The Society of Midland Authors announces its fall 2014 events. Admission is free to all of these programs, which are open to the public, and no reservations are required.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, 6 p.m., at Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., Chicago: Cristina Henríquez and Rebecca Makkai: Two Chicago novelists in conversation.
Henríquez’s new novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, was chosen by Amazon as the best novel from the first half of 2014, and it was a recent “Book of the Week” selection at Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine website. Henríquez’s previous books are The World in Half and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker and The Atlantic.
Makkai’s second novel, The Hundred-Year House, is set on Chicago’s North Shore. A Boston Globe critic called the book, which was published this summer, “an entertaining, ambitious saga.” Makkai’s first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection, and one of Chicago magazine's choices for best fiction of 2011. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years.
The discussion begins at 6 p.m. sharp, followed by a book signing.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor. Author Adam Selzer will talk about Chicago ghosts
PLEASE NOTE: The talk by Scott Turow, which was previously announced for this date, has been postponed until early next year.
Selzer’s books include “Ghosts of Chicago,” published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2013, a critical examination of what we really know — and how we know it — about some of Chicago’s most famous ghost stories from a historian’s perspective. Selzer’s other nonfiction books include “Your Neighborhood Gives Me the Creeps,” “Jerks in Chicago History,” “Fatal Drop” and “The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History.” He has also written young adult novels, including “I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It” and “Play Me Backwards,” “a novel for young adults who worship the devil,” published in August by Simon and Schuster.
Selzer also runs about 300 bus tours a year for Chicago Hauntings, and he writes about forgotten bits of Chicago history, myths, legends and ghost lore at the Mysterious Chicago Blog, http://www.mysteriouschicagoblog.com. For more information on Selzer, visit his website: http://www.adamselzer.com.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago: Stuart Dybek.
Dybek, one of Chicago’s most acclaimed writers, has won the Society of Midland Authors’ award for adult fiction two times — for his 2003 book I Sailed With Magellan and his 1980 book Chicago and Other Neighborhoods. This spring, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Dybek’s first books in 11 years: Ecstatic Cahoots, which includes 50 micro-stories, and Paper Lantern, a set of love stories. Booklist critic Donna Seaman called them “two virtuoso story collections.” Dybek is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University.
The talk will begin at 7 p.m. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 6 p.m., at Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., Chicago: Best-selling author Scott Turow will discusses authors’ rights in the digital age, during a Society of Midland Authors program at the library. Turow is not only the author of 10 best-selling works of fiction, including “Presumed Innocent” and 2013’s “Identical” — he’s also an outspoken advocate for the rights of authors in the digital age, at a time when Amazon dominates book sales and Google pursues the scanning of copyrighted materials.
Turow, a north suburban resident who recently served as president of the Authors Guild, wrote a New York Times op-ed under the headline “The Slow Death of the American Author.” Turow is also a partner in the Chicago office of the law firm Dentons. When Newcity put Turow No. 1 on its 2013 “Lit 50” list, the alternative newspaper said that he “is using his lofty profile to wage war on issues more important to the culture at large than to his personal wellbeing.”
Turow will speak at 6 p.m. He will sign books after his talk. Admission is free, and no advance reservations are required.
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago: Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson discuss their new book, “Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality,” to be published in February by the University of Illinois Press. Naming names, the authors lead readers through a gallery of rogues and rotten apples to illustrate how generations of chicanery have undermined faith in, and hope for, honest government.
Tuesday, March 10, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago: Patrick T. McBriarty discusses his book, “Chicago River Bridges” — the untold history and development of Chicago's iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel, concrete and machinery of today.
Tuesday, April 14, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago: Poet Roger Bonair-Agard, winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award for his 2013 book “Bury My Clothes.”