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Women's History Month events planned at Chicago's Feminist Bookstore

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CHICAGO, IL ( March 3, 2020 ) - Chicago's only feminist bookstore—one of only ten feminist bookstores left in the U.S.—is celebrating Women's History Month with author readings and conversations, an in-store concert, and a panel discussion in conjunction Loyola University Women's Studies and Gender Studies Program called, "The Past, Present, and Future of Feminist Spaces." This event, held at the Mundelein Center for the Performing Arts, will begin with a reception followed by a series of panel discussions and speakers sharing the history of feminist spaces in Chicago, as well as examining past, present, and future goals and challenges within the movement.

We are nearly sold out for all three of our March & April major ticketed events:

N.K. JEMISIN - March 31 at 7 p.m. at Wilson Abbey-Everybody's Coffee ( 935 W. Wilson ). Tickets & Info!

SAMANTHA IRBY - April 14 at 7 p.m. at Wilson Abbey-Everybody's Coffee ( 935 W. Wilson ). Tickets & Info!

REBECCA SOLNIT in conversation with EULA BISS - April 23 at 7 p.m. at WIlson Abbey-Everybody's Coffee ( 935 W. Wilson ).

Tickets & Info .

Tickets will go on sale next week for an exciting collaborative event with Sarah Urist Green & John Green. The creative power couple will be celebrating Sarah's forthcoming book, YOU ARE AN ARTIST: ASSIGNMENTS TO SPARK CREATION. This event will be held at Wilson Abbey on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

Below, you'll find summaries of all of our upcoming March events and save-the-dates through April. Press passes and images available upon request.

Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

Nino Cipri


Author Reading

When an elderly customer at a big box furniture store slips through a portal to another dimension, it's up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company's bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago. To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them. Can friendship blossom from the ashes of their relationship? Finna is a rambunctious, touching story that explores queer relationships and queer feelings, capitalism and accountability, labor and love. Nino Cipri is a queer and trans/nonbinary writer, editor, and educator. They are a graduate of the Clarion Writing Workshop and the University of Kansas's MFA program and author of the award-winning debut fiction collection Homesick. Nino has also written plays, poetry, and radio features; performed as a dancer, actor, and puppeteer; and worked as a stagehand, bookseller, bike mechanic, and labor organizer.

Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

Jacob Tobia

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story ( paperback tour )

Author Reading

As a young child in North Carolina, Jacob wanted it all, but because they were "a boy," they were told they could only have the masculine half. Acting feminine labelled them "a sissy" and brought social isolation. It took Jacob years to discover that being "a sissy" isn't something to be ashamed of—it can be a source of pride. Following Jacob through bullying and beauty contests, from Duke University to the United Nations and the podiums of the Methodist church, this unforgettable, bestselling memoir ( now in paperback ) contains multitudes. Jacob Tobia ( pronouns: they/them ) is a gender nonconforming writer, producer, and performer based in Los Angeles. A member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Out 100, Jacob made television history voicing the nonbinary character of Double Trouble in Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Their writing and advocacy have been featured by the New York Times, Good Morning America, and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, among others. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Jacob has worn high heels in the White House twice. Sissy is their debut memoir.

Saturday, March 7

Paperbag Princess

Kids' Story time & Celebration

This kids' event is designed for kids ages 4 and up, and their grown-ups

Join us as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Paper Bag Princess, the bestselling modern classic by Robert Munsch. We will be hosting a story time with Miss Linda, which will include The Paper Bag Princess along with other fiecely feminist stories for children. There will be arts and crafts activities and a few giveaways! Be your own dragon slayer!

Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m.

Lisa Olstein in conversation with

Eula Biss

Pain Studies

Author Conversation

In this extended lyric essay, a poet mines her lifelong experience with migraine to deliver a marvelously idiosyncratic cultural history of pain—how we experience, express, treat, and mistreat it. Her sources range from the trial of Joan of Arc to the essays of Virginia Woolf and Elaine Scarry and to Hugh Laurie's portrayal of Gregory House on House M.D. As she engages with science, philosophy, visual art, rock lyrics, and field notes from her own medical adventures ( both mainstream and alternative ), she finds a way to express the often-indescribable experience of living with pain. Eschewing simple epiphanies, Olstein instead gives us a new language to contemplate and empathize with a fundamental aspect of the human condition. Lisa Olstein teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of four poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press. Pain Studies is her first book of creative nonfiction. Eula Biss is the award-winning author of On Immunity: An Inoculation an Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays. Her writing has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers' Award. She holds a BA in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her essays have recently appeared in the Believer, Harper's, and the New York Times Magazine.

Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m.

Nadina LaSpina in conversation with

Riva Lehrer

Such A Pretty Girl

Author Conversation

Such a Pretty Girl is Nadina LaSpina's story—from her early years in her native Sicily, where while still a baby she contracts polio, to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals, where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her. By telling of her story, without editorializing, she shows the harm that focusing on pity and cure has inflicted on disabled people. Written as continuous narrative and in a subtle and intimate voice, Such a Pretty Girl is a memoir as captivating as a novel. It is one of the few disability memoirs to focus on activism and one of the first by an immigrant. Nadina LaSpina has been an activist in the disability rights movement from its beginning in the very early 70s. You can still find her in the streets with Disabled In Action, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, and the Disability Caucus, which she and her husband founded to intersect with other groups fighting for social justice. LaSpina created and taught courses in Disability Studies and has been the recipient of many awards for her activism and was Grand Marshal of the 2019 Disability Pride Parade NYC. Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer, and curator who focuses on the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people with impairments and those whose sexuality or gender identity have long been stigmatized. Ms. Lehrer's award-winning work has been seen in venues such as the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, the United Nations, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Her memoir, Golem Girl, will be published in October 2020. Lehrer is on faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she is an instructor in the Medical Humanities Department of Northwestern University.

Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m.

Eli Clare

Brilliant Imperfection

Author Reading

In Brilliant Imperfection, Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure—the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed. Cure serves many purposes—it saves lives, manipulates lives, and prioritizes some lives over others. It provides comfort, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body-mind loss. Clare grapples with this knot of contradictions, and at each turn, weaves race, disability, sexuality, class, and gender together, insisting on the nonnegotiable value of body-mind difference. Eli Clare is a poet, essayist, activist, and the author of Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation and The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion. He speaks regularly at conferences, community events, and colleges across the United States and Canada about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice, and his writing has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Clare lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m.

Paul Lisicky

Later: My Life at the End of the World

Garth Greenwell


Joint Author Reading

In 1990s Provincetown, Paul Lisicky searches for love and connection and comes into his own while at the same time, the center of this community is consumed by the AIDS crisis, and the very structure of town life is being rewired: What might this utopia look like during a time of dystopia? Later dramatizes a spectacular yet ravaged place and a unique era when more fully becoming one's self collided with the realization that ongoingness couldn't be taken for granted. Following the success of his acclaimed memoir, The Narrow Door, Lisicky fearlessly explores the body, queerness, love, illness, community, and belonging in this masterful, ingenious new book. Set in Sofia, Bulgaria, a landlocked city in southern Europe, Cleanness follows an American teacher navigating a life transformed by the discovery and loss of love. As he prepares to leave the place he's come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. In exacting, elegant prose, Greenwell transcribes the strange dialects of desire, cementing his stature as one of our most vital living writers. Paul Lisicky is the author of five books, including Famous Builder and Lawnboy. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, among other organizations. He teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by more than fifty publications in nine countries and is being translated into a dozen languages. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and A Public Space, among others.

Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m.

Cathy Park Hong

in conversation with Eula Biss

Minor Feelings

Author Conversation and Book Signing

Binding this essay collection together is Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth. Cathy Park Hong is the author of three poetry collections including Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Engine Empire. Hong is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in Poetry, The New York Times, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Boston Review, and other journals. She is the poetry editor of The New Republic and full professor at the Rutgers University—Newark MFA program in poetry.

Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m.

Raechel Anne Jolie

in conversation with Iliana Regan

Rust Belt Femme

Author Conversation

Raechel Anne Jolie's early life in a working-class Cleveland exurb was full of race cars, Budweiser-drinking men covered in car grease, and the women who loved them. After her father came home from his third-shift job, took the garbage out to the curb, and was hit by a drunk driver, her life changed. Raechel and her mother struggled for money: they were evicted, went days without utilities, and took their trauma out on each other. Raechel escaped to the progressive suburbs of Cleveland Heights, with its vintage marquees, music clubs, and people who talked about big ideas. It was the early 90s, full of Nirvana songs and chokers, flannel shirts and cut-off jean shorts. Rust Belt Femme is the story of how these twin foundations—rural Ohio poverty and alternative 90s culture—made Raechel into who she is today: a queer femme with PTSD and a deep love of the Midwest. Raechel Anne Jolie is a writer, educator, and media-maker living in Minnesota. She holds a PhD in Critical Media Studies with a minor in Feminist & Critical Sexuality Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her writing has been featured in numerous academic journals, as well as popular press outlets such as Teen Vogue, In These Times, and Bitch Magazine. She is also the editor of the Prison Arcana Tarot Zine, made in collaboration with c. l. young, who is currently incarcerated. Iliana Regan is a self-taught chef. She is the founder and owner of the Michelin-starred "new gatherer" restaurant Elizabeth in Chicago and of Milkweed Inn, a bed and breakfast located on 150 wooded acres in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A James Beard and Jean Banchet Award nominee, Regan was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2016. Regan is the author of Burn the Place: A Memoir, which was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction. She and her wife, sommelier Anna Hamlin, split their time between Chicago and Michigan with their three dogs, Bear, George, and Bunny.

Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m.

Mary South in conversation with

Maryse Meijer

You Will Never Be Forgotten: Stories

Author Conversation

An architect draws questionable inspiration from her daughter's birth defect. A content moderator for "the world's biggest search engine," who spends her days culling videos of beheadings and suicides, turns from stalking her rapist online to following him in real life. At a camp for recovering internet trolls, a sensitive misfit goes missing. A wounded mother raises the second incarnation of her child. In You Will Never Be Forgotten, Mary South explores how technology can both collapse our relationships from within and provide opportunities for genuine connection. This incendiary debut marks the arrival of a perceptive, idiosyncratic, instantly recognizable voice in fiction. Mary South is a graduate of Northwestern University and the MFA program in fiction at Columbia University, where she was chosen for a Henfield scholarship. For many years, she has worked with Diane Williams as an editor at the literary journal NOON. She is also a former intern in the New Yorker's fiction department and a Bread Loaf work-study fellow. Her writing has appeared in the Believer, Electric Literature, and Words Without Borders. The writer Maile Meloy awarded her story "Not Setsuko" an honorable mention in the Zoetrope: All Story fiction contest. She lives in New York. Maryse Meijer is the author of Heartbreaker, Northwood, and Rag. She lives in Chicago.

Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

Megan Fernandes

with Emily Jungmin Yoon, Richie Hoffmann, and Lisa Hiton

Good Boys

Poetry Reading

Please help us celebrate the launch of Good Boys by Megan Fernandes. At this poetry reading, Fernandes will be joined by Emily Jungmin Yoon, Richie Hofmann, and Lisa Hiton. Megan Fernandes is a writer and academic living in New York City. She is the author of The Kingdom and After. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, and Pank, among others. She is a poetry reader for the Rumpus and an assistant professor of English at Lafayette College. She holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA in poetry from Boston University. Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of Ordinary Misfortunes, winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize, and A Cruelty Special to Our Species. Her poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry, and the New York Times Magazine, and has received numerous awards and fellowships. She currently serves as the poetry editor for the Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, and is a PhD student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago. Richie Hofmann is the author of Second Empire. He is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares, among others. He earned a PhD in English literature from Emory University, where he has held the Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. He is a book reviews editor for Kenyon Review and writes criticism for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He was recently named Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University. Lisa Hiton is a poet and filmmaker from Deerfield, Illinois. Her first book of poems, Afterfeast, was selected by Mary Jo Bang to win the Dorset Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She is also the author of the chapbook Variation on Testimony. She holds an MFA in poetry from Boston University and an MEd in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in New South, the Paris-American, and LAMBDA Literary, among others. She is the senior poetry editor for the Adroit Journal and an editorial associate at Write the World, where she hosts two series blogs, "Reading Like a Writer" and "The Write Place."

Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

Megan Giddings

in conversation with Juan Martinez


Author Conversation

When Lena Johnson's beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out-of-pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done there. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away. But as the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she's willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family. Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science. Megan Giddings is a features editor at the Rumpus and a contributing editor at Boulevard. She is a recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant for feminist fiction. Her short stories have been published in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, and Iowa Review. Megan holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University. She lives in Michigan. Juan Martinez is the author Best Worst Americans. His stories have been published in McSweeney's and Glimmer Train and broadcast on Selected Shorts. He lives in Chicago with his family and is an assistant professor of English at Northwestern University. His website is .

Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became

Author Reading & Book Signing

Please note: this ticketed event will be held at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. Wilson )

Tickets on sale now ONLY through Brown Paper Tickets

Join us for a reading and Q&A with NYT-bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Each ticket includes a pre-signed copy of Jemisin's forthcoming novel, The City We Became. In this stunning new novel, five New Yorkers must come together to defend their city from an ancient evil. Every great city has a soul, but every great city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

N. K. Jemisin is the first author to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards, all for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice Awards. She was a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and she has been an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops. In her spare time she is a gamer and gardener, and she is also single-handedly responsible for saving the world from KING Ozzymandias, her dangerously intelligent ginger cat, and his phenomenally destructive sidekick, Magpie.

Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m.

Jenny Offill

in conversation with Catherine Lacey


Author Reading

Librarian and fake shrink Lizzie Benson's old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. Sylvia's become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she is forced to address the limits of her own experience—but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in—funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad. Jenny Offill is the award-winnging author of the novels Last Things and Dept. of Speculation. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University. Catherine Lacey is the author of four works of fiction: Nobody Is Ever Missing, The Answers, Certain American States, and the forthcoming novel, Pew. She's recently published work in the New Yorker, Harper's, and the Believer.

Save the Date

Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Jaswinder Bolina, Rebecca Lehmann

& Kathryn Nuernberger

Poetry Reading

Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Samira Ahmed

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Book Launch Party

Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

Grace Talusan

The Body Papers

Paperback tour

Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

Tyler Feder

Dancing at the Pity Party

Book Launch Party

Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Poetry in Translation

Kristen Miller

Saturday, April 11 at 6 p.m.

Emily Neuberger

A Tender Thing

Chicago Book Launch

Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

Samantha Irby

in conversation with Megan Stielstra

Wow, No Thank You

Author Reading, Conversation

& Book Signing

Please note: this ticketed event will be held at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. Wilson )

Tickets on sale now ONLY through Brown Paper Tickets

Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m.

Elizabeth Wetmore


Book Launch Party

Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

Jenny Brown

Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women's Work

Author Reading & Book Signing

Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m.

Michael Arceneaux

I Don't Want to Die Poor

Author reading & Book Signing

Saturday, April 18 at 6 p.m.

Breakbeats Poets Vol. 4: Latinext

Poetry Reading

Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

Sara Paretsky

Dead Land

Book Launch Party

Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m.

Rebecca Solnit

in conversation with Eula Biss

Recollections of My Nonexistence

Author Reading, Conversation

& Book Signing

Please note: this ticketed event will be held at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. Wilson )

Tickets on sale now ONLY through Brown Paper Tickets

Book Groups

Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace Discussion & Potluck

Sunday, March 1

10 a.m. to noon

Recommended reading: Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill ( note date change )

Family of Women Book Group

Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Feminist Book Group:

The Climate Change edition

Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen

Teens First Book Group

Sunday, March 8 at 5 p.m.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Classics of Women's Literature

Monday, March 9 at 7:15 p.m.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Social Justice Book Group

Sunday, March 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Redlined: Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago by Linda Gartz

Women's Book Group

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

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister

Well-Read Black Girl Book Group

Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

—From a press release

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