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September Events at Women & Children First include Sonia Sotomayor

This article shared 6983 times since Fri Aug 30, 2019
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CHICAGO, IL ( August 30, 2019 ) - Women & Children First's conversation and book signing with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor sold out in record time, but the bookstore has nearly a dozen other events coming up this September! Don't miss our Midnight Release Party for The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, on September 9 from 8 p.m. to Midnight! We're also thrilled to be hosting highly anticipated launch parties for several local authors, including Carol Anshaw and Goldie Goldbloom.

Wednesday, September 4 at 7 p.m.

Isabella Rotman & Heather Corinna

Wait, What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Book Launch Party

From Heather Corinna, founder and director of, and Isabella Rotman, cartoonist and sex educator, comes a graphic novel guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings. Join friends Malia, Rico, Max, Sam, and Alexis as they talk about all the weird and exciting parts of growing up! This supportive group of friends are guides for some tricky subjects. Using comics, activities, and examples, they give encouragement and context for new and confusing feelings and experiences. Isabella Rotman is a cartoonist and illustrator from Maine, living and drawing in Chicago. Her art is usually about the ocean, mermaids, crushing loneliness, people in the woods, or sex. Isabella is the author of two sexual health comics: You're so Sexy When You Aren't Transmitting STIs and Not On My Watch: The Bystanders' Handbook for the Prevention of Sexual Violence. Isabella has been artist in residence at Scarleteen since 2013. Isabella was nominated for the Ignatz Award for Outstanding New Talent in 2017. For over two decades, Heather Corinna, the author of S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to- Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties, has been widely recognized as a leader in the field of sexuality information, education, and support for young people. Previously an early childhood educator, Heather founded and directs the international organization Scarleteen ( ). Heather has also been an educator and counselor for the Cedar River Clinics/Feminist Women's Health Center and was a contributing editor for the 2011 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Thursday, September 5 at 7 p.m.

Celia Perez

Strange Birds

Book Launch Party

When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up. Ofelia Castillo ( a budding journalist ), Aster Douglas ( a bookish foodie ), and Cat Garcia ( a rule-abiding birdwatcher ) meet the kid behind the invite, Lane DiSanti, and it isn't love at first sight. But they soon bond over a shared mission to get the Floras, their local Scouts, to ditch an outdated tradition. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn't know they needed: sisterhood. Celia C. Pérez is the author of The First Rule of Punk, a 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, a 2018 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award Winner, and a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Honor Book. She lives in Chicago with her family where, in addition to writing books about lovable weirdos and outsiders, she works as a librarian.

Monday, September 9

8 p.m. to Midnight

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Midnight Release Party

Join us for the Midnight Release of The Testaments, the wildly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Throughout the night there will be trivia, a letter-writing campaign station, snacks, and a reading from The Handmaid's Tale by the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. The event will start at 8 pm and go until midnight when the books are released. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go to the Chicago Abortion Fund. Representatives from the organization will be at the release to provide info about the work that they do.

Tuesday, September 10 at 7 p.m.

Susan Jane Gilman

Donna Has Left the Building

Author Reading

Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she's sacrificed since her wild youth: great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York and beyond, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own. Susan Jane Gilman is the bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, and the novel The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. She has provided commentary for NPR and written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Ms. Magazine, among others.

Wednesday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

US. Supreme Court Justice

Sonia Sotomayor

Just Ask!

Reading and Book Signing at

Senn High School Auditorium

5900 N. Glenwood


We are honored to present U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in celebration of her new children's book, Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You. Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael LÃ"pez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique. Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School. She served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County, and then as a litigator at Pavia & Harcourt. After serving in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, President Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court in 2009, making her the first Latina to ever hold this position. She is the author of My Beloved World, Turning Pages, and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor.

Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m.

Ames Hawkins in conversation with Barrie Jean Borich

These Are Love( d ) Letters

Book Launch Party

These Are Love( d ) Letters is a genre- bending visual memoir that begins with the "simple act" of the author receiving twenty letters written by her father to her mother over a six-week period in 1966. These Are Love( d ) Letters provides a complex pictorial and textual exploration of the work of the love letter. Hawkins weaves her own struggles with gender, sexuality, and artistic awakening in relation to the story of her parents' marriage, which ended in divorce. Her father's HIV diagnosis and death by complications related to AIDS provide the context for an unflinchingly honest look at bodily disease and mortality. Ames Hawkins is a scholar, educator, and art activist. Recently named one of the Guild Literary Complex's 30 Writers to Watch, Ames's scholarship has appeared in such publications as Pre/Text, the Feminist Wire, and the Rumpus. In 2013, Ames served as contributor, curator, and co-editor of the Lambda Literary Foundation's 25th anniversary eBook collection 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary Authors and Those They Inspired. Between 2015 and 2018 Ames co-hosted and co-produced the podcast Masters of Text. She has been in residence at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Lambda Literary Foundation's Writer's Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, among others, and is a professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College. Barrie Jean Borich teaches creative writing and publishing at DePaul University. Her most recent book is Apocalypse, Darling.

Friday, September 13 at 7 p.m.

Lisa Fithian in conversation with Katherine Don

Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance

Author Reading

For anyone who wants to become more active in resistance or is just feeling overwhelmed or hopeless, Shut It Down offers strategies and actions to promote justice and incite change in your own community. Shut It Down argues that civil disobedience is not just one of the only actions that remains when all else fails but also is a spiritual pursuit that protects our deepest selves and allows us to reclaim our humanity. Lisa Fithian is an anti-racist organizer who has worked for justice since the 1970s and has been described by Mother Jones as "the nation's best-known protest consultant." Using creative, strategic nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, she has won many battles and trained tens of thousands of activists while participating in a range of movements and mobilizations, including Occupy Wall Street, the uprisings at Standing Rock and in Ferguson, anti-WTO protests, and the climate justice movement. Katherine Don is a freelance writer, book editor, and communications consultant. She is the author or co-author of eight nonfiction books, and her essays and journalism have appeared at Salon, the Atlantic, HuffPost, Bustle, and elsewhere. As a book editor, Katherine loves partnering with authors to bring out their unique voice and talents while making the dream version of their book a reality.

Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Goldie Goldbloom

On Division

Book Launch Party

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, just a block or two up from the East River on Division Avenue, Surie and Yidel Eckstein are soon to be a great-grandparents. They have a happy marriage and a full life, and they are looking forward to some quiet time together. Into this life of counted blessings comes a surprise. Fifty-seven-year-old Surie is pregnant. It is a shock. And at her age, at this stage, it is an aberration, a shift in the proper order of things, and a public display of private life. Unable to share the news with anyone, Surie for the first time in her life has a secret that separates her from the community. Goldie Goldbloom's On Division is an excavation of one woman's life, a story of awakening at middle age, and a thoughtful examination of the dynamics of self and collective identity. Goldie Goldbloom's first novel, The Paperbark Shoe, won the AWP Prize, was named the Literary Novel of the Year by ForeWard Magazine and was an NEA Big Reads selection. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has been the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including fellowships from Warren Wilson, Northwestern University, and the City of Chicago. She is chassidic and the mother of eight children.

Wednesday, September 18 at 7 p.m.

Renny Golden with Elida Romero and Miguel Angel Sanchez

Poetry Reading and Release Party

The Music of Her Rivers pays homage to the Rio Grande and the Chicago and Illinois Rivers. Sharp-eyed and empathetic, Golden serves as a witness, documenting place, history, and people, especially those left voiceless due to violence or discrimination— from the refugee border crossers of the Rio Grande to the Irish immigrants and former slaves struggling to build lives in Chicago in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Throughout the collection the nuanced representation of the landscape allows the rivers to become witnesses and actors themselves. For this event, Renny Golden will be joined by poets Elida Romero and Miguel Angel Sanchez, both graduates of Dorothy Stang, a bilingual high school for Spanish speaking adult immigrants. Renny Golden's Blood Desert: Witnesses 1820-1880 won the WILLA Literary Award for poetry 2011, was named a Southwest Notable Book of the Year 2012, and was a finalist for the New Mexico Book Award. She was a Pushcart nominee in 2016. She is currently professor emerita of Justice Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.

Thursday, September 19 at 7 p.m.

Oliver Baez Bendorf with special guest beyza ozer

Poetry Reading

Oliver Baez Bendorf's debut full-length collection, The Spectral Wilderness, was selected by Mark Doty for the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. His second book, Advantages of Being Evergreen won CSU Poetry Center's Open Book Poetry Competition. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, BOMB, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He has been a featured reader at the New Orleans Poetry Festival, the White House, Smith College, and elsewhere. A recipient of honors and fellowships from CantoMundo, Lambda Literary, the Vermont Studio Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Creative Writing, he is an assistant professor of creative writing at Kalamazoo College. beyza ozer is a queer/trans/Muslim person living in Chicago. beyza's work has appeared in and is forthcoming from the Offing, Vinyl, and the anthologies Subject To Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation and Halal If You Hear Me. beyza is the author of Fail Better, and they are a recipient of the Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Award. beyza is deputy director of social media of YesYes Books and manuscript editor at Critical Inquiry.

Tuesday, September 24 at 7 p.m.

Gabby Rivera in conversation with

Erika L. Sanchez

Juilet Takes a Breath

Author Conversation

Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer. Juliet thinks Interning with Harlowe Brisbane is sure to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. Except Harlowe's white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn't have all the answers . . . In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out—to the world, to her family, to herself. Gabby Rivera is a Bronx-born queer Latinx babe on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever. She's the first Latina to write for Marvel comics, penning the solo series AMERICA about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. In 2017, Gabby was named one of the top comic creators by the SyFy network and one of NBC's #Pride30 Innovators. Gabby currently resides in California. Erika L. SÃïnchez is a poet, a feminist, and a cheerleader for young women everywhere. She was the sex and love advice columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas for three years, and her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Salon, and the Paris Review. She lives in Chicago, not far from the setting of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Erika is fluent in Spanish, Spanglish, and cat.

Wednesday, September 25 at 7 p.m.

Artress Bethany White in conversation with Tara Betts

My Afmerica

Poetry Reading and conversation

The poet Sun Yung Shin describes My Afmerica, the second collection of poetry from Artress Bethany White, as "a restless book, wandering through an America that cannot be separated from its African American people . . ." Artress Bethany White is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is the recipient of the 2018 Trio Award for My Afmerica. Her prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and the Hopkins Review, among others. Her collection of essays, Survivor's Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity, is forthcoming from New Rivers Press/Minnesota State University in March 2020. She lives in Philadelphia. Tara Betts is the author of three poetry collections—Break the Habit, Arc and Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. She co-edited The Beiging of America: Personal Essays About Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century and edited a new critical edition of Adventures in Black and White, the long out-of-print memoir by Harlem-born, interracial child prodigy Philippa Duke Schuyler. She holds an MFA from New England College and a PhD in English from Binghamton University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Essence, and NYLON. Tara currently works with students at ChiArts High School, Chicago State University, and participants in the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Prison.

Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m.

Carol Anshaw in conversation with

Jane Hamilton

Right After the Weather

Book Launch Party

Please note: this event will be held at the Swedish American Museum ( 5211 N. Clark St. )

It's the fall of 2016. Cate, a set designer in her early forties, lives and works in Chicago's theater community. She has stayed too long at the fair and knows it's time to get past her prolonged adolescence and stop taking handouts from her parents. She has a firm plan to get solvent and settled in a serious relationship. Her ex-husband, recently booted from his most recent marriage, is currently camped out in Cate's spare bedroom. Her best friend Neale, a yoga instructor, lives nearby with her son and is Cate's model for what serious adulthood looks like. Only a few blocks away, but in a parallel universe we find Nathan and Irene—casual sociopaths, drug addicts, and small-time criminals. Their world and Cate's intersect the day she comes into Neale's kitchen to find these strangers assaulting her friend. Forced to take fast, spontaneous action, Cate world changes overnight. Anshaw's flawed, sympathetic, and uncannily familiar characters grapple with their altered relationships and identities against the backdrop of the new Trump presidency and a country waking to a different understanding of itself. Carol Anshaw is the author of Carry the One, Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She has received the Ferro-Grumley Award, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She lives in Chicago and Amsterdam. Jane Hamilton's novels have won literary prizes, been made into films, and become international bestsellers; and two of them—The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World—were selections of Oprah's Book Club. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Allure, and various anthologies. Her most recent novel is The Excellent Lombards. She's married to an apple farmer and lives in Wisconsin.

Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m.

Julie Justicz in conversation with

Alex Kotlowitz

Degrees of Difficulty

Book Launch Party

Love is the foundation of family, but at what cost? After Ben Novotny is born with a rare chromosomal disorder that produces profound mental disability and brain-racking seizures, his parents, Caroline and Perry, and their two other children are asked to give more than they can. When Ben is an infant, the care and the fear are constant. But the demands and pressure only mount when he and his older brother and sister become teenagers. Ben needs even more from his family, just as Hugo, the athlete and "good soul," and Ivy, the ambitious rebel, must attempt to carve out their own identities. Over the span of decades, grace is found amidst heartache, and love finds a way after loss. Born and raised in England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont Center for Fine Arts. An attorney and advocate, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with her spouse, Mary, and their two children. Alex Kotlowitz is the author of four books, including his most recent, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. His other books include the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. His second book, The Other Side of the River, received the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. Both No Children and River were selected by the New York Times as Notable Books of the Year. His book on Chicago, Never a City So Real, was released in paperback earlier this year.

Born and raised in England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont Center for Fine Arts. An attorney and advocate, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with her spouse, Mary, and their two children. Alex Kotlowitz is the author of four books, including his most recent, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. His other books include the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. His second book, The Other Side of the River, received the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. Both No Children and River were selected by the New York Times as Notable Books of the Year. His book on Chicago, Never a City So Real, was released in paperback earlier this year.

Save the Dates:

Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

Jac Jemc in conversation with

Catherine Lacey

False Bingo: Stories

Book Launch Party

Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

Kate Wisel in conversation with

Maryse Meijer

Driving in Cars with Homeless Men

Book Launch Party

Monday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

( Doors open at 7 p.m. )

Sappho's Salon

Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

Jeannie Vanasco in conversation with Megan Stielstra

Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl

Author Conversation

Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

Hanif Abdurraqib, Paige Lewis and

Shira Ehrlichman

Poetry Reading

Sunday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

Jen Pastiloff

On Being Human

Author Reading


Monday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

Ann Patchett

The Dutch House

Author Reading and Book Signing

Please note: this ticketed off-site event will be held at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. Wilson ). Tickets available now only through Brown Paper Tickets.

Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

Beth Kander

Born in Syn

Book Launch Party

Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

Jeanette Winterson


Author Reading

Sunday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.

Elizabeth Earley with Dasha Kelly and Ada Cheng

Like Wings, Your Hands

Book Launch Party

Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Author Reading

Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

Pamela Newkirk

Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business

Author Reading

Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

Carmen Maria Machado in conversation with Emil Ferris

In the Dream House

Author Reading

Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.

Rebecca Traister in conversation with Megan Stielstra

Good and Mad - paperback tour!

Author Conversation & Book Signing

at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. Wilson )

Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

Lindy West

The Witches Are Coming

Author Reading & Book Signing

at Senn High School ( 5900 N. Glenwood )

Book Groups

Family of Women Book Group

Sunday, September 8 at 2 p.m.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Feminist Book Group

Sunday, September 8 at 4 p.m.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neal Hurston

Social Justice Book Group

Sunday, September 15 at 2:30 p.m

Sick: A Memoir by Porochista Khahpour

Teens First Book Group

Sunday, September 15 at 5 p.m.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Classics of Women's Literature

Monday, September 16 at 7:15 p.m.

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

Women's Book Group

Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Educated by Tara Westover

New!! Well-Read Black Girl Book Group

Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace Discussion & Potluck

Sunday, September 29

10 a.m. to noon

Suggested Reading: Before I Leave: Wisdom from the Stories of Six Women Over 80 by Jenney Egertson

—From a press release

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