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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friends of the Bronxville Public Library Presents: Lan Samantha Changin conversation with Rebecca Makkai (Zoom)

Lan Samantha Chang, author of The Family Chao,
in conversation with
Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers

The Friends of the Bronxville Public Library (FOBPL) is pleased to host award-winning author Lan Samantha Chang, who will discuss her new novel, The Family Chao.  FOBPL is equally thrilled to host acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai to moderate this event.

For the recent MyHometownBronxville article, click here


Thursday, April 21, 2022
7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom

This event is free, but registration is required.

To register, please click here.

Registration closes on April 21, 12:00 p.m.
(Zoom link will be provided through Eventbrite Registration on April 21.)

THE FAMILY CHAO is an electrifying and devastating portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with trauma, grief, race, love, and longing. Brimming with comedy, suspense, and heartbreak, Lan Samantha Chang’s masterpiece is one of the most ambitious novels about America in recent years.

Lan Samantha Chang is the award-winning author of a collection of short fiction, Hunger, and novels The Family Chao, Inheritance and All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost.  A recent Berlin Prize Fellow, she also has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.  Chang is the first Asian American and the first female director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Iowa City.  For more on Lan Samantha Chang and The Family Chao, click here.

Moderator 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.  For more on Rebecca Makkai, click here.

Signed copies of The Family Chao are available for sale now at Womrath Bookshop. 

The FOBPL appreciates your donations.  Thank you! 

on April 21 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: , , , , , , ,

Loyola University Chicago 2021 Humanities Forum: Reflections on the Early days of the AIDS Pandemic

Join our distinguished panel as they reflect on the early days of another pandemic that left lasting impacts on society: the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Our panelists will reflect on their experiences as caregivers, activists/ advocates, and authors when this disease first appeared as a medical mystery and discuss how its course sparked social, political, and cultural change. Loyola’s Mark Kuczewski, PhD, and Gail Hendler, MLS, will moderate.

Rebecca Makkai, MA

Her 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. She is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University and is the Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Paul O’Keefe, MD

Paul O’Keefe completed his MD at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 1971. He joined the Stritch faculty as Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1977 and established the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. During
his time at Stritch, he partnered with the Cook County Department of Public Health to establish the Maywood Clinic. The clinic continues to operate at the Maywood outpatient facility and is now known as Access to Care.

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA

MK Czerwiec is a nurse, cartoonist, educator, and co-founder of Graphic Medicine. She is the author of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. She also co-authored the Graphic Medicine Manifesto in 2014. Her latest book, Menopause: A Comic Treatment, was released in May 2020

on April 8 2021· Tagged: , , , , ,

StoryStudio Chicago Presents: The Geek-Out Book Club | Rebecca Makkai + Cristina Henriquez Discuss “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

The Geek-Out is writers geeking out about literature, plain and simple! One writer will make the other read something for the first time (in this case, Rebecca made Cristina read Shirley Jackson’s legendarily unnerving “The Lottery”) and then for about an hour they talk together about craft, impact, what they loved, what they didn’t. The audience is encouraged to read the piece too, and participate via the chat box.

The event is a fundraiser for StoryStudio’s Doro Boehme scholarship fund, benefiting writers working on book-length projects. If this first go is successful, we hope to make The Geek-Out a regular series, inviting your favorite writers to participate and discuss other legendary stories and books.

on December 14 2020· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2020 Is Over: A Variety With Booze Hacks, Music, Ribaldry, Cobblers, and More!

To celebrate the paperback launch of his book “The Riots I have Known”, Ryan Chapman is hosting a digital variety show with Rough Draft Bar & Books on December 9th, 2020 at 8pm ET.

Instead of a reading, let’s have a zoom party.  A loose version of “The Tonight Show,” with booze tips for lockdown, ribald stories, writing advice, cooking segments, psychedelics, and a few surprises. We’ll even have a house band. Spread the word! We’ll bend zoom until it breaks.

Guests include: Rebecca Makkai, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, Geoff Dyer, Kristen Arnett, Maris Kreizman, Josh Gondelman, and Rob Doyle, with music from Sari Botton and Bran Macaluso.

If you want to buy a book, please use Ryan’s local indie Rough Draft. You can get a signed and personalized copy of Riots through this link.

Continue reading ?

on December 9 2020· Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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