It sure seems like summer here in Chicago. But instead of spending the day outdoors, I attended two fabulous literary events.
Up first was a lovely book party for Emily Rapp at Rachel DeWoskin‘s place. I’ve read Emily’s two memoirs, so it was a joy to meet her and talk about writing. I also brought up the subject of Hong Kong (what else?) because she lived there for a while in the 1990s, too.
I read her latest memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin, 2013) on Kindle almost as soon as it came out. But I bought a hardcover today, the proceeds of which will go to Tay Sachs research. Her other memoir, Poster Child (Penguin, 2007), is also one of my favorites.
Next up was Laura Bates’ reading at the independent bookstore, Women and Children First. She wrote Shakespeare Saved My Life (Sourcebooks, 2013), a memoir about teaching Shakepeare’s plays at a maximum security prison in Indiana. Her star pupil is a man named Larry Newton, who as a 17-year-old waved his rights for the chance to go on probation or to appeal.
The reading was standing room only, thanks to an enthusiastic group of high school students and their English teacher.
Afterward I introduced myself to Laura Bates. We have the same publisher, so it was fun to talk about that while she signed a couple copies of her book.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon out and about!