at Women & Children First
Dear Friends of Women & Children First,
It's here! It's here! October has arrived and with it the most star-studded events calendar of the year! This month we'll be hosting best-selling, critically acclaimed authors, including Karen Finley, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jenny Lawson, Geraldine Brooks, and Eileen Myles, as well as our sold-out conversation between Roxane Gay and Gloria Steinem. Thank you, all 1200 of you, who purchased tickets to the Steinem-Gay event. Ticket holders, please find instructions on how to pick up your books and tickets HERE.  

Also, this month, inspired by Crenshaw, a new middle grade novel about childhood hunger and homelessness written by Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, we are one of many indie bookstores participating in a nationwide food drive. Please join our effort by bringing non-perishable items to the bookstore during store hours from Oct. 1st through 31st, and we will deliver all items to local charity Care for Real. Learn more about the food drive HERE.

Many thanks,

Thursday, October 1
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Reading and Signing
7:30 p.m.  

Letty Cottin Pogrebin's second novel follows Zach Levy, the left-leaning son of Holocaust survivors, who had promised his mother that he'd marry within the tribe. But when Zach falls for Cleo, an African American activist grappling with her own inherited trauma, he must reconcile the family he loves with the woman who might be his soul mate. Single Jewish Male explores what happens when the heart runs up against the reality of culture, politics, history, and the weight of family promises. Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a leading figure in Jewish and feminist activism. She is a founding editor and writer for Ms. magazine and the author of eleven books, including the memoir Getting Over Getting Older, the novel Three Daughters, and the groundbreaking How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick. She is also the editor for the anthology Stories for Free Children, and a co-creator of Free to Be . . . You and Me and Free to Be . . . a Family. Her articles, op-eds, and columns have been published frequently in a wide variety of magazines and publications, including the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, and the Ladies' Home Journal. 
Friday, October 2 - Karen Finley
Shock Treatment
Reading, Q&A, and Signing 
7:30 p.m.  

Join Karen Finley as she reads from and discusses her seminal work, Shock Treatment, which excoriated homophobia and misogyny at a time when artists and writers were under attack for challenging the status quo. This twenty-fifth anniversary expanded edition features a new introduction in which Finley reflects on publishing her first book as she became internationally known for being denied an NEA grant because of perceived obscenity in her work. She traces her journey from art school to burlesque gigs to the San Francisco North Beach literary scene. Born in Chicago, Karen Finley has worked in a wide variety of media, including installation, video, performance, public art, and visual art. She has performed and exhibited internationally. Her recent work includes: Written in Sand, a performance of her writings on AIDS with music; Broken Negative, where Finley reconsiders her infamous chocolate performance that brought her to the Supreme Court; and Sext Me if You Can, where Finley creates commissioned portraits inspired by "sexts" received from the public. She lectures, gives workshops, and is the author of eight books. A recipient of many awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is a professor of Art and Public Policy at New York University.
Saturday, October 3 - Special Yoga Story time with Miss Mack
Yoga for Kids
9:30 a.m.

Miss Mack will help little yogis explore traditional asana (poses) and fun stories through picture books, songs, and rhymes. We'll sing and play our way to Namaste! Perfect for for ages 2-6.

Wednesday, October 7 - PEN/Bellwether for Socially Engaged Fiction Reading featuring 
Susan Nussbaum & Ron Childress
Reading, Signing, and Conversation
7:30 p.m.

For this exclusive event, the winner of the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Susan Nussbaum, will be in conversation with Ron Childress, winner of the same prize in 2014.
The authors will discuss how fiction can address issues of social justice. Ron Childress was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. He spent portions of his life working as a gas station attendant and garage mechanic, a marine upholster, a college adjunct, an association publications editor, and a tech marketing firm VP. As a teenager he developed a fascination with the novel and read many of the writers one should at that age--Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, Vonnegut. At nineteen he enrolled in community college to study literature, earned a B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and won his university's best dissertation award for a study on Henry James. Along the way he was publishing short stories in offbeat magazines and counterculture journals. In the 2000s he began to concentrate on long fiction and completed four novel-length manuscripts before winning the 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for his fifth, And West Is West, his first published novel. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, the artist Sondra N. Arkin. Susan Nussbaum's plays have been widely produced. Her play Mishuganismo is included in the anthology Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out. In 2008 she was cited by the Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World for her work with girls with disabilities. Good Kings, Bad Kings was her first novel.  

Thursday, October 8 - Steven H. Semken & Tom Montgomery Fate
Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild
Reading, Conversation, and Signing
7:30 p.m.  

Join us for a reading and conversation with two authors whose writings explore a spiritual connection to the natural world. Steve Semken is fascinated by the habits of great blue herons. He is an award-winning author of several books, including Moving with the Elements, Pick Up Stick City, and The Tin Prayer. He was writer-in-residence at the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, as well as a speaker and teacher at workshops on writing and publishing all over the United States. In 1993 he founded the Ice Cube Press, which is dedicated to better understanding of the the Midwest through the literary arts. Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of five books of nonfiction, including Beyond the White Noise, a collection of essays; Steady and Trembling, a spiritual memoir; and Cabin Fever, a nature memoir. His essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, Orion, the Iowa Review, and many other journals and anthologies; and they have often aired on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio. He teaches creative writing at College of DuPage, in suburban Chicago. 

Friday, October 9 - Jarrett Neal
Book Launch Party
7:30 p.m.
In thirteen candid and provocative essays, author Jarrett Neal reports on the status of black gay men in the new millennium, examining classism among black gay men, racism within the gay community, representations of the black male body within gay pornography, and patriarchal threats to the survival of both black men and gay men. What Color Is Your Hoodie? employs the author's own quest for visibility-through bodybuilding, creative writing, and teaching, among other pursuits--as the genesis for an insightful and critical dialogue that ultimately symbolizes the entire black gay community's struggle for recognition and survival. Jarrett Neal earned a BA in English from Northwestern University and an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Chelsea Station, the Gay and Lesbian Review, Requited Journal, the Good Men Project, and other publications, including the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthologies For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough and Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam's Call. He lives in Oak Park. Refreshments will be served.   

Tuesday, October 13 -
Sappho's Salon: A monthly performance salon, featuring expressions of queerness, gender, and feminism

Featuring Paper Crane Rain, Katherine Chronis, and Our Open Mic Performers
Co-cureated by Eileen Tull & Liz Baudler
Doors Open at 7; show starts at 7:30 p.m.
This month's Sappho's Salon includes featured performers and you! That's right--it's our open mic edition, where performers are invited to bring 5 to 7 minutes of storytelling, interpretive dance, music, burlesque, slam poetry, and anything else we forgot. The open mic is open to both cis and trans ladies and nonbinary performers. Participants get a bookstore coupon just for being brave enough to step up to the mic. Our featured performers include musical duo Paper Crane Rain and performance artist Katherine Chronis. Paper Crane Rain comprises the stylings of guitarist Kat Kidwell and pianist Gail Gallagher. They describe themselves as humorous, theatrical, deep, and playful and are renowned for singing about anthropomorphic vegetables, robots, and zen masters. Katherine Chronis aspired to be "infamous" when she was younger, and achieved notoriety and awesomeness with pieces such as The Get Naked project (which is exactly what it sounds like) and Skapegoat Unlimited. Sappho's Salon is pay-what-you-can with proceeds benefitting the featured performers and the Women's Voices Fund. This is a BYOB event, but vegetarian snacks from the Middle Eastern Bakery will be provided. Check out the Sappho's Salon Facebook page for more information. Please direct questions to [email protected]  
Thursday, October 15  -
Eileen Pollack
Reading and Signing
7:30 p.m.   

In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences (mathematics, engineering, and computer science), Eileen Pollack set out to find the answer. Based on six years of interviewing dozens of teachers and students and reviewing studies on gender bias, The Only Woman in the Room is an illuminating exploration of the cultural, social, psychological, and institutional barriers confronting women in the STEM disciplines. Pollack brings to light the struggles that women in the sciences are often hesitant to admit and provides hope that changing attitudes and behaviors can bring more women into fields in which they remain significantly underrepresented. In the 1970s, Pollack excelled as one of Yale's first two women to earn a bachelor of science in physics. But, isolated, lacking in confidence, and starved for encouragement, she abandoned her lifelong dream of becoming a theoretical physicist. Pollack is now the author of seven books, including Breaking and Entering and Paradise, New York. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays and Best American Short Stories. She is on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Manhattan and Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
Wednesday, October 21 -
Jerome Pohlen
Presentation, Q&A, and Signing  
7:30 p.m.

This interactive history book for kids age 9 and up offers personal stories and firsthand accounts of key events in the LGBT movement, like the 1950s "Lavender Scare," the Stonewall Inn uprising, and the AIDS crisis. Twenty-one activities enliven the history and demonstrate the ways the LGBT community has pushed for positive social change. For this event, author Jerome Pohlen will share photos and short films that did not appear in the book. Pohlen is an editor and travel writer whose work has appeared in the
Chicago Reader, Reader's Digest, and TimeOut Chicago. He is the author of the Oddball series, Progressive Nation, and Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids, a 2013 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List title. He has been a regular contributor on travel and culture for Eight Forty-Eight on WBEZ

Friday, October 23 -
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Reading and Signing
7:30 p.m.   

Bonnie Jo Campbell's searing new collection, Mothers Tell Your Daughters offers powerful insights into unforgettable heroines who are determined to shape their own futures with-or despite-the men in their lives. In the title story, a woman is hospitalized from a stroke and has lost the ability to speak, but her interior thoughts parlay intense and impassioned life lessons to her daughter. In "A Multitude of Sins," an obedient wife sits at her abusive husband's deathbed, and suddenly gains a whole new sense of self-worth along with her newfound independence. With intensity and precision, Campbell peels back her characters' harsh outer layers to expose the traumas they have lived through and the hardships that have shaped them. Campbell is the author of Q Road, Once Upon a River, and American Salvage, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Bonnie Jo Campbell's stories have appeared in the Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, and the Alaska Review. She has won the AWP award for short fiction, a Pushcart Prize, and the Eudora Welty Prize. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University.

TELL! A Private Conversation with Bonnie Jo Campbell
5:30 to 7 p.m. at Women & Children First, light dinner included
RSVP Required
Bonnie Jo Campbell's newest book Mothers Tell Your Daughters contains stories that deal with a variety of difficult subjects, including rape and other sexual abuse. She asks us to imagine what would happen if we all told our most difficult stories, and those stories that we've kept quiet in our communities. We need to find a way to write these stories, to shape them into fiction or nonfiction to shake up the world. Join BJC for a light supper and a meaningful conversation about writing difficult material. To attend, please email Sarah ([email protected]). Respond early, as space is limited. This event is free, but attendees will be encouraged to make a $10 donation to the Women's Voices Fund, the nonprofit arm of Women & Children First, which supports all of our publicity and events.

Saturday, October 24 -
Five Little Pumpkins: Autumn Story time 
9:30 a.m.

Join Miss Mack for an interactive, musical story time about falling leaves, apples, pumpkins, and all things fall! Perfect for ages 2 to 5.

Sunday, October 25 - Jenny Lawson
Reading, Conversation, and Signing
Doors open at 3:30 p.m.; Reading starts at 4 p.m.
**This event will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Church (1650 W. Foster), just a 5-minute walk from the bookstore. This is a free event, but the first 100 attendees to purchase Furiously Happy from Women & Children First will receive priority seating and will be the first in line to get their books signed**

In her new memoir, Jenny Lawson hilariously recounts her determination to be "furiously happy" while staring down her daily struggle with depression, severe anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and much more. With
Furiously Happy, Lawson attempt to take "those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they're the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence." In 2007, Jenny Lawson quickly developed a cultlike following through her Internet writing as The Bloggess. She is also the author of the New York Times-best selling memoir Let's Pretend This Never Happened.

Thursday, October 29 - Gloria Steinem in conversation
with Roxane Gay
Start time 7 p.m.  
Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Reading, Conversation, and Signing

When Gloria Steinem was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution. My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria's growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality. In prose that is revealing and rich, Gloria reminds us that living in an open and observant state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, and how we understand one another. Gloria Steinem is best known for her advocacy on behalf of women. She is the author of four best-selling books, including Revolution from Within and Moving Beyond Words. She was a founding editor of, and political commentator for, New York Magazine, and a founding editor of Ms., which she continues to write for today. She is the recipient of many accolades, including national magazine awards, an Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing, and the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations. In 2013, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. Roxane Gay is a culture critic, blogger, and commentator and the author of the best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist. She is a professor of English at Purdue University. Her writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney's, Tin House, The New York Times,  the Nation, the Rumpus, the Butter, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK. She is also the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, forthcoming in 2016.

Friday, October 30 -
Geraldine Brooks
Reading and Signing
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Program starts at 7 p.m.    

**Please note: this is a ticketed event that will be held at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark St.). A free ticket is included with the purchase of Geraldine's forthcoming novel, The Secret Chord, from Women & Children First to attend. Ticket holders have the option of purchasing a $10 ticket for a companion. Limit one companion ticket per person. **

In The Secret Chord, Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling author Geraldine Brooks takes on one of literature's most enigmatic figures: King David. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage. Readers see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him--from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience; to his mother, Nizevet; his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva; and finally to Solomon, the late-born son. Geraldine Brooks is the author of four novels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning March and the international best-sellers People of the Book and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha's Vineyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz.

October 31 - Eileen Myles
 I Must Be Living Twice
A *Spooky* Poetry Reading and Signing
7 p.m. 

Celebrate Halloween night with award-winning poet and LGBT icon Eileen Myles. Myles will be reading, discussing, and signing her new collection I Must Be Living Twice and the reissue of her classic novel Chelsea Girls. Eileen Myles was born in Boston and moved to New York in 1974 to be a poet. She is the author of 18 books, including Inferno, Sorry, Tree, and Cool For You. For The Importance of Being Iceland, she received a Warhol/Creative Capital grant. In 2010, the Poetry Society of America awarded Eileen the Shelley Memorial Award. Myles is a professor emeritus of Writing at UC San Diego and a 2012 Guggenheim fellow. She lives in New York. 
Save the Dates

Wednesday, November 4 at 7 p.m.
An Evening with Rose Metal Press, featuring Jenny Boully and Jacqueline Kolosov
Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres
Reading and Signing

Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Jonathan Eig
Paperback Release Party

Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 at the Swedish American Museum
Audrey Niffenegger, Luis Urrea, Anna March, and Megan Stielstra
Beyond Lolita: Literary Writers on Sex and Sexuality, to benefit PEN American Center and PEN Writers' Emergency Fund
Panel Discussion and Signing

Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Jan English Leary
Thicker than Blood
Book Launch Party

Thursday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Sonali Dev
Reading and Signing

Friday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Maggie Kast
Read and Signing

Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Leah Lax
Reading and Signing

Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Chelsey Clammer
Reading and Signing

Friday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Chrissy Kolaya
Reading and Signing

Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The Plural, The Blurring
Book Launch Party

Friday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow and Friends
My Gift of Now
Reading and Signing

Book Groups
Sunday, October 4 at 2 p.m.  
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Tuesday, October 6 at 7:15 p.m.
The Sea, The Sea 
by Iris Murdoch (and selection meeting)
Sunday, October 11 at 5 p.m.
A Tale Dark and Grim by Adam Gidwitz
Sunday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 
by Maya Angelou
Sunday, October 18 at 2 p.m.
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange

Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
Women & Children First | [email protected] | http://www.womenandchildrenfirst.com
Hours: M-T 11-7, W-TH-F 11-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-6
5233 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640