The Book Cellar
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The Book Cellar Book Club meets to discuss their March pick, The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob.
Join co-editors Kathleen Rooney and Eric Plattner as they read from and discuss the wide-ranging pieces--manifestos, prose poems, essays, memoirs and more--in Rene Magritte: Selected Writings, offering a scintillating portrait of the witty and gifted Belgian Surrealist painter at Alliance Francaise de Chicago!
About Kathleen Rooney:
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, was published by St. Martin's Press in January of 2017.
About Eric Plattner:
Eric Plattner teaches writing & rhetoric at DePaul University. He is a founding member of the Chicago collective, Poems While You Wait, & a consulting editor at the Community Literacy Journal. A graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, he has translated the works of Nelly Sachs, Ernst Toller, Georg Trakl, and Georg Büchner.
About Rene Magritte: Selected Writings:
Available for the first time in an English translation, this selection of René Magritte’s writings gives non-Francophone readers the chance to encounter the many incarnations of the renowned Belgian painter—the artist, the man, the aspiring noirist, the fire-breathing theorist—in his own words. Through whimsical personal letters, biting apologia, appreciations of fellow artists, pugnacious interviews, farcical film scripts, prose poems, manifestos, and much more, a new Magritte emerges: part Surrealist, part literalist, part celebrity, part rascal. While this book is sure to appeal to admirers of Magritte’s art and those who are curious about his personal life, there is also much to delight readers interested in the history and theory of art, philosophy and politics, as well as lovers of creativity and the inner workings of a probing, inquisitive mind unrestricted by genre, medium, or fashion.
Join us for night of blues history & live music at the legendary Chess Records at 2120 South Michigan Avenue as we celebrate the release of Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen!
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Tour the Historic Studio
Harmonica Workshop with Doktu Rhute
(Harmonicas available for $5.50 in the gift shop if you want to play along.)
Windy City Blues Presentation
Live Blues Music
Lite Bites & Cash Bar
at Motor Row Brewing
(2337 S Michigan Ave. A quick walk down
the street, no need to move your car)
Space is limited. Buy your tickets now.
$20 includes drink ticket & raffle ticket
$33 includes drink ticket, raffle ticket and a signed copy of Windy City Blues
Portion of the proceeds go to the
Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation
About Renee Rosen:
Renée is the bestselling author of White Collar Girl, What The Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age and Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties as well as the young adult novel, Every Crooked Pot. Her forthcoming novel, Windy City Blues will be published February 28, 2017 from Penguin Random House. She lives in Chicago where she is currently working on a new novel.
About Windy City Blues:
The bestselling author of White Collar Girl and What the Lady Wants explores one woman’s journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.
But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked…
Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.
With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.
We are thrilled to have Joe Bonomo, reading from his new book of essays Field Recordings from the Inside, and celebrated Chicago baseball- and music-writer Dan Epstein, reading from his current work-in-progress.
About Joe Bonomo:
Joe Bonomo's books include This Must Be Where My Obsession with Infinity Began, Conversations with Greil Marcus, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Installations (National Poetry Series), and Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band. A five-time Notable Essay selection at Best American Essays, he teaches at Northern Illinois University, and appears online at No Such Thing As Was (www.nosuchthingaswas.com) and at @BonomoJoe.
About Field Recordings from the Inside:
Using as its epigraph and unifying principle Luc Sante’s notion that “Every human being is an archeological site,” Field Recordings from the Inside provides a deep and personal examination of the impact of music on our lives. Bonomo effortlessly moves between the personal and the critical, investigating the ways in which music defines our personalities, tells histories, and offers mysterious, often unbidden access into the human condition. The book explores the vagaries and richness of music and music-making—from rock and roll, punk, and R&B to Frank Sinatra, Nashville country, and Delta blues—as well as the work of a diverse group of artists and figures—Charles Lamb, music writer Lester Bangs, painter and television personality Bob Ross, child country musician Troy Hess, and songwriter Greg Cartwright.
Mining the often complex natures and shapes of the creative process, Field Recordings from the Inside is a singular work that blends music appreciation, criticism, and pop culture from one of the most critically acclaimed music writers of our time.
About Dan Epstein:
DAN EPSTEIN is an award winning journalist, pop culture historian, and avid baseball fan who has written for Rolling Stone, SPIN, Men’s Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, MOJO, Guitar World, Revolver, LA Weekly and dozens of other publications. He is the author of the acclaimed Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ‘70s and Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76. He proudly calls Chicago home.
The Desi Lit Book Group meets to discuss their March pick, Our Lady of Alice Bhati by Mohammed Hanif.
Join us at The Book Cellar to hear Kevin Davis talk about his brand new book, The Brain Defense.
About Kevin Davis:
Kevin Davis is an award-winning journalist, author and magazine writer based in Chicago. A former crime reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, his writing has appeared in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Utne Reader, In These Times, ABA Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Weekend, Encyclopaedia Britannica and many other publications.
He is the author of three non-fiction books on the criminal justice system, The Wrong Man, Defending the Damned and The Brain Defense. In addition, Davis has authored eight non-fiction children’s books.
Davis is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Studies, as well as a part-time jourmalism instructor at Loyola University Chicago. He also teaches a writing class for detainees at the Cook County Jail.
In addition, he has worked as an editorial consultant for Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Davis was a staff reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for ten years. He left the paper after writing his first book to pursue a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Martha Sanders, and son, Jackson, "Sonny" Davis.
About The Brain Defense:
In 1991, the police were called to East 72nd St. in Manhattan, where a woman's body had fallen from a twelfth-story window. The woman’s husband, Herbert Weinstein, soon confessed to having hit and strangled his wife after an argument, then dropping her body out of their apartment window to make it look like a suicide. The 65-year-old Weinstein, a quiet, unassuming retired advertising executive, had no criminal record, no history of violent behavior—not even a short temper. How, then, to explain this horrific act?
Journalist Kevin Davis uses the perplexing story of the Weinstein murder to present a riveting, deeply researched exploration of the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice. Shortly after Weinstein was arrested, an MRI revealed a cyst the size of an orange on his brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that governs judgment and impulse control. Weinstein’s lawyer seized on that discovery, arguing that the cyst had impaired Weinstein’s judgment and that he should not be held criminally responsible for the murder. It was the first case in the United States in which a judge allowed a scan showing a defendant’s brain activity to be admitted as evidence to support a claim of innocence.
The Weinstein case marked the dawn of a new era in America's courtrooms, raising complex and often troubling questions about how we define responsibility and free will, how we view the purpose of punishment, and how strongly we are willing to bring scientific evidence to bear on moral questions. Davis brings to light not only the intricacies of the Weinstein case but also the broader history linking brain injuries and aberrant behavior, from the bizarre stories of Phineas Gage and Charles Whitman, perpetrator of the 1966 Texas Tower massacre, to the role that brain damage may play in violence carried out by football players and troubled veterans of America’s twenty-first century wars. The Weinstein case opened the door for a novel defense that continues to transform the legal system: Criminal lawyers are increasingly turning to neuroscience and introducing the effects of brain injuries—whether caused by trauma or by tumors, cancer, or drug or alcohol abuse—and arguing that such damage should be considered in determining guilt or innocence, the death penalty or years behind bars. As he takes stock of the past, present and future of neuroscience in the courts, Davis offers a powerful account of its potential and its hazards.
Thought-provoking and brilliantly crafted, The Brain Defense marries a murder mystery complete with colorful characters and courtroom drama with a sophisticated discussion of how our legal system has changed—and must continue to change—as we broaden our understanding of the human mind.