Though the BIG event for the Wisconsin Book Festival happens in the fall, the Fest goes on all year and there are some great events coming up on the next few weeks. Two of which are next week.
Wednesday, January 31, 7 pm
Central Library - Community Rooms, 3rd floor
Dara Horn will discuss her novel, Eternal Life.
In Eternal Life Rachel has an unusual problem: she can’t die. Her recent troubles – widowhood, a failing business, an unemployed middle-aged son – are only the latest. She has already put up with scores of marriages and hundreds of children, over 2,000 years – ever since she made a spiritual bargain to save the life of her first son back in Roman-occupied Jerusalem. There’s only one person in the world who understands: a man she once loved passionately, who has been stalking her for centuries, convinced that they belong together forever. In 2018, as her children and grandchildren develop new technologies for immortality, Rachel knows she must enable her beloved offspring to live fully – without her, but with meaning – by finding a way for herself to die. Gripping, hilarious, and profoundly moving, Eternal Life celebrates the bonds between generations, the power of faith, the purpose of death, and the reasons for being alive.
Thursday, February 1, 7 pm
Central Library - Madison Room, 3rd floor
Ada Limon will read from and discuss her latest collection of poetry, Bright Dead Things
Presented in partnership with the UW Program in Creative Writing, Ada Limón reads for her latest collection of poetry. Bright Dead Things examines the chaos that is life, the dangerous thrill of living in a world you know you have to leave one day, and the search to find something that is ultimately "disorderly, and marvelous, and ours."
A book of bravado and introspection, of 21st century feminist swagger and harrowing terror and loss, this fourth collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact--tracing in intimate detail the various ways the speaker's sense of self both shifts and perseveres as she moves from New York City to rural Kentucky, loses a dear parent, ages past the capriciousness of youth, and falls in love. Limon has often been a poet who wears her heart on her sleeve, but in these extraordinary poems that heart becomes a "huge beating genius machine" striving to embrace and understand the fullness of the present moment. "I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying," the poet writes. Building on the legacies of forebears such as Frank O'Hara, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty, Limon's work is consistently generous and accessible--though every observed moment feels complexly thought, felt, and lived.
So if you missed out in the fall or just like to hear about books all year round, here's your ongoing chance.