The Book Cellar
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The Old St. Pat's Book Group meets to discuss their July selection, Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi
We're excited to help Shawn Shiftlett launch his new novel Hey, Liberal! at the Greenhouse Theater.
Keep your eyes here and HERE for additional details!
Shawn Shiflett is an associate professor of creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago. He is the author of Hidden Place, which was included in Library Journal’s 2004 “Summer Highs, Fall Firsts” list of “most successful debuts.” He lives in Chicago.
Hey, Liberal! (a story inspired by true events)
In this honest novel set in the racial tinderbox of Chicago in 1969, thirteen-year-old Simon Fleming, the white son of a Civil Rights activist minister, is sent to a predominately African American high school feeling charged by his parents to carry out the family’s commitment to the “community” and school integration. Here, he is dropped into a world where gang warfare, drug abuse, and violence are rampant. Simon’s journey for survival brings him into conflict with a Cobra Stone gangbanger, takes him through a failed student boycott organized by community leaders, and also through numerous race riots. Along his way, he meets friends and mentors: Clyde, a former gangbanger turned black political militant; Louis, a brilliant, self-destructive boy; Juan, who perilously chooses to belong to a white gang, Corps, instead of the more powerful Latin Kings; Clark, an intimidating racist police officer who vies for Simon’s allegiance in return for protection at school; and John, a communist biology teacher who educates Simon as much about politics as about science. Throughout the story, Simon’s love for Dia goes from an awkward crush to maturity. Hey, Liberal! exposes an out-of-touch education system and the universality of racial violence amidst a nation moving, inch by hard-fought inch, toward a more culturally diverse and inclusive future.
The French Book Group meets to discuss their August pick, A Man's Place by Annie Ernaux
The Never Too Old Book Club discusses their August pick The Outsiders by S E Hinton.
(This month's selection will be held at an alternate location. Contact Carla Krause at Carla_Krause@hotmail.com for details)
Join us at The Book Cellar to celebrate Amy Gentry and her debut novel GOOD AS GONE!
Amy Gentry lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two cats. After graduating in 2011 with a PhD in English from the University of Chicago, she began a freelance writing career, writing book reviews, cultural criticism, and, for one strange and wonderful year, a fashion column. She frequently reviews fiction for the Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal, and her writing has appeared in Salon.com, xoJane, The Rumpus, the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Observer, LA Review of Books, Gastronomica, and the Best Food Writing of 2014. GOOD AS GONE, her first thriller, is set in her hometown of Houston, Texas.
GOOD AS GONE
Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
Propulsive and suspenseful, GOOD AS GONE will keep readers guessing until the final pages.
Early Praise for GOOD AS GONE by Amy Gentry
“Amy Gentry has burst out of the gate with a monumentally intelligent, wily thriller about identity, vengeance, and homecoming that introduces readers to some of the most badass female characters on the shelf. Good As Gone is a river that shoots the reader deftly through rapids, over cliffs, past eerie vistas to a shocking, elegant and well-earned ending. Do yourself a favor: jump in.“—Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under
“A bracing, scarily honest look at what it means to be female—and to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother—wrapped up in a vicious thriller. Gentry's ambitious debut will satisfy fans of Gone Girl, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Killing.”—Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back
“Unreliability sets the tone for this page-turner as it begins with a kidnapping where the only witness is the victim's a ten-year-old sister. Pitting innocence and earnestness against criminality and manipulation, this novel, with its deft twists and turns, will leave you haunted long after the final page. . . You need to read this book. Like a literary James Patterson, this is a not-to-miss debut.”—Steph Opitz, book reviewer, Marie Claire
Tonight, The Book Cellar Book Club gets together to discuss Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J RyanStradal!