The Book Cellar
It's Local Author Night at The Book Cellar, featuring Alexandra Ellison (Go Your Own Way), R.R. Campbell (Imminent Dawn), Matthew Murrey (Bulletproof), John Domini (Color Inside a Melon) and Goldie Goldbloom (On Division).
About Alexandria Ellison: Alex Elison is a student-centered College Counseling & Education Consultant. For her new book, Go Your Own Way, she draws on her experiences with clients to advise student-centered paths to finding the right college.
About Go Your Own Way: Alex Ellison shares a new way for students to discover their own paths to college. Alex offers a student-centered approach, inspired by the unique personalities, talents, and passions of her clients to create a discovery process that helps families find clarity amid the increasingly dysfunctional college-application process.
About R.R. Campbell: R.R. Campbell is an author, editor, and the founder of the Writescast Network, a podcast collective for writers, by writers. To date, he's been published in Five:2:One Magazine's #thesideshow, Erotic Review, and with National Journal Writing Month. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and their cats, Hashtag and Rhaegar.
About Imminent Dawn: Art-school dropout Chandra would do anything to apologize for her role in her wife’s coma—including enroll in the first round of human trials for an internet-access brain implant. At first, the secretive research compound is paradise, but a dark wave of uncertainty soon crashes down on the study, pitting Chandra against ruthless tech magnate Wyatt, a man whose own secrets compel him to press on with his work at all costs. Beyond the complex’s walls, horrifying rumors about the EMPATHY brain implant reach the desk of investigative journalist Meredith, who strives to verify her mysterious source’s veracity—until threats of unknown origin force her to choose between her sleuthing and her life. All the while, advancement-hungry administrative assistant Ariel eagerly does the bidding of her higher-ups, woefully unaware they might not have the best interests of the compound’s patients in mind. Forced to confront conspiracies stretching from the highest levels of the North American Union government to the lowest dredges of its shadowy hacking collectives, all four characters are set on a collision course that will leave them fighting to reclaim that which they value most: their loved ones, their freedom, their lives.
A twistedly delightful clockwork of intrigue and suspense, Imminent Dawn is an electrifying sci-fi debut from author R.R. Campbell.
About Matthew Murrey: Matthew Murrey was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and then moved to Chicago in 1984. In Chicago he lived at a Catholic Worker house for a year, worked as a dishwasher, cook, bike messenger, and residential assistant - and met his partner. They moved to Iowa City in 1986 where Murrey completed a graduate degree in education before returning to Chicago. Back in the city, he worked as a bus driver for a mental health center and - in 1992 - moved to Urbana where he was a mental health counselor for almost 8 years. In 2000 he enrolled at the University of Illinois and completed a library degree; he is now a public school librarian in Urbana. He and his partner have two grown sons.
About Bulletproof: The poems in Bulletproof look at the joy and dread of being alive in this world. Even pleasurable situations hold traces of danger and threat, while destructive or disturbing events contain the possibilities of redemption and beauty. Murrey has succeeded in using the direct and evocative powers of poetry to conjure up these contradictions-not so much to resolve them, but to dwell on and in them, to experience through language the wonder of being human.
About John Domini: John Domini has three stories collections and three novels in print. Other books include selections of criticism and poetry. He’s published fiction in Paris Review and Ploughshares, non-fiction in GQ and the New York Times, and won a poetry prize from Meridian. Grants include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The New York Times praised his work as "dreamlike... grabs hold of both reader and character," and Alan Cheuse, of NPR, described it as "witty and biting." He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern and elsewhere and makes his home in Des Moines.
About Color Inside a Melon: A disastrous earthquake has Naples reeling. While the government scrambles to maintain appearances, poverty and anarchy rack the people on Italy’s margins—the illegal immigrants out of Africa, known as the clandestini. One of whom has just been horrifically murdered. Enter Risto, a rare success story. A refugee from Mogadishu, orphaned in his teens, he’s now married the Neapolitan Paola and is the proprietor of a celebrated art gallery. The murder recalls the deaths of his loved ones years ago in Mogadishu, a trauma Risto can’t outrun. Thinking to force the hand of the white authorities, Risto begins his own investigation. But once he starts playing detective, he quickly gets in over his head. Worse, his digging seems to have brought on a strange hallucination: a golden halo only he can see, like a visionary’s foretelling of death. Everyone he knows, including the woman he loves, seems to brim with secrets; every discovery Risto makes drives him toward an earthquake of his own. A portrait of turmoil inside and out, The Color Inside a Melon explores race and class, belonging and exclusion in one of the world’s ancient cities. Prolific author, critic, and essayist John Domini delivers an unforgettable portrait of humanity’s endless struggle between moving on and making a home.
About Goldie Goldbloom: Goldie Goldbloom’s first novel, The Paperbark Shoe, won the AWP Prize and is an NEA Big Reads selection. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and has been the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including fellowships from Warren Wilson, Northwestern University, the Brown Foundation, the City of Chicago and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is chasidic and the mother of eight children.
About On Division: In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, just a block or two up from the East River on Division Avenue, Surie Eckstein is soon to be a great-grandmother. Her ten children range in age from thirteen to thirty-nine. Her in-laws, postwar immigrants from Romania, live on the first floor of their house. Her daughter Tzila Ruchel lives on the second. She and Yidel, a scribe in such demand that he makes only a few Torah scrolls a year, live on the third. Wed when Surie was sixteen, they have a happy marriage and a full life, and, at the ages of fifty-seven and sixty-two, they are looking forward to some quiet time together. Into this life of counted blessings comes a surprise. Surie is pregnant. Pregnant at fifty-seven. It is a shock. And at her age, at this stage, it is an aberration, a shift in the proper order of things, and a public display of private life. She feels exposed, ashamed. She is unable to share the news, even with her husband. And so for the first time in her life, she has a secret—a secret that slowly separates her from the community. Goldie Goldbloom's On Division is an excavation of one woman's life, a story of awakening at middle age, and a thoughtful examination of the dynamics of self and collective identity. It is a steady-eyed look inside insular communities that also celebrates their comforts. It is a rare portrait of a long, happy marriage. And it is an unforgettable new novel from a writer whose imagination is matched only by the depth of her humanity.