General Fiction

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Todd Michael Cox, author of Beast

A Room of One's Own is thrilled to welcome Todd Michael Cox for a reading and book signing from his dark novel Beast, a study of secrets, lies, family promises, and lycanthropy, which was inspired by Wisconsin's very own Beast of Bray Road.

Todd Michael Cox was born in the northwoods of Wisconsin, raised in the small town of Oconto, and obtained a degree in English from UW-Oshkosh. He has been writing for most of his life, and although he's had short pieces published here and there he considers the novel to be his natural medium. His work ranges from comic adventures (like Dizzlemuck) to darker studies of death, mourning, and the loss and recapture of innocence in modern day America (such as After the Death of the Ice Cream Man). Then there are stories like Beast, as well as a diverse group of works-in-progress, some of which touch on common American themes and genres in a not-so-common way. He was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin Show last year to talk about his blog, "Wisconsin Unhuggables," which focuses on the Dairy State's lesser-loved animals, and is also the founder of the Snake Anti-Defamation League. 

BEAST is a dark and intimate novel about a man who has made a promise to care for his ill nephew… who just happens to be a werewolf. But not the kind of werewolf you might be used to. Cox’s monster is entirely human, cursed not by a gypsy but by biology, suffering from a disease that is completely organic and disturbingly real. With Beast, another writer might have focused on entirely different characters, and tell an entirely more conventional story. Cox chose to keep that conventional story in the background, and let it come in and out of focus in the reader’s mind. The result is a novel of realism and pathos, a character portrait focusing on those who love the unfortunately inflicted soul, with a depth and grit and realism not usually seen in this genre.

You can find Todd Michael Cox online on his website, toddmichaelcox.com and on Facebook.

Beast Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780984366101
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sybil Press Books - April 11th, 2014

June Melby, author of My Family and Other Hazards

A Room of One's Own is happy to host June Melby, author of My Family and Other Hazards, a charming memoir about summers spent at a small mini-golf course in Wisconsin.

June Melby is a writer and performer with an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Utne Reader, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Water~Stone Review, Versal, the LA Weekly, National Lampoon Magazine, and Kaffee.Satz.Lesen, Hamburg, Germany. Awards include Writing Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and International Artist Award and residency from the City of Hamburg Kulturbehorde (Cultural Affairs Department).

She currently lives in a log cabin in the woods with her husband and a 20 pound cat named Ferdinand Magellan.

When June Melby was ten years old, her parents decided on a whim to buy the miniature golf course in the small Wisconsin town where they vacationed every summer. Without any business experience or outside employees, the family sets out to open Tom Thumb Miniature Golf to the public. Naturally, there are bumps along the way. In My Family and Other Hazards, Melby recreates all the squabbling, confusion, and ultimately triumph, of one family’s quest to build something together, and brings to life the joys of one of America’s favorite pastimes. In sharp, funny prose, we get the hazards that taunted players at each hole, and the dedication and hard work that went into each one’s creation. All the familiar delights of summer are here—snowcones and popcorn and long days spent with people you love.

Melby’s relationship with the course is love-hate from the beginning, given the summer’s freedom it robs her of, but when her parents decide to sell the course years later, her panicked reaction surprises even her. Now an adult living in Hollywood, having flown the Midwest long ago, she flies back to the course to help run it before the sale goes through, wondering if she should try to stop it. As the clock ticks, she reflects on what the course meant to her both as a child and an adult, the simpler era that it represents, and the particular pains of losing your childhood home, even years after you’ve left it.

Learn more about June at her website, junemelby.com

My Family and Other Hazards Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780805098310
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Henry Holt & Company - July 8th, 2014

Angie Stanton, author of Royally Lost

A Room of One's Own is happy to welcome Angie Stanton for a reading and booksigning of her brand new romantic novel for young adults, Royally Lost, out May 6th from HarperCollins!

Angie Stanton never planned on writing books, she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in a rural Stoughton with her brothers' 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn't work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head she began to write them down and the rest is history.

Angie is the author of five books including Rock and a Hard Place, Snapshot, Love 'em or Leave 'em, Snowed Over, and Dream Chaser. Angie graduated with a Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a proud double finalist of the 2011 National Readers Choice Awards for Love 'em or Leave 'em, as well as a finalist for the Golden Quill Awards. She lives in Madison, WI.

Royally Lost Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062272584
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Teen - May 6th, 2014

Joshua Ferris, author of To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

A Room of One's Own is honored to welcome Joshua Ferris, author of The Unnamed, for a reading from his latest novel, To Rise Again At A Decent Hour!

With the publication of his debut novel, National Book Award finalist Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris quickly established himself as a talented new voice. With that novel came a Pen/Hemingway Award, an appearance on the Guardian First Book Award long-list, a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and inclusion on the New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of the Year.” Since then, Ferris has written a brilliant follow-up, The Unnamed, published several acclaimed short stories in The New Yorker and Granta, and was deemed one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40.” Now Ferris is back with To Rise Again At A Decent Hour, a book that will further cement his place as a one of the most talented and daring writers at work today.

Paul O’Rourke is a successful Manhattan dentist whose days at the office are punctuated with the outspoken opinions of both his receptionist (and ex-girlfriend) and his hygienist. Although Paul is as attached to his phone (or, as he calls it, his “me machine”) as the next person, he refuses to have a website for his dental practice and spurns social media.

So when a very professional and impressively detailed website for O’Rourke Dental pops up, Paul is naturally curious as to who made it. Then someone begins Tweeting in his name, and a Facebook account appears. Confusing and a little scary, sure, but the most irritating part of this invasion into his life is that the online Paul seems to be an upgraded version of the real thing. As Paul digs deeper into who has taken over his virtual identity, he find himself mired in a place between the real and virtual, between his past and his future, his identity as a loner challenged. Could he want to belong to something bigger? Or, as “Paul 2.0” seems to indicate – does he already?

With To Rise Again At A Decent Hour, readers will find themselves in a world that’s as laugh-out-loud funny as it is provocative. Joshua tackled the workplace in Then We Came to the End, and home life in The Unnamed. WithTo Rise Again At A Decent Hour, he is taking on something larger: the meanings of belief, identity, and community in an
age when those ideas are in a state of constant reinvention.

 Author photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan 

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316033978
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 13th, 2014

Then We Came to the End Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316016391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - February 1st, 2008

BOOK LAUNCH: Mary Rickert, author of The Memory Garden

A Room of One's Own is delighted to welcome Mary Rickert (familiar to science fiction fans as M. Rickert) for the book launch of her latest literary novel, The Memory Garden!

ABOUT THE BOOK: Sixteen-year-old Bay Singer doesn’t believe the rumors that her eccentric mother, Nan, is a witch. It’s just the gossip of their small New England town, Bay thinks … until two eccentric friends from Nan’s past unexpectedly appear one afternoon. The curious reunion summons haunting memories: of an oath the three women took years ago, when they were girls themselves, and the devastating secret they promised to protect. What they unearth has already claimed one life, leaving Bay wondering who are the real witches, and who is just plain wicked.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Rickert is a Nebula Award nominee, an International Horror Guild Award winner, and a multiple World Fantasy Award winner for short fiction. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher, a Disneyland balloon vendor, and at Sequoia National Park. She lives in Wisconsin, in a small city of candy shops and beautiful gardens. This is her first novel. More information can be found online at her website.

The Memory Garden Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781402297120
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - May 1st, 2014

Offsite Event: Nickolas Butler at Madison Public Library-Central

Room is delighted to be selling books at the Madison Public Library for Nickolas Butler, whose appearance is presented by the Wisconsin Book Festival!

Nick worked at a number of dead-end jobs—including at a meat packing factory. He was rejected by six writing programs before getting into the Iowa Writers Workshop—which he commuted to from Minnesota, leaving his family for weeks at a time. Eleanor Catton was a classmate. Then, he sells his first novel for a high six figure advance in a fierce auction. No one was more astounded than Nick. To tell his mom about the deal he had to call the dispatch number at the trucking firm she works for. He used the first check to pay off his wife’s student loans. He now lives on a 16 acre farm in Eau Claire, the town where he grew up and that’s fictionalized in the novel. It’s clear that he knows it inside and out. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Narrative Magazine, The Kenyon Review and elsewhere.

It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own, or struggling to do so.

One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—between the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.

Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler’s hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book—a novel that once read will never be forgotten.

See more at the Wisconsin Book Festival website!

Shotgun Lovesongs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250039811
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - March 11th, 2014

Judith Gwinn Adrian, author of In Warm Blood

A Room of One's Own welcomes Judith Gwinn Adrian, co-author of the book In Warm Blood with DarRen Morris. She will be joined by Opal Tomashevska and Derek Johnson, who will give spoken word presentations on the book and Al Felice, who will read some of DarRen's words.

About the Book: In this fictionalized biography, Judy and DarRen share stories of privilege and prison, hurt and heart: epistolary accounts of two people raised in the parallel universes of southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. After serving three months on a fifteen year sentence, Judy’s father’s privilege allowed him to become a physician and medical researcher. Some of his subsequent research involved human experimentation with prisoners. And DarRen, at age 17, was sentenced to life in prison, with a first possible parole date set at 100 years. He has now served more than half of his life in Wisconsin maximum security prisons, becoming a Rastafarian and a uniquely talented artist.

Author's bios: DarRen Morris

 

Seventeen. That was my age when I was sentenced and I have now served more than half of my life in maximum security Wisconsin prisons.
My sentence? Life in prison. My crime? I was party to the unintentional death of an innocent man. Although I was involved in this death, I am not a murderer. I know this in my heart, in my regret for this loss of life.

I am an artist. I paint and donate my works of art. In the years to come I want to create art that will help save youth from making thoughtless choices. I also want to create art that will help you on the outside understand what we face on the inside – the very real need for prison reform in Wisconsin and elsewhere – the very real need to involve more people in working toward prisoner rehabilitation rather than punishment. Most of us on the inside are both perpetrators and victims. Hurt people hurt people.

Judith Gwinn Adrian

I teach undergraduate and graduate classes at Edgewood College, Madison, WI, and support the work toward holistic alternatives to incarceration. When I completed my Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993) in adult education, I understood that adult learning is about change and about the belief that all of us continue to grow throughout our lifespans (and beyond…who knows).

In Warm Blood (Color Edition: Prison & Privilege, Hurt & Heart Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781595982728
Availability: Special Order
Published: HenschelHAUS Publishing - December 15th, 2013

Lori DiPrete Brown, author of Caminata

For many Peace Corps Volunteers, service defines their future. Whether it is working in a small village in Africa, an indigenous community in Central America, or a city in China, the people and the work have an impact.
A Room of One's Own is pleased to work with The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison, with the UW Global Health Institute and the UW Division of International Studies, to co-sponsor a book reading and signing by local member and author Lori DiPrete Brown.
Ms. DiPrete Brown's novel Caminata: A Journey is really the story of four journeys. The book tells the story of Beth Pellegrino, a young woman who goes to Honduras to help the orphaned girls of La Casa de los Niños. In the course of her work, Beth accompanies four of the girls on a journey, or "caminata," to their birthplaces. Each of the journeys takes the reader to a different Honduran landscape, from a coffee plantation, to a rural town where people make their living from basket weaving, to unexplored caves among Mayan Ruins. Their journeys explore different aspects of motherlessness, identity, and coming of age, charting a sometimes-painful path toward self-realization — not only for the girls, but for Beth herself.
Lori DiPrete Brown served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, where she worked in a home for orphaned and abandoned teenage girls. Her experiences accompanying the girls in her care on their journeys to find their birth mothers provided the inspiration for this novel. She is a graduate of Yale and holds graduate degrees in public health and theology from Harvard. She studied writing at Yale and at the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival. Currently, she leads global health education programs for the UW-Madison Global Health Institute, and serves as an advisor to the Peace Corps and other global health organizations. She lives in Madison with her husband and three children, and is a Benedictine Oblate of the Holy Wisdom Monastery. Her writing interests focus on spirituality, social justice, and personal transformation.
The public is invited. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided.

$11.99
SKU: 9780615863818

Brian Kimberling, author of Snapper

About the author. . .

Brian Kimberling grew up in southern Indiana and spent two years working as a professional birdwatcher before living in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Mexico, and now England. He received an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University in 2010.

 

About the book. . .

A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.
 
Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays”; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.

Snapper Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780345803368
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books - March 11th, 2014

Lorrie Moore, author of Bark

Lorrie Moore, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs,was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

A new collection of stories by one of America’s most beloved and admired short-story writers, her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America (“Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial . . . Will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review, cover). These eight masterly stories reveal Lorrie Moore at her most mature and in a perfect configuration of craft, mind, and bewitched spirit, as she explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom.

In “Debarking,” a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the United States prepares to invade Iraq, and against this ominous moment, we see—in all its irresistible wit and darkness—the perils of divorce and what can follow in its wake . . .

In “Foes,” a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest themselves at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown . . . In “The Juniper Tree,” a teacher visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend is forced to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a kind of nightmare reunion . . . And in “Wings,” we watch the inevitable unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, neither of whom held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths, as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead-ends-ville and the workings of regret . . .

Here are people beset, burdened, buoyed; protected by raising teenage children; dating after divorce; facing the serious illness of a longtime friend; setting forth on a romantic assignation abroad, having it interrupted mid-trip, and coming to understand the larger ramifications and the impossibility of the connection . . . stories that show people coping with large dislocation in their lives, with risking a new path to answer the desire to be in relation—to someone . . .

Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud—the hallmark of life in Lorrie-Moore-land.

Photo credit: Zane Williams

Bark: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307594136
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - February 25th, 2014

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