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Northwestern Summer Writers’ Conference: The Origins of The Original

The Northwestern University Summer Writers’ Conference is back! This year, the conference is entirely online again so you can join us from anywhere in the world. Details are forthcoming. In the meantime, please save the dates!

The conference is hosted by the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies MA in Writing and  MFA in Prose and Poetry programs.

July 9th, 2022 11:00am – noon CST
The Origins of the Original
Featuring Rebecca Makkai

For writing to succeed, it must be both well-executed and original. But when we sit down to write, the first words, scenes, characters, conflicts, and settings we come up with are often the least original ones of which we’re capable. Digging past the obvious, the stock (and even the products of the collective unconscious), we might finally arrive at stories that are strikingly new and memorable. In this class we’ll cover some key elements of originality — specificity, idiosyncrasy, complexity, repetition, and change — and talk about accessing them in both drafting and revision. While originality might seem intuitive, or even a product of the writer’s personality, it’s in fact a skill that can be sharpened. That’s what we’ll be doing.

on July 9 2022· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exile In Bookville Presents: Authors on Tap: Steve Almond and Rebecca Makkai

Authors on Tap: Steve Almond and Rebecca Makkai

Friday May 27 2022 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Join us IN PERSON or virtually on Friday, May 27th at 7:00pm central to help celebrate Steve Almond‘s new novel, All the Secrets of the World.  Steve will be in conversation with Exile MVP Rebecca Makkai!
Steve Almond is the author of a dozen books, including “Candyfreak” and “Against Football,” which were both on the New York Times’ Bestseller list for about four seconds.  He’s the recipient of an NEA grant for 2022 and teaches at Harvard and Wesleyan. His work has been published in the Best American Short Stories, the Best American Mysteries, and the New York Times Magazine. Fancy fancy. After 30 years of writing terrible novels, he finally wrote one that doesn’t suck. All the Secrets of the World will be out in May.

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great BelieversThe Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for WartimeThe Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

You can purchase their books through the respective links and Steve and Rebecca are happy to sign or personalize copies! If you can’t make it to the event, signed copies will be available and we ship nationally!

Please note the following COVID protocols for those attending IN PERSON:

  • Attendees must present a physical copy or a photo of their COVID-19 vaccine card along with a valid photo ID (state, government, or school ID); or
  • Provide a time-stamped printout, photo, or email of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the event or a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken within 36 hours of the event, along with a valid photo ID (state, government, or school ID).
  • All persons must wear a mask for the duration of their time in the Fine Arts Building, regardless of vaccination status in accordance with our current COVID policies

Please email us at books@exileinbookville.com or phone us at (312)-753-3154 if you have any questions or concerns. 

*There is no need to register if you are attending in person!

on May 27 2022· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Porch: The Origins of the Original with Visiting Writer Rebecca Makkai

When we sit down to write, the first words, scenes, characters, conflicts, and settings we come up with are often the least original ones of which we’re capable. Digging past the obvious, the stock (and even the products of the collective unconscious), we might finally arrive at stories that are strikingly new and memorable. In this class we’ll cover some key elements of originality — specificity, idiosyncrasy, complexity, repetition, and change — and talk about accessing them both in drafting and revision.

For writing to succeed, it must be both well-executed and original. While originality might seem intuitive, or even a product of the writer’s personality, it’s in fact a skill that can be sharpened. That’s what we’ll be doing.

Online Workshop Via Zoom

Saturday, April 30th, 2022 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm CT

$68 for members

$75 for non members

on April 30 2022· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Joshua Ferris in conversation with Rebecca Makkai: A Calling for Charlie Barnes

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling author Joshua Ferris as he discusses his new novel, A CALLING FOR CHARLIE BARNES. Ferris will be in conversation with bestselling author Rebecca Makkai.

This event is free and open to the public, with registration. Signed, first edition copies are available for purchase through the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.

About the Book:

Someone is telling the story of the life of Charlie Barnes, and it doesn’t appear to be going well. Too often divorced, discontent with life’s compromises and in a house he hates, this lifelong schemer and eternal romantic would like out of his present circumstances and into the American dream. But when the twin calamities of the Great Recession and a cancer scare come along to compound his troubles, his dreams dwindle further, and an infinite past full of forking paths quickly tapers to a black dot.

Then, against all odds, something goes right for a change: Charlie is granted a second act. With help from his storyteller son, he surveys the facts of his life and finds his true calling where he least expects it—in a sacrifice that redounds with selflessness and love—at last becoming the man his son always knew he could be.

A Calling for Charlie Barnes is a profound and tender portrait of a man whose desperate need to be loved is his downfall, and a brutally funny account of how that love is ultimately earned.

About the Authors:

Joshua Ferris is the author of three previous novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

Rebecca Makkai latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Clark Fiction Prize, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award; and it was one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime — four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Visit her at RebeccaMakkai.com or on twitter @rebeccamakkai.

on September 30 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Unabridged Books Presents: “The Talented Miss Farwell” Virtual Event with Emily Gray Tedrowe & Rebecca Makkai

Celebrate the paperback release of The Talented Miss Farwell with author Emily Gray Tedrowe on Wednesday, September 1st at 7:30 pm CDT! The author will be joined for a conversation by Rebecca Makkai!

About the book:
Catch Me If You Can meets Patricia Highsmith in this “stylish” (New York Times Book Review) page-turner of greed and obsession, survival and self-invention that is a piercing character study of one unforgettable female con artist.

At the end of the 1990s, with the art market finally recovered from its disastrous collapse, Miss Rebecca Farwell has made a killing at Christie’s in New York City, selling a portion of her extraordinary art collection for a rumored 900 percent profit. Dressed in couture YSL, drinking the finest champagne at trendy Balthazar, Reba, as she’s known, is the picture of a wealthy art collector. To some, the elusive Miss Farwell is a shark with outstanding business acumen. To others, she’s a heartless capitalist whose only interest in art is how much she can make.

But a thousand miles from the Big Apple, in the small town of Pierson, Illinois, Miss Farwell is someone else entirely–a quiet single woman known as Becky who still lives in her family’s farmhouse, wears sensible shoes, and works tirelessly as the town’s treasurer and controller.

No one understands the ins and outs of Pierson’s accounts better than Becky; she’s the last one in the office every night, crunching the numbers. Somehow, her neighbors marvel, she always finds a way to get the struggling town just a little more money. What Pierson doesn’t see–and can never discover–is that much of that money is shifted into a separate account that she controls, “borrowed” funds used to finance her art habit. Though she quietly repays Pierson when she can, the business of art is cutthroat and unpredictable.

But as Reba Farwell’s deals get bigger and bigger, Becky Farwell’s debt to Pierson spirals out of control. How long can the talented Miss Farwell continue to pull off her double life?

About the author:
Emily Gray Tedrowe
is the Chicago-based author of three novels including The Talented Miss Farwell.
Photo Credt: 
Marion Ettlinger

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great BelieversThe Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime.The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

 

on September 1 2021· Tagged: , , , , ,

Exile in Bookville Presents: Authors on Tap: Nick Flynn and Rebecca Makkai

Authors on Tap: Nick Flynn and Rebecca Makkai
Thursday August 26, 2021 | 7:00PM – 8:00PM CT

Join us on August 26th at 7:00pm to help celebrate the paperback release of Nick Flynn‘s memoir, This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire.  Nick will be in conversation with Exile VIP Rebecca Makkai!

Nick Flynn is a writer, playwright, and poet. His most recent books are This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire (2020), a hybrid memoir, and Stay: threads, collaborations, and conversations (2020), which documents twenty-five years of his collaborations with artists, filmmakers, and composers. He is also the author of five collections of poetry, including I Will Destroy You (2019). He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress, and is on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston. His acclaimed memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, was made into a film starring Robert DeNiro, and has been translated into fifteen languages.

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. The Great Believerswas a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College
and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.
You can purchase their books through the respective links and each book comes with a signed bookplate!
This is administered as a free event through Eventrbrite. Should you wish to donate to Exile in Bookville’s cause there is an option on the registration page.

Click here to register for this free event!

on August 26 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Kate Reed Petty in conversation with Rebecca Makkai Virtual Event | True Story

Ticketing

This free event will be streamed live on the Novel Neighbor’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Registration is optional, but recommended.

Signed bookplates are available with purchases made through the Novel Neighbor. You may buy a copy as an add-on with your free event registration.

Please note that we are not able to process international orders through Eventbrite. If you would like to order from outside the United States, please email hello@thenovelneighbor.com.

About TRUE STORY

“A gripping, ripped-from-headlines tale.” —People

“Spellbinding.” —Megan Abbott, The New York Times Book Review

Tracing the fifteen-year fallout of a toxic high school rumor, a riveting, astonishingly original debut novel about the power of stories—and who gets to tell them

2015. A gifted and reclusive ghostwriter, Alice Lovett makes a living helping other people tell their stories. But she is haunted by the one story she can’t tell: the story of, as she puts it, “the things that happened while I was asleep.”

1999. Nick Brothers and his lacrosse teammates return for their senior year at their wealthy Maryland high school as the reigning state champions. They’re on top of the world—until two of his friends drive a passed-out girl home from of the team’s “legendary” parties, and a rumor about what happened in the backseat spreads through the town like wildfire.

The boys deny the allegations, and, eventually, the town moves on. But not everyone can. Nick descends into alcoholism, and Alice builds a life in fits and starts, underestimating herself and placing her trust in the wrong people. When she finally gets the opportunity to confront the past she can’t remember—but which has nevertheless shaped her life—will she take it?

An inventive and breathtaking exploration of a woman finding her voice in the wake of trauma, True Story is part psychological thriller, part fever dream, and part timely comment on sexual assault, power, and the very nature of truth. Ingeniously constructed and full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the final pages, it marks the debut of a singular and daring new voice in fiction.

About the Author

Kate Reed Petty has been recognized with a Narrative magazine 30 Below Award, as well as grants and scholarships from the Robert Deutsch Foundation, The Mount, Bloedel Reserve, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her short fiction has been published in Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, Blackbird, Ambit, Nat. Brut, and Los Angeles Review of Books, and she has a master of letters from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She lives in Baltimore.

on August 4 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Society For The Study Of Midwestern Literature Celebrates Mark Twain Award Winners Marilynne Robinson and Rebecca Makkai

Marilynne Robinson and Rebecca Makkai, winners of the 2020 and 2021 Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature, in conversation with Phil Christman, author of Midwest Futures. (Free for current SSML members; open to non-members for a $5 registration fee.)

SSML Members Register HERE

Non-Members Register HERE

on June 14 2021· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gorton’s Masterclass Series: Rebecca Makkai – A Local Writing Life

This event is virtual

“A Local Writing Life”: Local author Rebecca Makkai has achieved national prominence, most recently with her novel The Great Believers — a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal. Makkai was born and raised in Lake Bluff, and has lived her adult life in Lake Forest. She will talk with Barry Benson, Interim Executive Director of the Ragdale Foundation, about living as a professional writer in Lake Forest, coming of age in the community, sustaining a life in the arts, and the connections of her four books to both the North Shore and Chicago.

Rebecca Makkai’s latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Clark Fiction Prize, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award; and it was one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime — four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Barry Benson is the Interim Executive Director of the Ragdale Foundation, a nonprofit artists’ community located on the former country estate of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. Nearly 200 residencies and fellowships are now offered annually to creative professionals of all types, making Ragdale one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country. Ragdale residents represent a cross-section of ages, cultures, experience, and mediums, for a diverse and vibrant community.

By purchasing a ticket, you will receive a link to the masterclass which will be released February 25th and sales will run through April 9th.  The link is yours to watch at your convenience.

($25 tickets/$10 for students)

on April 19 2021· Tagged: , , , ,

Gorton’s Masterclass Series: Rebecca Makkai – A Local Writing Life

This event is virtual

“A Local Writing Life”: Local author Rebecca Makkai has achieved national prominence, most recently with her novel The Great Believers — a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal. Makkai was born and raised in Lake Bluff, and has lived her adult life in Lake Forest. She will talk with Barry Benson, Interim Executive Director of the Ragdale Foundation, about living as a professional writer in Lake Forest, coming of age in the community, sustaining a life in the arts, and the connections of her four books to both the North Shore and Chicago.

Rebecca Makkai’s latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Clark Fiction Prize, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award; and it was one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime — four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Barry Benson is the Interim Executive Director of the Ragdale Foundation, a nonprofit artists’ community located on the former country estate of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. Nearly 200 residencies and fellowships are now offered annually to creative professionals of all types, making Ragdale one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country. Ragdale residents represent a cross-section of ages, cultures, experience, and mediums, for a diverse and vibrant community.

By purchasing a ticket, you will receive a link to the masterclass which will be released February 25th and sales will run through April 9th.  The link is yours to watch at your convenience.

($25 tickets/$10 for students)

on April 15 2021· Tagged: , , , ,

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