July at Women & Children First brings Annual Used Book Sale & Where's Waldo Scavenger Hunt!
Plus, author events with bestselling authors Ottessa Moshfegh and Porochista Khakpour
July 1st through 21st
Annual Neighborhood-wide Where's Waldo Scavenger Hunt!
Our annual month-long, neighborhood- wide scavenger hunt for Waldo is back! Pick up your passports at Women & Children First anytime after July 1st and then begin searching for Waldo at participating Andersonville businesses. When you find Waldo in each business, get your passport stamped at that business. Be sure to bring your stamped passport to Women & Children First on Saturday, July 21st at 3 p.m. for the Waldo Party with snacks, games, and activities! Participants with passports that have five stamps or more will be entered into a raffle for fantastical prizes, many of which have been donated by local businesses. Prize winners must be in attendance to win! See you there!
Friday, July 6 at 7 p.m.
Kelly Sundberg in conversation with Zoe Zolbrod, Goodbye, Sweet Girl
Kelly Sundberg's husband, Caleb, was a funny, warm, supportive man and a wonderful father to their little boy, Reed. But he was also vengeful and violent. It took Sundberg a decade to stop believing he would change and finally realize that she could not have the kind of partnership she desired with such a broken man. In her remarkable book, she offers an intimate record of her awakening and presents a heartbreaking glimpse into why women remain too long in dangerous relationships. Mesmerizing and poetic, Goodbye, Sweet Girl is a harrowing, cautionary, and ultimately redemptive tale that brilliantly illuminates one woman's transformation as she begins to accept responsibility for herself and learns to believe that she deserves better. Kelly Sundberg's essays have appeared in Guernica, Gulf Coast, the Rumpus, and other publications. Her essay "It Will Look Like a Sunset" was selected for inclusion in Best American Essays 2015, and other essays have been listed as notables in the same series. She has a PhD in Creative Nonfiction from Ohio University, and she has been the recipient of fellowships or grants from Vermont Studio Center, A Room of Her Own Foundation, Dickinson House, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Zoe Zolbrod is the author of the memoir The Telling, which won a silver IPPY Award and was a Chicago Review of Books award finalist, and the novel Currency, which was a Friends of American Writers prize finalist. Her essays have appeared in Lit Hub, the Nervous Breakdown, the Chicago Reader, and the Rumpus, where she served as the Sunday co-editor. She lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.
Wednesday, July 11 at 7 p.m.
Chad Sell & Katie Schenkel, Cardboard Kingdom
YA Author Presentation
This is the summer when sixteen kids transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes and their ordinary block into a cardboard kingdom, encountering knights and rogues, robots and monstersand their own inner demons. The Cardboard Kingdom was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from ten other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez. The Cardboard Kingdom affirms the power of imagination and play during the most important years of adolescent identity-searching and emotional growth. Chad Sell lives in Chicago with his husband and two cats. Katie Schenkel is the writer of the werewolf comic Moonlighters and the upcoming 100 Light Years of Solitude. She lives in Chicago with her partner.
Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m.
Am I Man Enough? Storytelling Show and Podcast
We are happy to announce the return of "Am I Man Enough?" to Women & Children First. This storytelling show invites people to tell personal stories that critically examine the culture of toxic masculinity and the construction of masculinity and manhood, blending social critiques with personal stories. The show, curated by Ada Cheng, a professor-turned-storyteller and performing artist, showcases performers of diverse genres, identities, and backgrounds. Our lineup for the July show includes: James Anthony, Hannah Rebecca Gamble, Glenance Green, Stuti Sharma, Simon Tran, and Ollie Woods. Due to the content of some of the stories, this show is recommended for ages 14 and up.
Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
Ottessa Moshfegh in conversation with Jac Jemc, My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty and a recent graduate of Columbia University. She works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives on the Upper East Side in an apartment paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and so a year of alienation, spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs may be not only reasonable, but necessary. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of a major writer working at the height of her powers. Ottessa Moshfegh is from New England and is the author of the novella McGlue, the short story collection Homesick for Another World, and the novel Eileen. Her work has been published in the Paris Review, the New Yorker, and Granta and has earned a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and the the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Jac Jemc lives in Chicago. Her novel The Grip of It received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Her novel My Only Wife, was named a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and won the Paula Anderson Book Award. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming from Guernica, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and StoryQuarterly, among others. She teaches English and creative writing and currently serves as a web nonfiction editor for Hobart.
Friday, July 20 at 7 p.m.
Wendy L. Rouse
Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement
Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
At the turn of the twentieth century, women famously organized to demand greater social and political freedoms, such as the right to vote. However, few realize that the Progressive Era also witnessed the birth of the women's self-defense movement. Some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu in order to protect themselves from attack on the street ( or in their own homes ), while others strove to reject patriarchal notions about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant. Wendy L. Rouse is an assistant professor at San Jose State University, where she teaches courses in history and teacher preparation. Rouse's scholarly research focuses on the history of women and children in the United States during the Progressive Era.
Saturday, July 21 at 3 P.M.
Where's Waldo? Party
Celebrate the neighborhood-wide Waldo Scavenger Hunt with a games, snacks, and prizes. Great for kids ages 4 and up!
To celebrate the annual month-long, neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt for Waldo, we'll be hosting an afternoon Where's Waldo? party with games, prizes, and a visit from Waldo! The party will be hosted by Miss Sophie! Pick up your passports at Women & Children First anytime after July 1st and then begin searching for Waldo at participating Andersonville businesses. ( The full list is coming soon to our website and Facebook page. ) When you find Waldo in each business, get your passport stamped by the staffers there. Be sure to bring your stamped passport to Women & Children First on Saturday, July 21st at 3 p.m. for our Where's Waldo? party. Participants with passports that have five or more stamps will be entered into a raffle for fantastical prizes, many of which have been donated by local businesses. Prize winners must be in attendance to win! See you there!
Sunday, July 22 at 4 p.m.
On Intersex: Author and Advocate Panel, Featuring I. W. Gregorio, Eric Lohman, Stephani Lohman, and Hanna Lindahl
Panel Discussion, Q&A, and Book-signing
For decades, intersex people - those born with sex characteristics that fall outside the typical spectrum of male or female - have been rendered nearly invisible by shame and stigma. Please join four members from interACT Advocates as they discuss their efforts to bring intersex into the light and stop unnecessary surgeries on intersex children. I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, and optioned for a TV series by A+E Studios. She is proud to be a board member of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, and is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Eric Lohman, PhD, has a doctorate in Media Studies and is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, focusing on gender, race, and class in the mass media. He sits on the board of directors for InterACT, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of intersex children. Stephani Lohman, BS, BScN. is a nurse, and has degrees in chemistry, biology, and nursing. She's worked in health care and sciences for 10 years. Together, Stephani and Eric have published a memoir entitled Raising Rosie: Our Story of Parenting an Intersex Child, and have appeared in the documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. They are the parents of four children, including a six-year-old intersex daughter named Rosie. Hann Lindahl is a genderqueer intersex person who writes about intersex experiences personally as a cartoonist, and professionally as interACT's communications director. She has been speaking to audiences about intersex issues for the past 5 years. Outside of intersex activism, her expertise includes game experience design, immersive theater, and skate dancing.
Annual Used Book Sale benefiting the Women's Voices Fund
Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29
Part of Andersonville's Sidewalk Sale weekend, our Used Book Sale is an annual tradition benefiting The Women's Voices Fund, the non-profit arm of the store that supports our programming and events. Book lovers and bargain hunters won't want to miss this opportunity to treasure hunt through the stacks for great deals on fiction, nonfiction, children's books, and LGBTQ titlesall priced to sell! This year, we'll be accepting donations through July 25th. Donations must be in sale-able condition. We will NOT accept reference books, mass market paperbacks, DVDS, or foreign language books. Any books that do not meet our criteria will be returned to you at the time of donation. Interested in volunteering for our Used Book Sale on either July 28 and/or 29th? Please email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org . Volunteers will work 3- to 4-hour shifts and, in exchange, receive credits to redeem for free books! Please note that volunteers must be able to lift 30 lb. boxes. Also, this is traditionally one of the hottest weekends of the year so volunteers should be prepared for the heat. We will provide water, sunscreen, and our endless gratitude!
Wednesday, August 1 at 7 p.m.
Porochista Khakpour in conversation with Megan Stielstra, Sick: A Memoir
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn't know why. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and more than $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease. Sick is Khakpour's grueling, emotional journeyas a woman, an Iranian-American, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problemsin which she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness and her addiction to doctor-prescribed benzodiazepines, which both aided and eroded her ever-deteriorating physical health. Porochista Khakpour is the author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Harper's, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, Guernica, and many more. In 2019, Vintage will publish her first collection of essays, Brown Album; in 2020, Pantheon will publish her third novel Tehrangeles. She currently lives in New York City and Los Angeles. Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: The Wrong Way To Save Your Life, Once I Was Cool, and Everyone Remain Calm. Her work appears in Best American Essays, the New York Times, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Guernica, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, Radio National Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Goodman Theatre, the Neo-Futurarium, and regularly with The Paper Machete live news magazine at the Green Mill. She is currently an artist in residence at Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, her kid, and two dogs.
Thursday, August 2 at 7 p.m.
Elaine Soloway, She's Not the Type
80th Birthday Party & Book Launch
This event will celebrate both the launch of Elaine Soloway's novel She's Not the Type and Elaine's 80th birthday! ( Yes, there will be cake! ) She's Not the Type introduces Ann Robins, who is not the type to wind up in the bed of a sexy saxophone player. After all, she's a good Jewish girl and married mother of two. perhaps Ann should've figured that her marriage, which began with a walk down the aisle on the arm of someone else's boyfriend, would stumble along the way. But fortunately for readers who find inspiration and strength from second-act stories, Ann emerges at midlife secure, independent, and optimistic. Elaine Soloway Elaine has a master's degree in Urban Planning and Policy was formerly both a public relations professional and worked in the press offices of Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne and School Superintendent Ruth Love. She is the author of The Division Street Princess, Green Nails and Other Acts of Rebellion: Life After Loss, and Bad Grandma and Other Chapters in a Life Lived Out Loud. She also has four successful and widely read blogs and most recently has seen aspects of her life immortalized on the Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning Transparent, which is produced and written by her daughters, Jill and Faith Soloway.
Friday, August 3 at 7 p.m.
Traci D. O'Neal
The Exceptional Negro: Racism, White Privilege and the Lie of Respectability Politics
Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
Traci O'Neal was thrust into the national spotlight in 2017 when a GOP presidential candidate singled her out on social media. The widespread and deeply disturbing campaign of hatred, harassment, and racist attacks that followed underscored Traci's understanding that there's no room in white America for an Exceptional Negro. She comes to understand that the insulation that her education and solidly middle-class life seemed to give her from the worst effects of racism was all the lie of respectability politics, and at the end of day, she is still a negro in white America's eyes, albeit an exceptional one. Traci issues a call to action for white folks to dismantle systemic racism, and more importantly, for black folks to discuss and consider the Pro-Black Reconstruction Strategy, to lessen dependence on America's racist systems and reduce the impact of racism in their lives. America expects black people to assimilate, which by definition, fixes "whiteness" as the standard. But what would happen if black people challenge and resist that notion? Traci O'Neal Ellis is a Chicago-area attorney and HR professional. She is also a frequent speaker on race, law, politics, and radically inclusive leadership and is a fierce advocate for social justice. She has won many prestigious awards, including the YWCA's Beatrice Dorsey Award for Business and Professions and the Elgin, Illinois, Human Relations Commission's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Humanitarian Award.
Wednesday, August 8 at 7 p.m.
Kathleen Rooney in conversation with Rebecca Slotnick
The Listening Room: A Novel of Georgette and Loulou Magritte
Book Launch Party
In this flash fiction novel, local author Kathleen Rooney invites readers to look at the paintings and life of the Belgian Surrealist artist RenÃ© Magritte from the perspectives of his wife Georgette and their shared series of beloved Pomeranian dogs, all named Loulou. The hybrid book draws heavily on Rooney's recent work as the co-editor of Magritte's Selected Writings, a lost manuscript that she rediscovered, edited, and published. A founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of the typewriter poetry-on-demand collective Poems While You Wait, Kathleen Rooney is the author, most recently, of the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Married to the writer Martin Seay, she lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University. Rachel Slotnick received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. She teaches at Malcolm X College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her murals and sculptures are can be seen in public spaces all over Chicago. Her work has appeared in Mad Hat, Thrice Fiction, and Driftwood Press, among others. Rachel won RHINO Poetry's Founder's Prize and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015 and 2017. She is also the author of In Lieu of Flowers.
Thursday, August 9 at 7 p.m.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras in conversation with Cristina Henriquez
Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives inside their gated community in Bogota, but the threats of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood's walls, because the drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities. Petrona, their live-in-maid who is from the city's guerrilla-occupied slum, is crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. Inspired by the author's own life, Fruit of the Drunken Tree's two coming-of-age stories shed light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation. Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and the Huffington Post, among others. She has received fellowships and awards from the Missouri Review, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, among others. She is the book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area's NPR affiliate. Cristina Henraquez is the author of three books, including, most recently, the novel The Book of Unknown Americans, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She is also the recipient of an Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, started by Sandra Cisneros in honor of her father.
Friday, August 10 at 7 p.m.
Crystal Hana Kim in conversation with Julia Fine
If You Leave Me
Book Launch Party
When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen- year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. But for a few hours each night, she can escape her tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn't realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi. Haemi marries Jisoo, becoming first a wife and then a mother, for the sake of her family's security. Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is an emotionally riveting portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman's longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world. Crystal Hana Kim holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and an MS in education from Hunter College. She has received numerous awards, including PEN America's Story Prize for Emerging Writers, along with fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is currently a writing instructor for Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse
America and a contributing editor at Apogee Journal. Born and raised in New York, she currently lives in Chicago. Julia Fine received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their son. Her debut novel What Should Be Wild published earlier this year.
Save the Date
Sunday, August 12 at 6 p.m.
Fatimah Asghar, If They Come For Us
Tuesday, August 14 at 5:30 p.m.
Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl, Rad Girls Can
Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Gay Women's Gathering , An Evening on Lesbian Pregnancy sponsored by Path2Parenthood
Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m.
Melissa Stephenson in conversation with Reina Hardy, Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back
Author Conversation and Book-signing
Tuesday, August 21 at 7 p.m.
Kim Brooks in conversation with Kathleen Rooney, Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear
Book Launch Party
Wednesday, August 22 at 7 p.m.
Julie Schumacher, The Shakespeare Requirement
Thursday, August 23 at 7 p.m.
Angela Garbes in conversation with Monica Eng. Like A Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
Author Conversation and Book-signing
Tuesday, September 4 at 7 p.m.
Abby Geni, The Wildlands
Book Launch Party
Wednesday, September 5 at 7 p.m.
R.O. Kwan in conversation with Rebecca Makkai, The Incendiaries
Author Conversation and Book-signing
Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace Discussion & Potluck
Sunday, July 8
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Suggested Reading: They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine
Family of Women Book Group
Sunday, July 8 at 2 p.m.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
by Arundhati Roy
Feminist Book Group
Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m.
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Teens First Book Group
Sunday, July 8 at 5 p.m.
When Morning Comes by Arushi Reina
Classics of Women's Literature Book Group
Monday, July 16 at 7:15 p.m.
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
by Elizabeth Smart
Women's Book Group
Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Social Justice Book Group
Sunday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m.
The Fire This Time by James Baldwin
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640