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Thursday April 24, 2014

A Room of One's Own is delighted to join Community Pharmacy, Red Rock Saloon, Madison Sole, the Fanny Garver Gallery, Anthology and other local downtown businesses in Thrify Thursday!

Stop by on Thursday, April 24th to get a jump on our weekend-long Anniversary Sale! We are giving 15% discounts on all in-store purchases. 

And while you're downtown, why not check out the deals on offer with other local businesses? Feel good about keeping your dollars in your community and take advantage of some savings while you're at it!

Start: 04/24/2014 6:00 pm

Sure to be one of the most provocative and timely books you’ll read all year, IMAGINE: Living In a Socialist USA is a ground-breaking anthology of original essays that seek to right the misconceptions and fears about socialism by describing what it would look like in the USA and the better, more just society that could accompany it. This topic couldn’t be more urgent.

Capitalism is clearly broken, perhaps even on the brink of collapse. This is the right book at what is clearly the right time. The book paints a portrait of the many facets of life in a socialist society through a series of ruminations by prominent thinkers, activists, and artists, including Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore’s proposal for how to effectively continue the Occupy Wall Street movement; incarcerated journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal’s look at alternative systems to capitalist injustice; New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez’s argument that immigrant workers have already proven that socialism provides a better life; and attorney Michael Ratner, who is representing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in the United States, explaining the steps he would take as attorney general, which include refusing to enforce criminal prosecution of undocumented immigrants and Internet activists like Assange, as well as ending all FBI surveillance measures. Other essays touch on the topics of gender equality in the workplace, an end to the war on drugs, how the arts and education would thrive in a socialist system, and, above all, make a case for how and why a socialist U.S.A could lead to a better world.

Author Bio FRANCES GOLDIN heard the word “socialist” when she was 18 and met her husband-to-be, Morris Goldin. It sounded like a great idea! She got married at 20, her activism started, and it hasn’t stopped yet, at age 89. She founded a literary agency almost 40 years ago, and it’s still going strong, favoring books that help change the world. She is not just a living legend, but an American institution.

DEBBY SMITH has worked full-time for the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Kent State Legal Defense Fund, and in the feminist, union, and socialist movements. She participates in the anti-
capitalist and pro-democracy movements that are growing so rapidly in the United States and worldwide.

MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH is a New York City attorney and author. His most recent book, written with Michael Ratner, is Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away with Murder. He cohosts the radio show “Law and Disorder” on WBAI-FM with Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian. He lives with his wife, Debby, and talking parrot, Charlie Parker.

Sunday April 27, 2014
Start: 04/27/2014 2:00 pm

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.

Sunday May 04, 2014
Start: 05/04/2014 2:00 pm

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).

Tuesday May 06, 2014
Start: 05/06/2014 7:00 pm

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!

Thursday May 08, 2014
Start: 05/08/2014 6:00 pm

A Room of One's Own is delighted to welcome local author Anaea Lay, winner of the Writers of the Future contest for her short story "These Walls of Despair", for a reading in celebration her success and of the release of this year's anthology of Writers of the Future winners!

A natural city girl raised in deep ruralia, Anaea Lay currently lives is Madison, Wisconsin where she sells real estate under a different name and collects jobs the way the internet collects cats. When she isn't advising clients on how well a potential home can be defended during the zombie apocalypse, she can be found running the Strange Horizons podcast, writing reviews for Publisher's Weekly, waxing poetic on the virtues of well-resourced management board games, or chasing the perfect recipe for the perfect cup of hot chocolate. Her short fiction has appeared in places such as Lightspeed, Apex, Daily Science Fiction and Waylines. Her long fiction on currently looking for a home. Anaea can be found online with her blog at

Celebrate New Writers, New Winners, New Worlds in Writers of the Future: Volume 30
This is your window into incredible worlds of wizardry, warfare and wonder. This is your escape into fantastic realms of the human mind lurking just beyond your imagination…and reaching deep into your wildest dreams. This is your ticket to tomorrow. Celebrate the future of science fiction and fantasy…now.

Friday May 09, 2014
Start: 05/09/2014 6:00 am
Monday May 12, 2014
Start: 05/12/2014 6:00 pm

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.

Thursday May 15, 2014
Start: 05/15/2014 6:30 pm

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.

Friday May 16, 2014
Start: 05/16/2014 7:00 pm

A Room of One's Own is happy to participate in the launch party for Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore for their new book The Artist's Library. Presented by the Wisconsin Book Festival and held at the Madison Public LIbrary - Central Library, don't miss your chance to learn more about the Library as Incubator project and meet Erinn and Laura, the Bubbler's Artists in Residence for May & June!

Creativity, like information, is free to everyone who steps into a library. An offshoot of the Library as Incubator Project, The Artist’s Library offers that an artist is any person who uses creative tools to make new things, and provides the guidance and resources to make libraries come alive as spaces for art-making and cultural engagement. The book draws attention to the physical and digital collections and resources that may be of particular use to artists and writers, provides ideas for art education opportunities within libraries, and offers practical how-tos for artists and libraries alike. From the crafty (pop-up books) to the community-minded (library galleries); the documentary (photo projects) to the technically complex (“listening” to libraries via Dewey decimal frequencies), the case studies included in the book feature artists, writers, performers, and libraries that embody the “library as incubator” spirit.


Find out more at the Madison Public Library's website

Tuesday May 20, 2014
Start: 05/20/2014 6:00 pm

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 

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