On May 15th, New York Times bestselling novelist Celeste Ng will be visiting Madison for a highly-anticipated speaking event. Ng is the featured author for the Madison Public Library Foundation’s annual Lunch for Libraries — a fundraiser in support of the Wisconsin Book Festival.
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It’s safe to say that most people have heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald as one of the most notable literary figures of the 20th century and American history in general. His famous 1925 novel, “The Great Gatsby” headlines required reading lists for high schools everywhere. Film portrayals featuring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Leonardo DiCaprio have only served to elevate both the book and author’s fame.
Sagashus T. Levingston’s story is anything but ordinary. She is a mother of six, an award-winning author and a public speaker. She has a Ph.D. from the Department of English at UW-Madison. She has lived through poverty, trials and triumphs. She is an artist, and her pursuit of advocacy and scholarship culminates in her 2017 book “Infamous Mothers.”
For most Midwesterners, the Great Lakes frequently serve as a backdrop for outdoor adventure-- frigid, clear and impossibly vast, this freshwater system is a central source for recreation, commerce and much more. Individuals and businesses across the continent depend on these lakes, and in the past century, this dependency has been reflected in a changing ecology that is taking place on a level that many Americans remain unaware of.
Based on actual historical characters, “Never Anyone But You” is narrated by Marcel Moore. Published in June 2018, Thomson sets his eye on the biographies of two pioneering female French surrealists to create a moving fiction that navigates same-sex love and self-transformation in a time when women’s voices were just starting to be heard.
Northern Wisconsin has a low tolerance for fragility, both of structure and spirit. In a region characterized by dense forests and cruel winters, it should come as no surprise that the locals are as tough and eccentric as the environment in which they grew. New Auburn, Wisconsin is no exception. In his 2001 bestselling memoir, “Population: 485- Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time,” Michael Perry catalogs the quirks of this tiny, northern village while reminiscing on his time spent serving on its volunteer fire department. Perry was raised on a farm in New Auburn, and his roots are evident from the beginning. He describes his hometown much in the same way that one would refer to a wacky family member — with the utmost love and affection, but also with a complete awareness of its faults.
It’s getting to be that time of year. With the changing of the leaves and the ubiquitous presence of pumpkin-flavored drinks comes another important seasonal milestone: Halloween. If you want your reading list to reflect the supernatural vibes of the season, consider reading 2008’s “The Monsters of Templeton” by UW-Madison MFA alum Lauren Groff.