OCTOBER 17-20, 2019

and year round




We Ride Upon Sticks

Quan Barry

03/03/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You’re Born, a comic tour de female force about a 1980s field hockey team. In the coastal town of Danvers, MA, home of the original 1692 witch trials, the 1989 Danvers Falcons will do anything to make it to the state finals — even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. In chapters dense with ’80s iconography–from Heathers to “big hair”–Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship.

We Ride Upon Sticks - Quan Barry - <span class="date-display-single">03/03/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Trace Elements

Donna Leon

03/04/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding.


Trace Elements - Donna Leon - <span class="date-display-single">03/04/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Translating Manuel Puig

Suzanne Jill Levine

03/09/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Madison Room

Levine is the acclaimed translator and biographer of the flamboyant and often persecuted author of Kiss of the Spider Woman. In her talk, she traces the remarkable life and career of Manuel Puig, an Argentinian banned by the Peronists and shunned by the left for his multi-layered, often erotic novels. She will discuss the process of translation and Puig's role among Latin American authors.

Translating Manuel Puig - Suzanne Jill Levine - <span class="date-display-single">03/09/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump

David Plouffe

03/11/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Madison Room

A voter's playbook on making a difference in the 2020 election and beyond from the most recognized and most successful political strategist in the country. If you've asked yourself the question, what more can I do to make sure Donald Trump does not continue to occupy the Oval Office on January 20, 2021?--then this book is for you. A playbook for the common citizen, A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump addresses the many things individuals can do in 2020 every day, without having to leave their jobs, move to Iowa, or spend every waking moment on the election.


A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump - David Plouffe - <span class="date-display-single">03/11/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Real Life

Brandon Taylor

03/12/2020 - 7:00pm

Room of One's Own

A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice. A novel of rare emotional power that excavates the social intricacies of a late-summer weekend--and a lifetime of buried pain. Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends--some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community. Real Life is a gut punch of a novel, a story that asks if it's ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and buried histories--and at what cost.

Real Life - Brandon Taylor - <span class="date-display-single">03/12/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



My Dark Vanessa

Kate Elizabeth Russell

03/16/2020 - 6:00pm

Room of One's Own

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. 


2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed.


My Dark Vanessa - Kate Elizabeth Russell - <span class="date-display-single">03/16/2020 - 6:00pm</span>



2020 UW Fiction MFA Graduates Reading

Emma Binder Angela Boyd James Eberhard Kathryn Harlan Sean Hayes Danie Shokoohi

03/23/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

Presented in partnership with the UW Program in Creative Writing, a reading from the graduating MFA cohort in fiction. Featuring the work of Emma Binder, Angela Boyd, James Eberhard, Kathryn Harlan, Sean Hayes, and Danie Shokoohi.

2020 UW Fiction MFA Graduates Reading - Emma Binder - <span class="date-display-single">03/23/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Turquoise Door

Lauren Camp

04/02/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 302

Turquoise Door revels in the beginning of the modern art movement in northern New Mexico. To escape wildfires and extreme drought, Camp traces back and north from her home to a safer place, following the life of catalyst Mabel Dodge Luhan and the creative individuals she invited to Taos in the 1920s. The collection pushes into the necessary spaces of self-expression, refuge, and belonging. Poems from this book appeared in Crazyhorse, Zócalo Public Square, South Dakota Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Third Coast, and elsewhere.

Turquoise Door - Lauren Camp - <span class="date-display-single">04/02/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Imperial Liquor

Amaud Johnson

04/06/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301

Imperial Liquor is a chronicle of melancholy, a reaction to the monotony of racism. These poems concern loneliness, fear, fatigue, rage, and love; they hold fatherhood held against the vulnerability of the black male body, aging, and urban decay. Part remembrance, part swan song for the Compton, California of the 1980s, Johnson examines the limitations of romance to heal broken relationships or rebuild a broken city. Slow Jams, red-lit rooms, cheap liquor, like seduction and betrayal—what’s more American? This book tracks echoes, rides the residue of music “after the love is gone.”

Imperial Liquor - Amaud Johnson - <span class="date-display-single">04/06/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



The Cactus League

Emily Nemens

04/09/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 302

Presented in parternship with the UW Program in Creative Writing, an explosive, character-driven odyssey through the world of baseball from Emily Nemens, the editor of The Paris Review. Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. Handsome, famous, and talented, Goodyear is nonetheless coming apart at the seams. And the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, petty criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out why—as they hide secrets of their own.


The Cactus League - Emily Nemens - <span class="date-display-single">04/09/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



The Coyotes of Carthage

Steven Wright

04/14/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library

A blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients. Dre Ross has one more shot. Despite being a successful political consultant, his aggressive tactics have put him on thin ice with his boss, Mrs. Fitz, who plucked him from juvenile incarceration and mentored his career. She exiles him to the backwoods of South Carolina with $250,000 of dark money to introduce a ballot initiative on behalf of a mining company. The goal: to manipulate the locals into voting to sell their pristine public land to the highest bidder.


The Coyotes of Carthage - Steven Wright - <span class="date-display-single">04/14/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



2020 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows Reading

Claire Agnes Cassandra Bruner Sean Hammer Clemonce Heard Wes Holtermann Gabriel Louis Natasha Oladokun Xandria Phillips

04/16/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

Presented in partnership with the UW Program in Creative Writing, poetry and fiction from the 2019-20 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows. Featuring the work of Claire Agnes, Cassandra Bruner, Sean Hammer, Clemonce Heard, Wes Holtermann, Gabriel Louis, Natasha Oladokun, and Xandria Phillips

2020 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows Reading - Claire Agnes - <span class="date-display-single">04/16/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Walk the Wire

David Baldacci

04/23/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Madison Room

Presented in partnership with Mystery to Me Bookstore, the newest thriller in David Baldacci's #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series. Amos Decker -- the FBI consultant with a perfect memory -- returns to solve a gruesome murder in a booming North Dakota oil town. When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution -- and now murder.


Walk the Wire - David Baldacci - <span class="date-display-single">04/23/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Shedding New Light on Old Maps

04/25/2020 - 4:00pm

- 180 Science Hall

Matthew Edney and Mary Pedley, editors of the newly published Cartography in the European Enlightenment, Volume Four of The History of Cartography, present an illustrated conversation on the art, craft, science, and techniques of maps and mapping between 1650 and 1800. Afterward, enjoy a map display and celebrate publication of Volume Four in the Arthur H. Robinson Map Library.


4:00–5:00 p.m. Presentation - 180 Science Hall

5:00–6:00 p.m. Map display and reception - 310 Science Hall


Presented in partnership with the History of Cartography Project, Geography Department, Friends of the UW Libraries, Memorial Library Department of Special Collections.

Shedding New Light on Old Maps -  - <span class="date-display-single">04/25/2020 - 4:00pm</span>



2020 Creative Writing Awards Ceremony

Patrick Johnson

04/30/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

The 2020 undergraduate and graduate creative writing awards ceremony, featuring a poetry reading by Patrick Johnson. Presented in partnership with The UW Program in Creative Writing. Doors will open for this event at 6:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Seating will be by general admission.


About Gatekeeper by Patrick Johnson: 

2020 Creative Writing Awards Ceremony - Patrick Johnson - <span class="date-display-single">04/30/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Conditional Citizens

Laila Lalami

05/12/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302

The acclaimed, award-winning novelist–author of The Moor’s Account and The Other Americans–now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of “conditional citizens.” What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth–such as national origin, race, or gender–that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Throughout the book, she poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other.

Conditional Citizens - Laila Lalami - <span class="date-display-single">05/12/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



Coming Out, Moving Forward

Richard Wagner

06/16/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

Coming Out, Moving Forward: Wisconsin's Recent Gay History, the second volume in R. Richard Wagner’s groundbreaking work on gay history in Wisconsin, outlines the challenges that LGBT Wisconsinites faced in their efforts to right past oppressions and secure equality in the post-Stonewall period between 1969 and 2000. During this era, Wisconsin made history as the first state to enact a gay rights law prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. It also became the first state to elect three openly gay/lesbian persons to Congress.


In this volume, R. Richard Wagner draws on historical research and materials from his extensive personal archive to not only chronicle an important movement, but also to tell the stories of the state’s LGBT pioneers—from legislators and elected officials to activists, businesspeople, and everyday citizens. Coming Out, Moving Forward documents the rich history of Wisconsin’s LGBT individuals and communities as they pushed back against injustice and found ways to live openly and proudly as themselves.

Coming Out, Moving Forward - Richard Wagner - <span class="date-display-single">06/16/2020 - 7:00pm</span>



An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

10/17/2020 - 8:00pm

Orpheum Theater

"I make things up and write them down" is the way Neil Gaiman describes his varied art. Today, as one of the most celebrated, best-selling writers of our time, his popular and critically acclaimed works bend genres while reaching audiences of all ages. In his live event, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman” he will tell stories and read stories, answer questions, and in his own words “amaze, befuddle and generally delight. It will be fun and odd and not like any other evening with Neil Gaiman.”


** This is a ticketed event presented in partnership with FPC Live. ** Advance tickets to this event can be purchased online beginning on Friday, February 21st. A limited number of general admission tickets will be made available on a first come, first serve basis at the Wisconsin Book Festival's four-day celebration beginning at 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 15th. There will not be a book signing associated with this event.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman - <span class="date-display-single">10/17/2020 - 8:00pm</span>
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