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Friday, January 9, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Katherine Sciandra presents The Mindfulness Habit: Six Weeks to Creating the Habit of Being launch

Discover a demystified and easy approach to being present—anytime and anywhere—with this step-by-step guide to making your life more centered and mindful. Once you integrate mindfulness into your existing lifestyle, you’ll become illuminated by a sense of calm, focus, and contentment that brings joy not only to you, but also to those whose lives you touch. The Mindfulness Habit helps you understand the value of living in the moment and offers many techniques for finding mindfulness opportunities. Explore a variety of topics related to meditation and habit formation, as well as extensive exercises to practice each week. No matter how busy your schedule is, you can find a place to calm the body and quiet the mind.

Kate Sciandra has been teaching personal and spiritual development for over twenty years. She is registered with the State of Minnesota as a minister and has had an active meditation practice since 2001. Sciandra graduated from the Australasian College of Herbal Studies and is an instructor and practitioner with the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International.

Tuesday, January 13, 7:00pm - REPUBLIC at Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave South
Books & Bars presents An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Wednesday, January 14, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Andy Steiner presents How to Survive: The Extraordinary Resilience of Ordinary People launch

Survival books tend to focus on the exotic, like a plane going down in the mountains. This one is for the rest of us. Andy Steiner explores resiliency in the face of such difficult life events as the death of a spouse, the loss of a child, the distress of bankruptcy, the trauma of a heart attack, and more.

“Andy Steiner has accomplished something special in How to Survive: The Extraordinary Resilience of Ordinary People. The book not only offers an anthology of inspiring recovery stories but also resources and insights from those working in emotional wellness. It’s a wonderful guidebook on how to get through difficult times.” — Cris Mazza

Andy Steiner is a Twin Cities-based writer and editor. Before becoming a full-time freelancer, she worked as senior editor at Utne Reader and editor of the Minnesota Women’s Press. Her latest book is "How to Survive: The Extraordinary Resilience of Ordinary People, published by Minneapolis-based Think Piece Publishing.

Friday, January 16, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Rose McGee and Ann Fosco present Story Circle Stories

"The stories captured in Story Circle Stories remind us of what it means to be part of the human community. Rose and Ann do us a great service by collecting and sharing these diverse voices from the field and weaving them together with respect and clarity. A must read for people engaged in building strong, healthy, and creative relationships at every level - work home, school, neighborhood, and beyond." - Catherine V. Jordan, Experienced Executive Director of WARM Gallery, Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, & In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

Rose McGee, M.Ed. is a storyteller, educator, and facilitator with earned degrees from Lane College Jackson, Tennessee, and Lesley University Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is author of the play, Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story and Sleep with a Virgin: A Perspective on AIDS. Her creative approach to professional development and community engagement focuses on the powerful impact that storytelling and story circles have in relationship-building. She owns Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts which specializes in sweet potato pie, and has a TED Talk on The Power of Pie.

Ann Fosco is a Volunteer Management and Leadership Development Facilitator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in child psychology from the University of Minnesota and twenty-five years of expertise in the nonprofit community that includes Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Hands On Twin Cities, Volunteers of America, and the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis. As an Organizational Capacity Builder, she addresses critical needs of community by fostering deeper civic engagement via circle dialogues.

Wednesday, January 21, 6:15pm - The Happy Gnome (498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102)

Books & Bars presents An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Please note that this is on Wednesday, Jan. 21, and not the usual third Tuesday.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Wednesday, January 21, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Patricia Hoolihan presents Storm Prayers with Sherrie Fernandez-Williams presenting Soft: A Memoir

“Disillusionment with the church of her upbringing separated Patricia Hoolihan from her family and some true north in her spirit, until, lying near death at twenty-seven, she opened to mystery and grace. With the humility of the seeker, she listened anew to her family of storytellers: the unforgettable Bernie and Gert, the high-flying Uncle Dan, the tales of her Irish ancestors. Here’s a spirit so open to beauty, humor and love that you’ll feel lucky to know her. And you’ll feel that you do know her if you’ve ever lost faith in true north. Patricia Hoolihan knows how to tell a story. Her voice is artful and honest, and she’s brought a fierce consciousness to that slipperiest of subjects – the ties that both bind, and bind us to one another.” - Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of Telling

Patricia Hoolihan’s previous books combine the topics of family, parenting and spirituality (Moments of Peace for Parents of Teens, Launching Your Child into Adulthood and more). She teaches at Metropolitan State University and The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband during the school year.

Soft, Sherrie Fernandez-William’s first book, is a relentlessly textured memoir exposing the author’s life as she goes back and forth in time, examining who she is today, and why. Soft is a story for those who understand moving from one ­geographical, spiritual, or identity-oriented place to another, hoping to escape, only to discover there are always other places that need escaping. It is a story for those searching their own lives to understand the capacity we may have to move forward, even as we may be forced to move back, with strength, and dignity and compassion, and despite our fears.” - Sherry Quan Lee, author of Chinese Blackbird

Sherrie Fernandez-Williams holds an MFA in writing from Hamline University and is a recipient of an Artist Initiative Award through the Minnesota State Arts Board, a SASE/Jerome Award through Intermedia Arts, and Jone’s Commission Award through the Playwright’s Center. She was a selected participant in the Loft Mentor Series for Creative Nonfiction, and the Givens Black Writers Collaborative. Her work has been published in various journals and anthologies including Segue, Branches, and The Poverty and Education Reader. She is the author of Soft: A Memoir, published by North Star Press. Fernandez-Williams discovered her need for words in Brooklyn, NY where she was born and raised, but “grew up” as a writer in the Twin Cities.

Thursday, January 22, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Heidi Kitrosser presents Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency, Executive Power, and the U.S. Constitution

Americans tend to believe in government that is transparent and accountable. Those who govern us work for us, and therefore they must also answer to us. But how do we reconcile calls for greater accountability with the competing need for secrecy, especially in matters of national security? Those two imperatives are usually taken to be antithetical, but Heidi Kitrosser argues convincingly that this is not the case—and that our concern ought to lie not with secrecy, but with the sort of unchecked secrecy that can result from “presidentialism,” or constitutional arguments for broad executive control of information.

In Reclaiming Accountability, Kitrosser traces presidentialism from its start as part of a decades-old legal movement through its appearance during the Bush and Obama administrations, demonstrating its effects on secrecy throughout. Taking readers through the key presidentialist arguments—including “supremacy” and “unitary executive theory”—she explains how these arguments misread the Constitution in a way that is profoundly at odds with democratic principles. Kitrosser’s own reading offers a powerful corrective, showing how the Constitution provides myriad tools, including the power of Congress and the courts to enforce checks on presidential power, through which we could reclaim government accountability.

Heidi Kitrosser is currently a professor at University of Minnesota Law School, and holds degrees from UCLA and Yale Law School. Kitrosser has also clerked for the Central District of California and on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Professor Kitrosser has taught as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Santa Clara Law School. She writes primarily about constitutional law, particularly free speech, separation of powers and government secrecy.

Friday, January 23, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center presents: Mentor Series Reading with Diego Vázquez Jr.

The 2014–15 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose presents fiction mentor Diego Vázquez Jr., reading along with program participants Rebecca Diaz (fiction) and Timothy Otte (poetry).

Diego Vázquez Jr. is a poet, novelist, storyteller. He comes from indigenous migrants who crossed invisible lines to become immigrants under a common sky. He has never met an illegal human. Vázquez is grateful for his ongoing participation in The Women’s Writing Program at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility and the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River. This remarkable experience allows him new insights into the strength and joy of the human heart. Vázquez is the author of Growing Through the Ugly. He is completing work on a forthcoming novel, Border Town Sky.

Rebecca Diaz graduated from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University with her BA in Writing & Literature. She is a homegrown artist, enchanted and inspired by the landscape, culture and psyche of her rural Minnesota hometown of Crookston. Growing up with Christian Fundamentalists and her love for the Red Lake River taught her almost everything she needs to know about life and writing. She is a poet turned fiction writer, looking into the tributaries of language, healing, and religious addiction. Rebecca has been published in S(y)mposium, BASE: Building Alliances for Social Engagement, Flaneur Foundry Arts Journal, fre-quen-cy: the poethics of change, Monkey Puzzle Magazine, Stays Magazine, and others.

Timothy Otte writes text for page and performance. His work has appeared online at Paper Darts and at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He is Senior Editorial Associate at Hazel & Wren, an online literary community. He is from and lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, but keeps a home on the internet at www.timothyotte.com.

Wednesday, January 28, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Jonathan Odell presents Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League

Set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League is the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida—one wealthy and white and the other poor and black—who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another.

Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi’s racist sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can’t keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a manger scene while gunning for the baby Jesus, Hazel is sedated and bed-ridden. Hazel’s husband hires Vida to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife and to care for his sole surviving son. Forced to spend time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn Delphi on its head. It is the story of a town, a people, and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things, like unexpected friendship.

Jonathan Odell is the author of two novels, The Healing and The View from Delphi, which has been updated and republished as Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League. Odell was born and raised in Mississippi, growing up in the institutional segregation of a small town. In college he sold The Ebony Pictorial History of Black America door to door in black neighborhoods across the South while the Klan tried to discourage him. He now resides in Minnesota.

Monday, February 9, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Michael Bazzett presents You Must Remember This with Jamaal May, author of Hum

Michael Bazzett is the recipient of the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, winning a contract with Milkweed Editions to publish his forthcoming collection, You Must Remember This. A graduate of Carleton College who currently teaches at the Blake School, Mr. Bazzett is the author of The Unspoken Jokebook and the acclaimed chapbook The Imaginary City. Prize judge Kevin Prufer called You Must Remember This “a book of unnerving wonders, one in which improbable events are narrated with strange intimacy, lucidity, and sly wit.” Mr. Bazzett will be joined onstage by Mr. Prufer for this evening of poetry and literary conversation, co-sponsored by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation.

---

In Jamaal May's debut collection, the human body is machine, manufactured in the motor city, alive with the urban sounds and beats. Poems buzz and purr like well-oiled chassis. Grit and trial and song thrum through each line. Tight syntax, finely tuned internal rhyme, and punchy consonants percuss each poem's beat like an unfailing 808 drum.

Jamaal May was raised by two auto workers in Detroit, Michigan, where he eventually taught poetry in public schools. After making a living as a self-taught poet and musician, Jamaal went on to publish two chapbooks, earn an MFA from Warren Wilson, and be featured in Callaloo, Indiana Review, Blackbird, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other journals, films, and broadcasts. He's the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Bucknell University, where he was named the 2011-2013 Stadler Fellow.

Tuesday, February 10, 7:00pm - REPUBLIC at Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave South

Books & Bars presents The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novelThe Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Wednesday, February 11, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Peter Heller presents The Painter

Two years ago, Peter Heller’s debut novel was a breakout bestseller. Topping Best Books of the Year lists from Atlantic Monthly, San Francisco Examiner, and Hudson Booksellers, The Dog Stars was critically celebrated and published in eighteen languages.

Heller’s second novel The Painter is a handsome, savage story pairing art and angst, love and lust, grief and—ultimately—healing. A certain fierceness informs Jim Stegner, an expressionist artist who paints and fly fishes with similar abandon, finding comfort and inspiration in nature, while struggling to transcend the violent nature of man.

From the outset, Stegner takes us along for a wild ride. Serene moments spent fishing mountain streams of the American West, our only respite. And it’s these lyrical descriptions that put The Painter in rare company with some of the finest fly-fishing prose ever written.

With the elements of mystery, adventure, and man’s internal struggles perfectly balanced, Heller carries us along at a breakneck pace, intersecting action and luscious descriptions of Stegner as he paints, and fishes, and learns to create a meaningful life.

Peter Heller is a longtime contributor to NPR, and a contributing editor at Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. He is an award winning adventure writer and the author of four books of literary nonfiction, and two novels. He lives in Denver.

Tuesday, February 17, 6:15pm - The Happy Gnome (498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102)

Books & Bars presents The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novelThe Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Books & Bars is an open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and social lubrication (liquid courage), with moderator Jeff Kamin.

Wednesday, February 18, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
David Treuer presents Prudence

In his newest novel, Prudence, David Treuer pushes the boundaries of identity, crossing boundaries of race, gender, and sexual orientation to tell a haunting story of love, loss, and desire in World War II-era America.

In the vein of classics like Atonement and The English Patient, Prudence centers on an illicit love affair and the shattering consequences that will reverberate years into the future for its cast of deeply original, deeply sympathetic, and beautifully realized male and female characters. Both ambitious and accessible, Prudence is about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can’t help but tell, and who—and how—we’re allowed to love. Having already earned rare praise from Toni Morrison, Prudence is a landmark novel that reaffirms David Treuer as “truly an original voice” (The San Francisco Chronicle) and cements his place as a significant voice in American fiction.

David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He grew up on Leech Lake and left to attend Princeton University where he worked with Paul Muldoon, Joanna Scott, and Toni Morrison. He published his first novel, Little, when he was twenty-four. Treuer is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, and his work has been named an editor's pick by the Washington Post, Time Out, and City Pages. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Slate.com, and the Washington Post. He has a PhD in anthropology and teaches literature and creative writing at The University of Southern California. He divides his time between LA and The Leech Lake Reservation.

Thursday, February 19, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America Volume 15 release party

Please join us in celebrating two fabulous issues of Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America. Volume 15, Issue 1—"Eating the Other," focusing on the politics of food; and Volume 15, Issue 2—a selection of thought-provoking proceedings from the recent Radius of Arab American Writers + Mizna Writers Conference, held at Open Book in September 2014.

"Mizna is an organization devoted to promoting Arab-American culture, providing a forum for its expression. We value diversity in our community and are committed to giving voice to Arab Americans through literature and art."

Live readings, food and drink. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, February 20, 7:00pm - The Loft Literary Center | 1011 Washington Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Loft Literary Center presents Mentor Series Reading: Matt Rasmussen

The 2014–15 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose presents poetry mentor Matt Rasmussen reading along with program participants Karlyn Coleman (fiction) and Jennifer Krueger (nonfiction).

Matt Rasmussen’s poetry has been published in Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, H_NGM_N, Water~Stone Review, New York Quarterly, Paper Darts, and at Poets.org. He’s received awards, grants, and residencies from The Bush Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN, and The Corporation of Yaddo. He is a 2014 Pushcart Prize winner, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College. His first book of poems, Black Aperture, won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2013.

Karlyn Coleman was recently awarded a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant. Her stories have been published in Paper Darts, McSweeney’s, Canvas, and Revolver. Her story “Ice Roads” was awarded first place in fiction and is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, two boys, and a dog named Happy.

Jennifer Krueger is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Revolver, The Evening Street Review, Front Porch Journal, and elsewhere. She has also published over one dozen nonfiction books for children under a pseudonym. She is a stay-at-home mom who has taken classes at The Loft Literary Center for the past four years.

Tuesday, February 24, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Nickolas Butler presents Shotgun Lovesongs

Welcome to Little Wing. It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.

One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.

Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler’s hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book—a novel that once read will never be forgotten.

NICKOLAS BUTLER was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His writings have appeared in: Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

Thursday, March 12, 7:30pm - Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN
Pen Pals with Richard Blanco

In 2013, award-winning poet Richard Blanco became the first Latino immigrant and openly gay writer to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, following in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. In that same year, he was asked to create a poem reflecting on the Boston Marathon bombing victims for a benefit concert. He was born in Madrid in 1968 to Cuban exiles and shortly after immigrated to the United States. His poetry collections include City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and Looking for the Gulf Motel. His highly-anticipated memoir, Los Cucuyos: A Miami Childhood, was published in fall 2014.

In an inspiring presentation of prose and poetry, Mr. Blanco will share his life story, creative inspirations and poetic works.

Blanco will also be speaking on Friday, March 13, at 11:00am.

This event is part of the Pen Pals Author Lecture series, a ticketed series benefiting Friends of HCL. The 2014-2015 Pen Pals Season offers five award-winning and engaging presenters who collectively have written, critiqued or created thousands of books: Joyce Carol Oates (with Michael Dirda), Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Blanco, Jodi Picoult and Chip Kidd.

Learn more about Pen Pals and purchase a ticket here. Tickets are $40-$50.

Sunday, April 12, 2:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Ellen Meeropol presents On Hurricane Island

As a major hurricane threatens the northeast, math professor Gandalf Cohen is abducted by federal agents and flown to a secret interrogation center off the coast of Maine. Austin Coombs, a young local resident, is a newly hired civilian guard assigned to the detention center. Henry Ames, a man of personal secrets, is the FBI special agent in charge of Gandalf's case and doubts the professor's terrorist involvement; Tobias, his second-in-command, disagrees, preferring violent interrogation. As the hurricane slams the shore, conflict detonates and each character must choose a side if they're to survive the storm.

Told over the five days approaching the anniversary of 9/11, by varying voices on both extremes of the political divide, On Hurricane Island is both a fast-paced political thriller and a literary examination of the sociopolitical storm facing our society. How far should government go in the name of protecting our national security? What happens when governmental powers of surveillance and extra-legal interrogation are expanded? How free are we?

A former nurse practitioner and part-time bookseller, Ellen Meeropol is the author of one previous novel, House Arrest. She lives and writes in Western Massachusetts.

Wednesday, April 15, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Chris Cander presents Whisper Hollow

One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug-of-war with her twin, when her sister is killed. Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God. Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings.

Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves. Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel. When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra’s long-buried secrets, it’s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits—an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation.

Praise for Whisper Hollow:

“Like D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Chris Cander’s beautiful novel, Whisper Hollow, is about love that finds its object, and love that misses its mark and becomes destructive, in a community of coal miners. ... Chris Cander’s understanding of men and women is profound, and the scenes in this wonderful book will stay with you like a visionary experience.” —Charles Baxter, author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

“Love and loss, devotion and longing, hope and despair, Cander renders all of this and more through the lives of three women spanning more than fifty years. Here is a novel so full of life—of its beauty and cruelty—that I emerged from it like one of those men walking from mines she so wonderfully evokes, like a man walking from the darkness into the light.” —Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road

Chris Cander is a novelist, children’s book author, freelance writer, and teacher for Houston-based Writers in the Schools. Her novel 11 Stories, published by a small press in Houston, was included in Kirkus’s best indie general fiction of 2013.

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