September Events
Women & Children First
wcf lady pink 
Thursday, September 5th
Amy Gail Hansen


The Butterfly Sister



When a suitcase belonging to Beth, a former classmate, arrives on her doorstep, 22-year-old Ruby Rousseau is plunged into the past and a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase may be the only clue to her whereabouts. Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. As Ruby digs into Beth's past, she has no choice but to confront her own, especially her final days at college--including her relationship with a married professor and seeing the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hands, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle. A former English teacher, she works as a freelance writer and journalist in suburban Chicago, where she lives with her husband and three children.


"That rare thing, a dark mystery that also works on your heart. . . . a beguiling, terrifying story and Amy Gail Hansen a true find." --Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times-bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean



Friday, September 6th
Julia Keller

7:30 p.m.

Bitter River


A pregnant teenager is found murdered at the bottom of a river, so prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins knows the coming weeks are going to be tough. And it doesn't help that her daughter has decided to go live with her father, Bell's ex-husband; Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, one of Bell's closest friends, is behaving oddly; and a face from her past has resurfaced for reasons Bell can't quite figure out. Searching for the truth behind both the murder and her own complicated relationships will may put Bell's life at risk. In Bitter River, Julia Keller once again weaves a compelling, haunting mystery set against the stark beauty and extreme poverty of a small West Virginia mountain town. Bitter River follows A Killing in the Hills, which is just out in paperback! Julia Keller spent twelve years as a reporter and editor for the Chicago Tribune, where she won a Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she was born in West Virginia and lives in Chicago and Ohio. 




Wednesday, September 11th

Story Time with Monique Mitchell

Miss Linda welcomes local writer Monique Martin, who will read from her children's book The Moon Is Broken.  

Tuesday, September 17th
Rebecca Sive
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Harold Washington Library

Every Day Is Election Day is a practical guide for women of all ages who want to achieve public leadership and have a voice about public policy, whether as advocates, candidates, powerbrokers, or publicly engaged citizens. It teaches women how to conquer private fears and run winning campaigns with joy, humor, confidence, and no apologies. The book also provides tips for bankrolling oneself and creating an inimitable brand and shares the true-life stories of women--such as Cecile Richards, Mary Landrieu, Debbie Stabenow, Jan Schakowsky, Toni Preckwinkle, and Barbara Flynn Currie--who have led, run, and won. A Huffington Post contributor, Rebecca Sive writes, speaks, and gives workshops on American women's pursuit of leadership and on strategies for achieving it.

Wednesday, September 18th
Special Story Time
10:30 a.m.

Special Story Time presentation of Play-Along Songs

by Ken and Georgia Frawley


Kids will sing-along, move-along, sign-along, and create-along during this lively show of new and traditional songs.

Thursday, September 19th

Marjorie Jolles, Deborah Siegel and Veronica Arreola


7:30 p.m.

Gender and Style, Fashion and Feminism: A Conversation about the Politics of What We Wear, from Birth On


Marjorie Jolles is an editor of Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style, a collection of essays on fashion as a force of both gender policing and gender transformation. Marjorie Jolles is on the Women's and Gender Studies faculty at Roosevelt University. Deborah Siegel is author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild, and her current project is The Gender Years, a study of the gendering of earliest childhood. Deborah Siegel is visiting scholar in Gender Studies at Northwestern University. Veronica Arreola is a professional feminist, mother, and writer from Chicago, who blogs at 

Sappho's Salon

Please note: Sappho's Salon is taking a late summer break. Stay tuned for more Sappho's news in October. 

Saturday, September 21st

Language Stars
Foreign Language Story Time

10:00 to 10:30 a.m.


For ages 1 to 6. Join Language Stars for two 15-minute story times in two different foreign languages. (Come see which languages they choose to present--it will be a surprise!) Participate in an engaging, interactive interpretation of a favorite children's book taught entirely in a foreign language. Native speakers will provide an interactive FunImmersion program with books, songs, and activities conducted entirely in their native language. (Language Stars provides full-immersion, engaging classes for kids in Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, and Italian. Visit for more information or to try a free class.)


Andersonville City-Made Fest

Saturday, September 21st
Sunday, September 22nd 
Noon to 9 p.m.

Clark Street from Argyle to Carmen



New in 2013! City-Made Fest is the City of Chicago's first-ever local-only festival--a weekend-long celebration of all things local, featuring a revolving line-up of Chicago beers on tap, live music from Chicago bands, and local artisans from across the city. The event is open to the public (suggested $5 donation at gate). For more information, visit Andersonville's City Made Information page. 


Wednesday, September 25th

Gail Tsukiyama and Karen Joy Fowler

Introduced by Jane Hamilton

7:30 p.m.

A Hundred Flowers 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


This evening we present award-winning author Jane Hamilton (Map of the World, Laura Rider's Masterpiece), who will host a reading and conversation with Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves) and Gail Tsukiyama (A Hundred Flowers). Don't miss this memorable evening featuring three stellar writers together!


Gail Tsukiyama's A Hundred Flowers is set in China in 1957--at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society, but one July morning 5-year-old Tao watches helplessly as his father is dragged away to a labor camp for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party. From then on, all members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is disintegrating. Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is classic Karen Joy Fowler: subversive, visionary, wise, and morally complex but witty, too. Its arresting premise, drawn from American animal behavior experiments dating back to the 1930's, offers a startlingly original take on the dysfunctional American family, while raising intriguing questions about the limits of science and the rights of animals, as well as the intricacies of memory and forgetting, the power of language and storytelling, and the nature of human and animal consciousness.



Thursday, September 26
Edwidge Danticat

7:30 p.m.

Claire of the Sea Light

First Free Church, 5255 N. Ashland


Set in a seaside village in Haiti, Danticat's fifth work of fiction is both dazzling and intricate. Centering on seven-year-old Claire, the tale looks back to the people she's lost in her short life, even as her future hangs in suspense. Nozias, her fisherman father, struggles to raise Claire alone after her mother's death, but he thinks she would fare better in the home of a wealthy businesswoman. What will Claire's fate be? Danticat was born in Port-au-PrinceHaiti, but now lives in the United States. She is a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and the winner of the Story Prize, the Pushcart Short Story Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award; she is also a National Book Award nominee. Admission requires purchase of Claire of the Sea Light from Women & Children First. (Note: The Women's Voices Fund will provide a limited number of free tickets for those who cannot afford to buy the book.) Call 773-769-9299 to purchase a book or for more information; online orders can be placed at



Friday, September 27th
Judith Valente

7:30 p.m.

Atchison Blue and

The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed


Judith Valente will be reading from and discussing two new books this evening: The Art of Pausing, a collection of haiku-inspired poems exploring the 99 names of God, and Atchison Blue, a spiritual memoir that invites readers to share in her transformative pilgrimages to Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, Kansas. Living among women whose Christian witness has recently come under Vatican scrutiny, Valente learned about the healing nature of silence and how to cultivate habits of mindful living. With the heart of a poet and the eye of a journalist, Valente ultimately found the courage to confront the aspects of her own fast-paced life that needed healing. She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism who has worked at WTTW, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2004, her poetry collection Inventing an Alphabet won the Aldrich Poetry Prize, judged by Mary Oliver. She recently became a Benedictine Oblate. Valente lives in Chicago and Normal, Illinois.



Sunday, September 29th
Monique Brinson Demery
4:30 p.m.
Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam's Madame Nhu

A "beautiful but diabolic sex dictatress," Madame Nhu, aka "the Dragon Lady," was a lightning rod for America's toxic involvement in Vietnam. Monique Demery's book reveals the woman behind all the epithets, claims, and counterclaims--a woman who had been living in exile and seclusion for twenty years when Demery conducted her first interviews with her in 2005. Demery reveals the reality behind the myth, giving us a deeper look at the woman who was feared and despised by so much of the world. Monique was the recipient of a U.S. Department of Education grant to attend the Vietnamese Advanced Summer Institute in Hanoi, and in 2003, she received a masters degree in East Asia Regional Studies from Harvard University. She lives in Chicago.

A Few Special Upcoming Events:


Monday, October 7

Mattilda Sycamore reading from The End of San Francisco 


Wednesday, October 16

Abby Geni reading from her new story collection, The Last Animal 


Wednesday, October 30

Sara Paretsky at the Swedish Museum, reading from her new book Critical Massa V.I. Warshawski novel, but one with a back story that Sara characterizes as "quite a departure" from those in her previous V.I. books.


Book Groups


Classics of Women's Literature Book Group - Tuesday, September 3 at 7:15 p.m. - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark


Family of Women Book Group - Sunday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m. - Wild by Cheryl Strayed


Kids First Book Group - Sunday, September 8 at 5:00 p.m. - Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood (and selection meeting)


Feminist Book Group - Sunday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. - Yes Means Yes! ed. by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti


Women's Book Group - Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. - Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

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