Novel Publication Celebration
The Wisconsin Book Festival is proud to present an event for the publication of novels by two University of Wisconsin-Madison Creative Writing Professors. Quan Barry's She Weeps Each Time You're Born and Judith Claire Mitchell's A Reunion of Ghosts are both magical achievements and incredible additions to the Wisconsin literary culture.
About Quan Barry's She Weeps Each Time You're Born
Quan Barry’s luminous fiction debut brings us the tumultuous history of modern Vietnam as experienced by a young girl born under mysterious circumstances a few years before the country’s reunification, a child gifted with the otherworldly ability to hear the voices of the dead.
At the peak of the war in Vietnam, a baby girl is born along the Song Ma River on the night of the full moon. This is Rabbit, who will journey away from her destroyed village with a makeshift family thrown together by war. Here is a Vietnam we’ve never encountered before: through Rabbit’s inexplicable but radiant intuition, we are privy to an intimate version of history, from the days of French Indochina and the World War II rubber plantations through the chaos of postwar reunification. With its use of magical realism—Rabbit’s ability to “hear” the dead—the novel reconstructs a turbulent historical period through a painterly human lens. This is the moving story of one woman’s struggle to unearth the true history of Vietnam while simultaneously carving out a place for herself within it.
About Judith Claire Mitchell's A Reunion of Ghosts
Three wickedly funny sisters. One family's extraordinary legacy. A single suicide note that spans a century ...
Meet the Alter sisters: Lady, Vee, and Delph. These three mordantly witty, complex women share their family's apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They love each other fiercely, but being an Alter isn't easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. Yet no matter what curves life throws at these siblings—and it's hurled plenty—they always have a wisecrack, and one another. In the waning days of 1999, the trio decides it's time to close the circle of the Alter curse. But first, as the world counts down to the dawn of a new millennium, Lady, Vee, and Delph must write the final chapter of a saga lifetimes in the making—one that is inexorably intertwined with that of the twentieth century itself. Unspooling threads of history, personal memory, and family lore, they weave a mesmerizing account of their lives that stretches back decades to their great-grandfather, a brilliant scientist whose professional triumph became the sinister legacy that defines them.
Funny, heartbreaking, and utterly original, A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent novel about three unforgettable women bound to each other, and to their remarkable family, through the blessings and the burdens bestowed by blood.
Quan Barry is the Lorraine Hansberry Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s north shore, Barry is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry, including the novel When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East. She is one of a select group of writers to receive National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in both poetry and fiction. In 2021 her novel We Ride Upon Sticks was awarded the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Barry’s first play production, The Mytilenean Debate, premiered in spring 2022. She is currently Forward Theater’s first ever writer-in-residence.
Judith Claire Mitchell is the author of the novels THE LAST DAY OF THE WAR and the forthcoming A REUNION OF GHOSTS, which sold in a pre-emptive bid and was a Publishers Lunch Deal of the Day. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches classes in writing fiction and directs the MFA program in creative writing.