Writing News Roundup

January 25, 2022

We are thrilled to bring you the latest in literary events that have caught our attention. These events encompass a range of free and ticketed registration and are not affiliated with AWP. All times are in ET.

Tuesday, January 25

7 p.m.—Kidliterate Book Club Reads: Holes

Kidliterate invites you to join a group of quirky adults who enjoy reading and discussing Young Adult and Middle Reader books. Drop-ins welcome! This month's book is Holes by Louis Sachar.

7:30 p.m.—Book Launch: Rachel Krantz Presents Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy

Open is an unprecedented, unflinching, and groundbreaking new memoir from the award-winning journalist and founding editor of Bustle Rachel Krantz, who joins Greenlight (virtually!) in a conversation with Jen Winston (Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much) on nonmonogamy, bisexuality, recording one's life, gaslighting, and writing a memoir in a post #MeToo era.

8 p.m.—Virtual Author Event with Alafair Burke

New York Times bestselling mystery author Alafair Burke presents a dark, twisty thriller about memory, friendship, and secrets. Conversation hosted by Alafair’s friend and fellow bestselling suspense author Michael Connelly.

8 p.m.—LBB Presents: Jo Allison—Storied & Scandalous St. Louis

Left Bank Books, St. Charles City-County Library & Sisters in Crime - St. Louis welcome former Missouri journalist & author Jo Allison (the pen name of Linda Dobkins), who will discuss her new book, Storied & Scandalous St. Louis: A History of Breweries, Baseball, Prejudice, and Protest, on our Facebook Live page. Allison will be in conversation with President of Sisters in Crime - St. Louis Chapter Fedora Amis.

9 p.m.—Nadifa Mohamed Reads from and Discusses The Fortune Men

Nadifa Mohamed joins Elliott Bay Book Company for her compelling, Man Booker shortlist–nominated novel, The Fortune Men (Knopf). Based on a true story, the narrative centers on the unjust conviction (overturned years later) and execution of an innocent Somali immigrant, Mahmood Mattan, in Cardiff, Wales, in 1952.

Wednesday, January 26

12 noon—LBB Book Club: Novel Ideas Discusses Girl, Woman, Other

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Get Girl, Woman, Other for 20 percent off by phone and online during the months of December and January. Email shane.m@left-bank.com for meeting link.

7 p.m.—Race-Conscious Parenting Collective

The Race-Conscious Parenting Collective is designed to support the ongoing development of white parents and educators of white, multiracial children, and children of color, who are seeking to unlearn and dismantle white supremacy within their families, schools, neighborhoods, and faith communities. This Zoom meeting requires a reservation.

8 p.m.—ILP: An Evening with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This event is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present, a statewide collaboration between public libraries offering high-quality events. The bestselling and award-winning author of Mexican Gothic discusses her newest book, Velvet Was the Night, and her genre-defying mashups of cultural noir and Lovecraftian horror. Register to attend.

9 p.m.—Jonathan Smolin + Alaa Al Aswany discuss I Do Not Sleep

Ihsan Abdel Kouddous (1919–1990) was an iconic, hugely important writer in Egypt and beyond, during his lifetime and beyond. The author of numerous major novels, his work has been too little known in English and to readers here. Thanks to translator Jonathan Smolin, professor of Asian Studies at Dartmouth and translator from the Arabic of other such writers as Abdelilah Hamdouchi and Youssef Fadel, his work is now more readily available, this in the form of I Do Not Sleep (American University of Cairo Press), a sixty-year-old novel which shocked readers when it first appeared in the 1950s. Slated to be with Jonathan Smolin to discuss I Do Not Sleep is Alaa Al Aswany, one of the most acclaimed writers—Egyptian and otherwise— working today.

9 p.m.—Maggie P. Chang, Mika Song, Dan Abdo, and Special Guest Tori Sharp

Third Place Books welcomes Maggie P Chang, Mika Song, Dan Abdo, and Jason Patterson for a fun-filled, action-packed presentation on their graphic novels for early readers! Joining the conversation is special guest Tori Sharp, Seattle-based author-illustrator of the debut graphic memoir Just Pretend. This event will be broadcast live on Zoom.

Thursday, January 27

7 p.m.—Black Feminist Book Club Reads: Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life

The Black Feminist Book Club reads books by amazing Black women writers, centers the discussion from Black feminist perspectives, and celebrates classic and contemporary Black women authors across genres and styles, all in the comfort of an awesome gem of a feminist bookstore! Charis Circle board chair Susana Morris is the facilitator of this group. All community members are invited to participate with the acknowledgment that this is a space that centers Black women’s thoughts, creativity, and lived experiences. This month's book is Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life by bell hooks

8:30 p.m.—LBB Book Club: Gay Men's Reading Group Discusses The Deviant's War

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America by Eric Cervini, finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. Email shane.m@left-bank.com for meeting link.

9:00 p.m.—Brian Zepka with Shaun David Hutchinson—The Temperature of Me and You

Third Place Books is pleased to welcome Brian Zepka for the release of his debut YA novel, The Temperature of Me and You. He will be joined in conversation by Shaun David Hutchinson, the critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants, A Complicated Love Story Set in Space, Before We Disappear, and the memoir Brave Face. This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. During the event, you can ask questions using the Q&A feature or chat with fellow attendees.

Saturday, January 29

1 p.m.—Gender Identity Journal: Prompts and Practices for Exploration and Self-Discovery

Charis welcomes Katie Leikam in conversation with E.R. Anderson for a discussion of Gender Identity Journal: Prompts and Practices for Exploration and Self-Discovery. Explore your gender identity through guided journaling.

1:30 p.m.—LBB Presents: Isabel Allende—Violeta

Left Bank Books and Books & Books/Miami Book Fair + indie bookstore partners to welcome author of twenty-six bestselling and critically acclaimed books Isabel Allende, who will discuss her new book, Violeta, on January 29th in a private virtual event. This exclusive event requires purchase of a copy of Violeta or Violeta (Spanish Edition) from Left Bank Books for admission. Limited presigned quantities of Violeta (English Edition) in hardcover are available with your order.

Monday, January 31

7:30 p.m.—Book Launch: Oliver Roeder Presents Seven Games: A Human History

Games, ancient and modern, are having a moment, and in Seven Games, journalist and former FiveThirtyEight staff writer and Nieman fellow Oliver Roeder explores seven classic, globally beloved table games—checkers, backgammon, chess, Go, Poker, Scrabble, and bridge—and their origins, importance, the delightful arcana of their rules, and the precise pleasures of their design. Join us (virtually) for an evening of thinking across the board with Roeder, joined in conversation by author David Hill (The Vapors).

7:30 p.m.—When the World Turned Upside Down: K. Ibura in Conversation with Varian Johnson

Charis welcomes K. Ibura in conversation with Varian Johnson for a celebration of When the World Turned Upside Down. What do you do when the world shuts down? A heartwarming story of friendship and overcoming adversity in a time of COVID, When the World Turns Upside Down is about community, giving back, and understanding the world around us through the power of generosity from debut middle-grade author K. Ibura. This event is cohosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

9 p.m.—Claudia Durastanti Strangers I Know Book Event

Elliott Bay Book Company presents an evening with noted Italian writer and translator Claudia Durastanti, whose luminous novel, Strangers I Know (Riverhead) has been translated by Elizabeth Harris and is now available to English language readers.


Tuesday, February 1

4 p.m.—Olga Tokarczuk Presents The Books of Jacob

Copresented with Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn Public Library's February International Writers series features Olga Tokarczuk, author of The Books of Jacob, and translator and writer Jennifer Croft, as they discuss Tokarczuk’s magnum opus with Anderson Tepper. Originally published in Poland in 2014, The Books of Jacob is Nobel Laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s masterwork that first earned her the attention of the Swedish Academy, which hailed her “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”

5 p.m.—Haymarket Presents The Sentences That Create Us Book Launch

Join PEN America and Haymarket Books for the launch of The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting a Writer’s Life In Prison. The Sentences That Create Us provides a road map for incarcerated people and their allies to have a thriving writing life behind bars—and shared beyond the walls—that draws on the unique insights of more than fifty contributors, most themselves justice-involved, to offer advice, inspiration and resources. And it's not just for those on the inside. Join editor Caits Meissner for a conversation with contributor Reginald Dwayne Betts, hosted by author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.

8 p.m.—OUTspoken! LGBTQ+ Storytelling*

Join us for OUTspoken LGBTQ+ Stories, our monthly storytelling event celebrating uniquely personal stories from a cross-section of the LGBTQ+ community. OUTspoken is held on the first Tuesday of each month at Sidetrack.

Wednesday, February 2

7:30 p.m.—Hanif Abdurraqib & Ashley Evans: Sing, Aretha, Sing!

A young Aretha Franklin captivates her community with the song "Respect" during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in Sing, Aretha, Sing!, a striking picture book biography that will embolden today's young readers to sing their own truth. Join American Writers Museum to hear both author Hanif Abdurraqib and illustrator Ashley Evans discuss their crafts, how this book came together, and the lasting legacy of Aretha Franklin.

7:30 p.m.—Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts Presents Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration

Greenlight is honored to welcome writer, educator, and self-described “curator of joy and healing” Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts in conversation with writer and theologist Danté Stewart (Shoutin’ in the Fire), for the launch of her timely and vital first book.

10 p.m.—Kim Fu and Danya Kukafka—Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century & Notes on an Ex

Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome two local authors close to the Third Place Books family: Kim Fu and Danya Kukafka, who will be celebrating the release of their new books, Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century and Notes on an Execution. Register to attend.

Thursday, February 3

7 p.m.—Chicago Classics: Black History Month

Our Chicago Classics series continues with a themed program celebrating Black History Month. Ronne Hartfield, Claire Hartfield, and Tracy Clark will join host Jarrett Neal in sharing excerpts from their own work plus the work of a favorite Chicago author.

7:30 p.m.—Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe Present The Art of Activism: Your All-Purpose Guide to Making the Impossible Possible

Join the cofounders of the Center for Artistic Activism, Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert, as they discuss their new book The Art of Activism, an all-purpose guide that falls somewhere between Che Guevara’s Principles for Guerrilla Warfare and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Duncombe and Lambert show readers how to bring about effective social change by combining the emotional power of the arts with the strategic planning of activism.

7:30 p.m.—MANYWHERE: Stories—Morgan Thomas in Conversation with Meredith Talusan

Charis welcomes Morgan Thomas in conversation with Meredith Talusan for a celebration of MANYWHERE: Stories, which features lush and uncompromising stories about characters crossing geographical borders and gender binaries.

Friday, February 4

8 p.m.—Author Event with CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates

2022 Black History Celebration Frankie Freeman Inspirational Lecture CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates started her career as a prosecutor, serving as the assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia and a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Through revelatory and captivating scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system.

9 p.m.—Marty Wingate and Ellie Alexander—The Librarian Always Rings Twice & The Cure for What Ales You: A Sloan Krause Mystery

Third Place Books is pleased to welcome Pacific Northwest novelists Marty Wingate and Ellie Alexander for a joint reading of their cozy new murder mysteries, The Librarian Always Rings Twice and The Cure for What Ales You: A Sloan Krause Mystery. This event will be broadcast live on Zoom.


Saturday, February 5

1 p.m.—Writing Comics: A Beginner’s Guide

Award-winning comic book writer and graphic novelist Alverne Ball will guide writers through the process of comic book script writing by using different media forms to construct a producible script. Attendees will learn how to read a comic, the placement of word balloons in a comic, comic book scripting terminology, directing/screenwriting terminology, pacing, dialogue, and plot.

2 p.m.—COMMONground: A Collaboration with Poetry Ireland

Poetry Foundation and Poetry Ireland present the first in a series of transatlantic events, a reading and conversation with acclaimed Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa and award-winning American poet Teri Ellen Cross Davis, moderated by Erin Fornoff. This inaugural online event will probe topics of struggle, motherhood, and the complexities of honouring the past while raising the future.


*in-person event

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