about her a poignant and probing psychological drama that follows the lives of three siblings in the wake of a violent crime. Livesey will be in conversation with Callanan, author of Paris by the Book.

This virtual event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required – so click this link to register today! Purchase your copy of The Boy in the Field for 20% off list price from Boswell.

Livesey's latest novel has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and Tessa Hadley, author of “Written in elegant, spare prose, this story flies swiftly forward from the transfixing opening pages. A charming, complicated family dynamic, a twist of eerie magic.” And Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, adds, "“I loved every single sentence of The Boy in the Field. This novel is so intricately woven, its world so vibrantly built, its characters so beautifully and empathically wrought. To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight."

One September afternoon in 1999, three teenagers are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed. Written with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable, The Boy in the Field showcases Margot Livesey’s unmatched ability to, as Lily King, author of Euphoria, says “tell her tale masterfully, with intelligence, tenderness, and a shrewd understanding of all our mercurial human impulses.”

Margot Livesey is author of eight novels, including Mercury, Eva Moves the Furniture, and The Missing World. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Livesey is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Callanan is Professor of English at UWM and author of The Cloud Atlas and All Saints.


Mary Gordon, author of Payback
in Conversation with Mary Beth Keane for a Virtual Event
Wednesday, September 2, 7:00 pm

Boswell hosts a conversation of marvelous Marys. Mary Gordon, author of novels like There Your Heart Lies and Final Payments, chats with Mary Beth Keane, author of the New York Times besteseller Ask Again, Yes. Theyll chat about Gordon's brand new novel, a story of #MeToo misunderstanding and the lifelong reckoning between two women.

Click right here for the registration link for this Zoom event, and purhcase your copy of Payback from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

Gordon's new novel has already earned praise and starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly, who said, "Excellent… Contrasts the 1970s world of upper-class women’s education with the #MeToo era… Gordon nails period details and vividly describes her characters’ worlds, whether they are restoring a work of art or raising a daughter. This mesmerizing novel hits hard."

Unbeknownst to her many fans, Quin, the revenge-loving queen of the reality-TV show PAYBACK, was once an angry teen named Heidi. Her true story may be known only to Agnes, who was her art teacher at a private New England girls’ school in the 1970s. Then a young woman herself, Agnes saw a spark of originality in the brooding Heidi. But when she suggests Heidi visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the girl returns with a disastrous account of having been picked up at the museum by an older man. Agnes’s stunned response will haunt both women for decades.

Mary Gordon is author of nine novels, including Pearl and The Love of My Youth, six works of nonfiction, including the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother, and three collections of short fiction, including The Stories of Mary Gordon, which was awarded the Story Prize. She teaches at Barnard College. Mary Beth Keane is author of The Walking People and Fever, was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society.


A Virtual Event
Thursday, September 3, 7:00 pm

Boswell hosts a virtual event with author Buff, Professor of History and Comparative Ethnic Studies at UWM, and translator Oliva, Communications Coordinator at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. They will offer an introdution to their their clear and concise new A-to-Z glossary of keywords and ideas for people on the move that echos our current human rights crisis.

Register for this Zoom broadcast by clicking this link right here. And purchase your copy of A is for Asylum Seeker: Words for People on the Move / A de Asilo: Palabras Para Personas En Movimiento from Boswell Book Company for 10% off list price now.

As millions are forced to leave their nations of origin as a result of political, economic, and environmental peril, rising racism and xenophobia have led to increasingly harsh policies. A mass-mediated political circus obscures both histories of migration and longstanding definitions of words for people on the move, fomenting widespread linguistic confusion. Under this circus tent, there is no regard for history, legal advocacy, or jurisprudence. Yet in a world where the differences between "undocumented migrant" and "asylum seeker" can mean life or death, words have weighty consequences.

A timely antidote to this circus, A is for Asylum Seeker reframes key words that describe people on the move and shape our understanding. Rendered in both English and Spanish, this book offers a unique perspective on the journeys, histories, challenges, and aspirations of people on the move.

Rachel Ida Buff is author of Against the Deportation Terror: Organizing for Immigrant Rights in the Twentieth Century, and she has written for The Nation, The Washington Post, and Jewish Currents. Alejandra Oliva is a freelance writer and editor and has served as a volunteer translator for the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City.


Paula Goldman, author of Late Love
in Conversation with Susan Firer for a Virtual Event
Thursday, September 10, 7:00 pm

Boswell is pleased to host a virtual conversation with Milwaukee poet Paula Goldman, who’ll chat about her latest collection with Susan Firer, former Poet Laureate of Milwaukee

Broadcast via Zoom, so please register for this event by clicking this link right here! And don’t forget to purchase your copy of Late Love from Boswell Book Company.

From poet John Koethe: “Goldman's poised and mesmerizing Late Love is intensely verbal; its texture is woven from both short and long lines and sentences. It's also intensely personal and cultural, fusing the incidents and trials of daily and domestic life with the palpable presence of literature and art into a seamless whole, alternating between two poles: 'To see the light, one has to see the dark.'"

Paula Goldman is author of The Great Canopy, winner of the Gival Press Poetry award. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, and The North American Review. A former reporter for The Milwaukee Journal, Goldman has served as a docent and lecturer at the Milwaukee Art Museum for 25 years. Susan Firer is author of The Transit of Venus, Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: New and Selected Poems 1979-2007, and The Laugh We Make When We Fall. She has been awarded an NEA Fellowship and was Poet Laureate of Milwaukee from 2008-10.


Danny Gardner, author of Ace Boon Coon
in Conversation with Nick Petrie for A Virtual Event
Friday, September 18, 7 pm

Boswell hosts Gardner for a chat about the second book in his Elliot Caprice series of historical mysteries that began with A Negro and an Ofay. Gardner will chat with Nick Petrie, author of the five Peter Ash novels.

Register right here for this Zoom event, and preorder your copy of Ace Boon Coon from Boswell Book Company now.

It's 1950s Illinois and Elliot Caprice has returned to his rural Southville homestead to help his uncle save the family farm from a drought. As racial tensions between agricultural workers rise, a murder pulls Elliot back to Chicago when his ties to both Jewish and Negro organized crime factions are discovered during a clash of competing interests around the development of the long-awaited Chicago campus of the University of Illinois. Elliot must race to connect a money trail to two more murders to thwart the destruction of Southville - before forces combine to destroy Elliot.

Danny Gardner is author of the Elliot Caprice mysteries and has been actor, screenwriter, and Def Jam Comedian. He is a frequent reader at Noir at the Bar events nationwide, and his writing has appeared in Beat to a Pulp and has been featured in Out of the Gutter and on Noir On The Air. Whitefish Bay author Nick Petrie has written five Peter Ash thrillers, including The Drifter, winner of the ITW Thriller Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel.


Natalie Bakopolous, author of Scorpionfish
in Conversation with Valerie Laken for A Virtual Event
Monday, September 21, 7 pm

Bakopolous chats about her captivating, transporting novel that's been named a Best Summer Read by The Daily Beast and Alma, which calls it "A novel where you can practically taste summer on its pages... a magnetic story." Bakopolous will be in conversation with Valerie Laken, Associate Professor of English at UWM.

Register for this virtual event right here, and purchase your copy of Scorpionfish from Boswell Book Company for 10% off list price today!

After the unexpected deaths of her parents, academic Mira returns to her childhood home in Athens. On her first night back, she encounters a new neighbor, a longtime ship captain who has found himself, for the first time in years, no longer at sea. As one summer night tumbles into another, Mira and the Captain’s voices drift across the balconies of their apartments, disclosing details and stories: of careers, of families, of love. Scorpionfish is a map of how and where we find our true selves: in the pull of the sea; the sway of late-night bar music; the risk and promise of art; and in the sparkling, electric, summertime charge of endless possibility. Award-winning author Natalie Bakopoulos braids a story of vulnerability, desire, and bittersweet truth, unraveling old ways of living and, in the end, creating something new.

Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, says "Scorpionfish dazzles, fierce and tender in turn... Savor it, and it will leave you changed." And Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus, says, "a riveting, elegant novel keenly observed in the manner of Elena Ferrante and Rachel Cusk. A divine, chiseled stunner."

Natalie Bakopoulos is author of The Green Shore, and her work has appeared in the Iowa Review, the New York Times, and The Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories. She is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wayne State University and a faculty member of the summer program Writing Workshops in Greece. Valerie Laken is author of the novel Dream House and the story collection Seperate Kingdoms.


Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies
in Conversation with Mark Clements for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, September 22, 7:00 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author Akhtar chats with Milwaukee Rep Artistic Director Mark Clements about Homeland Elegies, an unflinching novel about searching for belonging in America. Cosponsored by the Milwaukee Rep.

To Register for this event, click this link for the Zoom registration page, and purchase your copy of Homeland Elegies from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of an immigrant father and his son search for belonging in post-Trump America, and with each other. Salman Rushdie says, ”An unflinchingly honest self-portrait by a brilliant Muslim-American writer, and, beyond that, an unsparing examination of both sides of that fraught hyphenated reality. Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable."

Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one - least of all himself - in the process.

Ayad Akhtar is author of the novel American Dervish. As a playwright, he has written Junk, winner of the Kennedy Prize for American Drama, Disgraced, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and The Invisible Hand. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. Mark Clements is Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Rep. He has been nomiated for an Olivier Award among othe rhonors and has won three Barrymore Awards, and is currently working with Akhtar to adapt American Dervish for the stage.


Salar Abdoh, author of Out of Mesopotamia
in Conversation with Meg Jones for a Virtual Event
Wednesday, September 23, 7:00 pm

Boswell hosts Iranian novelist Salar Abdoh, author of Terhan at Twilight and The Poet Game, for a conversation about his latest, in which Abdoh an unprecedented glimpse into "endless war" from a Middle Eastern perspective. He'll chat with Meg Jones, reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Register for this event on this Zoom registration page, and purchase your copy of Out of Mesopotamia from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.

In a novel that draws from his firsthand experience of being embedded with Shia militias on the ground in Iraq and Syria, Abdoh gives agency to the voiceless while offering a meditation on war that is moving, humane, darkly funny, and resonantly true. Boswellian Chris Lee offers this review: "In what should well become an essential portrait of the fight against the Islamic State, Salar Abdoh’s novel reinvigorates the way we write about war. Saleh, an Iranian journalist and reluctant drama-as-propaganda television writer, travels between the urbane art world of Tehran and the battlefields near the northern border of Syria and Iraq, where he’s gotten more involved than a reporter is supposed to be. The novel digs into Saleh’s meditations and struggle to understand: why do we choose to bloody our hands? The answers are many, uneasy and contradictory, but as Abdoh riffs on the Western canon of war - the adrift disillusionment of Hemingway, the absurdity and commerce of Catch-22 - Out of Mesopotamia is nothing less than profound./span>

Sebastian Junger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, says, "Out of Mesopotamia is a brutally realistic look at war and love and fear and everything else that humans do. The writing is impossibly good. The characters aren't characters at all - they seem to have emerged fully formed from the blood-soaked soil of Syria and Iraq. And they rise up to live out a story that is as old as history and yet somehow could only have happened today. I'm stunned by how good this book is."

Salar Abdoh is author of four novels, editor of the anthology Terhan Noir, and is Professor and a Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the City College of New York. Born in Iran, he splits his time between Tehran and New York City. Meg Jones is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she was a part of the team named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2003. She has extensively covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11 and has traveled to report extensively in both countries.


More Upcoming Virtual Events to Come 

Please visit our Boswell-Run Book Club page for an updated schedule of our book club discussions.

Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to arrive early.