The Book Cellar
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The Soul Pages Book Group reads Brother Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Book Cellar Book Club discusses The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
Join the Book Cellar as Michael Czyzniejewski discusses his latest book I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories
About Michael Czyzniekjewski:
Michael Czyzniejewski is the author of three collections of stories, Elephants in Our Bedroom (Dzanc Books, 2009), Chicago Stories: 40 Dramatic Fictions (Curbside Splendor, 2012) and the forthcoming I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories (Curbside Splendor, 2015), as well as the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 2010. He is an assistant professor at Missouri State University and Editor of Moon City Review. For twenty-five years, he has also worked as a vendor at Wrigley Field.
About I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life:
Michael Czyzniejewski examines twenty-nine cases of human love at their most critical junctures, bearing witness to the absurdity of longing. An astronaut’s husband cheats while his wife is in space; a scallop opens a portal to another dimension; a man exploits his peanut allergy for kinky sex; a blind date turns into a bestial kidnapping. Self-doubt, unshakable distrust, unrequited longing, and the prospect of eternal loneliness haunt these romantics. The heart wants what it wants, but it doesn't always last forever.
David Masciotra comes to the Book Cellar to present his latest work, Mellancamp: American Troubador
About David Masciotra:
David Masciotra is an author, lecturer, and cultural critic. He writes regularly for Salon and AlterNet and has also written about culture for the Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Blurt,and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and politics for Truthout, Indianapolis Star, and Fusion Network. He has written about life and spirituality for Relevant Magazine and The Cresset. He is a former columnist with PopMatters. In 2007, he graduated from the University of St. Francis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and shortly after began writing a provocative and highly acclaimed weekly column for the (Joliet) Herald News. In 2010, Continuum Books published his first book, and he also graduated from Valparaiso University with a Master’s Degree in English Studies and Communication.
At 30, Masciotra has already proven himself as committed to and capable of exploring a wide range of issues – from spirituality to sex, from politics to pop culture – in a style that excites the reader, provoking thought and moving hearts. He has conducted interviews with a diverse range of musicians, authors, and cultural figures, including Jesse Jackson, all members of Metallica, David Mamet, Daryl Hall, James Lee Burke, Warren Haynes, Stacey Patton, Ruthie Foster, Gregory Harms, and Mark Helprin. Masciotra lives in Indiana, and teaches literature and political science courses at the University of St. Francis.
Throughout his prolific career, John Mellencamp has performed more than twenty Top 40 hits, has been nominated for thirteen Grammy Awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hits like "Jack and Diane," "Small Town," and "Cherry Bomb" are iconic American songs that have played an important role in defining midwestern music and developing the rock genre. Despite his critical and commercial success, however, the rough guy from a small town writing songs about everything he "learned about living" is often omitted from the ranks of America's songwriting elite.
In Mellencamp, David Masciotra explores the life and career of one of America's most important and underrated songwriters, persuasively arguing that he deserves to be celebrated alongside artists like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. Beginning with his modest beginnings in Seymour, Indiana, Masciotra details Mellencamp's road to fame, examining his struggles with the music industry and his persistent dedication to his midwestern roots. Shaking off the shortsighted "regionalist" stereotype and dismissing his assumed pop-star persona, Mellencamp found success by remaining true to where he came from.
This thoughtful analysis highlights four decades of the artist's music, which has consistently elevated the dignity of everyday people and honored the quiet heroism of raising families and working hard. This first serious biography of the legendary musician will charm fans and music enthusiasts who are interested in the development of roots rock and Americana music.
He will be accompanied by local musician, Kev Wright, who will be playing a few Mellancamp covers during the presentation!
Afterwords Book Group discusses In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume