June Melby, author of My Family and Other Hazards

Event date: 
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 6:30pm

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

Event address: 
315 W. Gorham St.
53703-2218 Madison
My Family and Other Hazards Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780805098310
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Henry Holt & Company - July 8th, 2014