Upcoming Events

Friday, October 18, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Mill City Reading Series: October 2019

The Mill City Reading Series is back for its fall 2019 session! The series is a monthly showcase of works in progress by MFA in Creative Writing students at the University of Minnesota.

For more information visit their Facebook page.

As always, this event is free and open to the public!

Saturday, October 19, 3:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

McDuff Moves In Story Time, with special guests Gryphon Press and Underdog Rescue

Celebrate the reissue of a beloved picture book with Gryphon Press!

McDuff is back in a new edition to delight a new generation of readers.

Set in the 1930s, a little dog bounces out of a dogcatcher’s truck one night and searches the neighborhood looking for a home. Fred and Lucy, a young couple, take him in, and bathe and feed him, but decide they are too busy to keep him. After they set out for the dog pound, they realize that they can’t give him away.

At home again, during a late night celebration of adoption, they name him McDuff after their favorite brand of shortbread biscuit.

Representatives from Gryphon Press will read the book aloud, and we will also have special guests from Underdog Rescue on hand! Learn about adoptable dogs in the area, and maybe even meet a few furry new friends!

Sunday, October 20, 6:00pm LynLake Brewery (2934 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408)

Atlas Obscura Trivia for the World’s Most Adventurous Explorers!

Join Atlas Obscura co-author Dylan Thuras and Magers & Quinn Booksellers for a unique interactive trivia event, on Sunday, October 20, at 6:00pm at LynLake Brewery.

Trivia begins at 7:00pm, and will feature questions about travel and marvelous places all over the world. Prizes will go to the top teams. Participants who purchase a copy of Atlas Obscura: 2nd Edition, receive $1 off a beer.

Atlas Obscura is here to find the greatest, most knowledgeable adventure nerds among you. Join us at LynLake Brewery as we celebrate the release of ATLAS OBSCURA, 2nd Edition: An Explorer’s Guide To The World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton, with a night of trivia and stories about the most unusual, curious, bizarre, and mysterious places on earth. Co-author Dylan Thuras will lead you through a unique night of travel and location-themed trivia.

With over 100 new entries and dozens of new photographs in this edition, the Atlas Obscura authors invite guests to come and test their knowledge of the wondrous and far-flung corners of the earth, hear amazing stories of unusual locations, and win prizes in this interactive trivia event. From the location of the world’s largest glow worm colony to the number of human corpses decorating the... well, we've said too much already! Come answer questions with Atlas Obscura about geography, history, the world’s hidden wonders, and win the glory and the prizes you so rightly deserve.

Dylan Thuras is the cofounder and creative director of atlasobscura.com.

Monday, October 21, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Clara Parkes presents Vanishing Fleece

Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool is a fast-paced account of the year Clara Parkes spent transforming a 676-pound bale of fleece into saleable yarn, and the people and vanishing industry she discovered along the way.

On this cross-country adventure, readers will meet a cast of characters that include the shepherds, dyers, and countless workers without whom our knitting needles would be empty, our mills idle, and our feet woefully cold. Travel the country with Parkes as she meets a flock of Saxon Merino sheep in upstate New York, tours a scouring plant in Texas, visits a steamy Maine dyehouse, helps sort freshly shorn wool on a working farm,
and learns how wool fleece is measured, bales, shipped and turned into skeins.

In pursuit of the perfect yarn, Parkes describes a brush with the dangers of opening a bale (they can explode), and her trip from Maine to Wisconsin and back again. Readers get a behind-the-scenes look at the process and players in all things wool, and also discover what was once was a thriving American industry is now woefully in decline.

Vanishing Fleece is a travel guide seen through the lens of wool, while telling an inspiring story about American culture.

Author of six books, including the New York Times bestselling Knitlandia, Clara Parkes has dedicated her life to figuring our what makes yarn tick and finding the right words to write about it. Through her writings, workshops and appearances, Clara champions the notion of paying closer attention to what you knit and where it came from. She lives in Portland, Maine.

Tuesday, October 22, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Markus Zusak presents Bridge of Clay

Markus Zusak will read and sign his novel Bridge of Clay. All ages welcome!

Bridge of Clay, a novel thirteen years in the writing from beloved international bestselling author Markus Zusak, is the breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. At the center of the family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

“Thirteen years is probably long enough between books, but Bridge of Clay was never meant to be easy. It’s a boy in search of a miracle, and that’s how I feel about finishing,” says Zusak. “Every book we write means something to us, but sometimes it comes to mean everything—and Bridge of Clay, for me, is that latter type: the book you have to fight for, but is all the more rewarding. I hope readers will enjoy spending time with the Dunbar boys, and all their raucous habits—but it’s Clay I feel for most, and his attempt to build that bridge of his, and find a way back home.”

This unforgettable story is sure to resonate with all readers, who will finish astonished by this truly moving portrait of an unconventional family over generations—a family that includes one murderer, one broken-nosed bride, one mule, and five brothers. Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.

Markus Zusak is the author of the extraordinary international bestseller The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, an LA Times Book Award Finalist and Printz Award Honor book. The Book Thief was named one of the best books of 2006 by many publications and received glowing reviews in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, People, and USA Today. Markus lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children. You can follow him online at zusakbooks.com, on Facebook at @MarkusZusak, and on Instagram at @markuszusak.

Thursday, October 24, 7:00pm Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church (511 Groveland Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton & Chelsea Clinton: The Gutsy Women Tour (SOLD OUT)

Join Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton as they celebrate the women who have inspired them throughout their lives. THE BOOK OF GUTSY WOMEN: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience is the first book that Secretary Clinton and Chelsea have written together, and they are excited to welcome readers into a conversation they began having when Chelsea was a little girl. Join them as they discuss the women throughout history who have had the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

Inspired by women whose tenacity blazed the trail, the two global leaders lay out a vision for how these stories of persistence can galvanize women and men, boys and girls around the world. There’s Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist whose Asperger’s syndrome has shaped her advocacy. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad, who each kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, historian Mary Beard, who used wit to open doors that were once closed, and activists like Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai, who looked fear in the face and persevered. And so many more.

This groundbreaking celebration of gutsiness is a call to action – not just for women, but for all of us, especially now. The authors write, “Ensuring the rights, opportunities, and full participation of women and girls remains a big piece of unfinished business of the twenty-first century. Finishing it is going to take all of us standing shoulder to shoulder, across the generations, across genders. This is not a moment for anyone to leave the fight, or sit on the sidelines waiting for the perfect moment to join.”

All tickets to the GUTSY WOMEN Tour include a copy of THE BOOK OF GUTSY WOMEN.

Tickets are sold out, and the waitlist is currently full.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. She served as the 67th Secretary of State after nearly four decades in public service advocating on behalf of children and families as an attorney, First Lady, and US Senator. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Chelsea Clinton is a champion for girls and women through her advocacy, writing, and work at the Clinton Foundation. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She lives in New York City with her husband, their children, and their dog.

Thursday, October 24, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Ryan O'Callaghan presents My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life

Ryan O’Callaghan’s plan was always to play football and then, when his career was over, kill himself. Growing up in a politically conservative corner of California, the not-so-subtle messages he heard as a young man from his family and from TV and film routinely equated being gay with disease and death. Letting people in on the darkest secret he kept buried inside was not an option, and it never would be. Better death with a secret than life as a gay man.

As a big kid toppling opponents in high school, Ryan never envisioned just how far his football career would take him. He was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley, where he spent five seasons, playing alongside his friend Aaron Rodgers and eventually winning the Morris Trophy. Then it was on to the NFL for stints with the almost-undefeated New England Patriots—where he was tasked with keeping MVP QB Tom Brady on his feet—and the often-defeated Kansas City Chiefs.

Bubbling under the surface of Ryan’s entire NFL career was a collision course between his secret sexuality and his hidden drug use. When the league caught him smoking pot, he turned to NFL-sanctioned prescription painkillers that quickly sent his life into a tailspin. As injuries mounted and his daily intake of opioids reached a near-lethal level, he wrote his suicide note to his parents and plotted his death. It was only after a member of his NFL team's organization recognized O’Callaghan's struggle with an opioid addiction that Ryan was urged to seek help, and through this therapy, he was able to come to terms with his identity as a gay man — and live to tell his story.

Ryan O'Callaghan played right tackle in the NFL for six seasons, with the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. O’Callaghan is the creator of a foundation designed to provide scholarships for out LGBTQ athletes. He currently lives in his hometown of Redding, California.

Sunday, October 27, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

J.N. Monk and Harry Bogosian present Topside, with Blue Delliquanti and T. L. Blauersouth

J.N. Monk and Harry Bogosian will present their new book, Topside, with fellow writers and artists Blue Delliquanti and Lee Blauersouth. Books from all authors will be for sale.

About Topside: When Jo, a headstrong maintenance technician, makes an error that destabilizes her planet's core, she knows only one way to fix things: leaving her underground home for a trip to the planet's dangerous, unruly surface. Soon she's wandering through deserts, riding on the backs of giant beasts, and cutting deals with con artists and bounty hunters. Meanwhile, agents of the core are in hot pursuit. J. N. Monk and Harry Bogosian (co-creators of the web-comic StarHammer) present a wild outer-space fantasy about fixing your mistakes and the friends you meet along the way.

J. N. Monk is a Midwesterner with a song in their heart. They've lived in a lighthouse, an active volcano, and Florida but always return to the heartland. They love travel, superheroes, food, and cats and wish that everyone knew the lyrics and steps to the musical number in their soul. They live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Harry Bogosian is a freelance Illustrator and comic artist from New York City. Since graduating Pratt Institute in 2009 he has drawn monsters for video game companies, done freelance work for books, and nowadays primarily makes comics and graphic novels. There is nothing he enjoys more than making new fantastical worlds, and filling them with his creations

Lee Blauersouth is an author, artist and therapist living and working in St Paul. Their writing is informed by what they've learned about trauma, family and coping from being a therapist, as well as their experiences as a queer, disabled creator with a wonderful community.

Blue Delliquanti is a comic artist and writer based in Minneapolis. Blue is the co-creator of Meal (with Soleil Ho) and the creator of the graphic novel O Human Star, which has been serialized online since 2012.

Tuesday, October 29, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Harmon Leon presents Tribespotting: Undercover Cult(ure) Stories

Legendary infiltration journalist Harmon Leon has gone undercover again and returned with a new book. Gentleman cartoonist Keith Knight provides popular comics that enhance Leon's enlightening narrative.

The United States is a divided country, where two disparate tribes fight to provoke, condemn, and defeat the other. In Tribespotting: Undercover Cult(ure) Stories, Harmon Leon dives directly into the eye of the tribal storm, drastically changing his look and attitude as he goes undercover in an exploration of tribal behavior and its many manifestations in modern culture.

Employing the same inimitable style that he honed while infiltrating extremist groups, Leon introduces readers to a series of vastly different tribes, including a gathering of five thousand assault weapons fanatics, a clan of white supremacists who recruit at Applebee’s, a contingency of freegans digging through trash for gourmet food, a meeting of cult members who stare at their leader’s handsome face, and more.

Some of these tribes engage in harmless, hobby-loving fellowship while others revolve around the adulation of charismatic celebrities. Some of these tribes strive to uplift the individual via religious enlightenment, and a few are actually full-blown cults. But at the root of all these different tribes lies the same psychological need—the desire to be around like-minded people.

With that in mind ... LET'S DO SOME TRIBESPOTTING!

Harmon Leon is a journalist, comedian, and filmmaker. He is the author of seven previous books, including Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America. Leon’s writing can be found in Vice, The Nation, The Observer, Esquire, Ozy, National Geographic, The Guardian, Wired, and more. He has appeared on This American Life, The Howard Stern Show, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, Last Call with Carson Daly, MSNBC, and the BBC and has performed his critically-acclaimed solo comedy shows at venues around the world, including The Edinburgh Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, and Montreal’s Just for Laughs. Leon is the producer of a recent Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival and the host of a popular podcast: Comedy History 101. Visit him online at www.harmonleon.com.

Keith Knight is many things to many people-rapper, social activist, father, and educator among them. He’s also one of the funniest and most highly regarded cartoonists in America and the creator of three popular comic strips: The Knight Life, (th)ink, and The K Chronicles. For nearly two decades, Knight, a multi-award-winning artist, has brought the funny back to the funny pages with a uniquely personal style that’s a cross between Calvin & Hobbes, MAD, and underground comix. Knight is part of a  generation of African-American artists who were raised on hip-hop and infuse their work with urgency, edge, humor, satire, politics, and race. His art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including the Washington Post, Daily KOS, San Francisco Chronicle, Medium.com, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, L.A. Weekly, MAD, and Funny Times. Find his work online at www.kchronicles.com.

Sunday, November 3, 5:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Janiva Magness presents Weeds Like Us

In Weeds Like Us, readers discover the many difficult battles Magness fought before her music career blossomed. She talks about how her childhood traversed violence, bullying, incest, addiction and alcoholism, rape, clinical depression, and the death of her parents. An inspiring story, Weeds Like Us articulates how Magness survived beyond her own understanding and has come out the other side to a life truly worth living. Her traumatic experiences have served not only her music, but also the cathartic telling of her poignant story in print.

Since the ’80s, multi award-winning, Grammy-nominated Janiva Magness has built an impressive career in American roots music, brick by hard-earned brick. Today, her albums rise to the top of Billboard’s roots, Americana and Blues radio charts. Only the second woman to receive the Blues Foundation’s B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award, Magness has, indeed, earned a place in the history of American music.

Monday, November 4, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

A reading with Trebor Healey and Raymond Luczak

Authors Trebor Healey and Raymond Luczak present their latest works, Falling and Flannelwood.

About Falling: In award-winning author Trebor Healey’s newest collection, characters lose their way, figuratively and literally, and confront the profound displacement of modern life. These are stories of hard-won redemption and transformation — a widower who finds meaning adopting refugee children, a painter who reconnects with his son after losing everything, a nun victimized and haunted by state terror, and a peripatetic gay man in utter despair and fatigue who finally bonds with his dying father.

In Healey’s skilled hands, there is a flicker of hope in the hopeless, a way forward in the pathless wood, and a bridge — though rickety and swaying — across even the most harrowing chasm.

Together, these vignettes cover a dizzying breadth of the human experience. From a contemporary reimagination of the life of Evita Perón with a gay man in the starring role to the story of an abandoned building full of ghosts in the center of Mexico City, this collection suggests other ways of seeing in a world overburdened by history.

Trebor Healey is the recipient of a Lambda Literary award, two Publishing Triangle awards and a Violet Quill award. He is the author of three novels, A Horse Named Sorrow, Faun and Through It Came Bright Colors; a book of poetry, Sweet Son of Pan; and two previous collections of stories, A Perfect Scar and Eros & Dust. He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic.

About Flannelwood: Spontaneous combustion occurs when Bill, a forty-year-old barista and a failed poet, meets James, a disabled factory worker and a daddy hunk, at an OctoBear Dance.

For six months they share weekends of incredible passion at James’s house up north in the country. Winter has never seemed hotter in their flannel sheets. But on the first day of spring James abruptly informs Bill over the phone that it’s not going to work out and hangs up. No further explanation: just the static of silence.

Feeling haunted like Djuna Barnes while she wrote her novel Nightwood in the 1930s, Bill searches for answers in his recollections of James and others who’d departed too early from his life. When he does discover why James left, the answer comes from a mysterious stranger with secrets of his own.

Raymond Luczak (pronounced with a silent "c") is best known for his books, films, and plays. He was raised in Ironwood, a small mining town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Number seven in a family of nine children, he lost much of his hearing due to double pneumonia at the age of eight months.

After high school graduation, Luczak went on to Gallaudet University, in Washington, D.C., where he earned a B.A. in English, graduating magna cum laude. He learned American Sign Language (ASL) and became involved with the deaf community, and won numerous scholarships in recognition of his writing, including the Ritz-Paris Hemingway Scholarship. He took various writing courses at other schools in the area, which culminated in winning a place in the Jenny McKean Moore Fiction Workshop at the George Washington University.

In 1988, he moved to New York City. In short order, his play Snooty won first place in the New York Deaf Theater’s 1990 Samuel Edwards Deaf Playwrights Competition, and his essay "Notes of a Deaf Gay Writer" won acceptance as a cover story for Christopher Street magazine. Soon after Alyson Publications asked him to edit Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay & Lesbian Reader, which, after its appearance in June 1993, eventually nabbed two Lambda Literary Award finalist nominations (Best Lesbian and Gay Anthology, and Best Small Press Book). He hasn't stopped since!

In 2005, he relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he continues to write, edit, and publish.

Tuesday, November 5, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Poetry Reading with Sharon Chmielarz, Donna Isaac, Dore Kiesselbach, and Ethna McKiernan

Join us for an evening with four talented poets and writers, celebrating their recent publications!

Sharon Chmielarz's latest, twelfth, book of poetry is The J Horoscope, 2019.  Previous books have been finalists for the Independent Book Publishers Award, Midwest Book Awards, National Poetry Series, and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Kirkus Review named her The Widow’s House one of the 100 Best Books of 2016.

Donna Isaac is a teaching artist who organizes community readings in the Twin Cities. Published work includes a poetry book, Footfalls (Pocahontas Press); two chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press); Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks); and work in journals. Persistence of Vision, a chapbook about love of movies, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, November 2019.

Dore Kiesselbach has published two collections in the Pitt Poetry Series, Albatross (2017) and Salt Pier (2012).  His honors include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award, and Britain’s Bridport Prize in poetry.  His work has appeared in Agni, Boulevard, Field, Plume, Poetry, and other purveyors of craft or sullen art. 

Ethna McKiernan has twice been awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her first book was nominated for the MN Book Award and she earned her MFA from Warren WIlson Program for Writers. McKiernan works for a non-profit serving the Minneapolis homeless population. Her most recent book is Swimming with Shadows.

Wednesday, November 6, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Jaquira Díaz presents Ordinary Girls, in conversation with Anika Fajardo

Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be. With a story reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Roxane Gay’s Hunger, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz delivers a memoir that reads as electrically as a novel.

Jaquira Díaz’s work has been included in The Best American Essays, and she is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Kenyon Review, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a visiting assistant professor in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work appears in Rolling Stone, the Guardian, the Fader, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and other publications.

Anika Fajardo is the author of Magical Realism for Non-Believers. She was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. Her writing has been published in the anthologies Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction and Sky Blue Water: Great Stories for Young Readers. She has earned awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Loft Literary Center. The manuscript for Magical Realism for Non-Believers was a finalist for the Bakeless Literary Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Minneapolis.

Thursday, November 7, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Wendy Swallow presents Searching for Nora

At the end of Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer sets off on a journey that takes her from the streets of 1880s Norway to the harsh Minnesota prairie in search of love, purpose, and an honest life. Years later, young Solvi escapes her family’s bourgeois conformity to unlock the mysteries of her grandfather’s hidden shame and the fate of a lost feminist heroine.

Wendy Swallow writes about women’s challenges, now and in the tender past. A memoirist, journalist and professor, Swallow spent ten years working on Searching for Nora, traveling to Norway to interview Norwegian historians and Ibsen scholars, and driving across western Minnesota to hear the stories of immigrant grandparents and experience the wide, empty land. She is also the author of Breaking Apart: A Memoir of Divorce (Hyperion/Thea, 2001) and The Triumph of Love over Experience: A Memoir of Remarriage (Hyperion, 2004).

Monday, November 11, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Tommy Pico presents Feed, in conversation with Patrick Nathan

Feed is the fourth book in the Teebs tetralogy. It's an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York's High Line park, with the lines, stanzas, paragraphs, dialogue, and registers approximating the park's cultivated gardens of wilderness. Among its questions, Feed asks what's the difference between being alone and being lonely? Can you ever really be friends with an ex? How do you make the perfect mac & cheese? Feed is an ode of reconciliation to the wild inconsistencies of a northeast spring, a frustrating season of back-and-forth, of thaw and blizzard, but with a faith that even amidst the mess, it knows where it's going.

Tommy "Teebs" Pico is the author of the books IRL, Nature Poem, Junk and Feed. He's been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the Lamba Literary Foundation, the Poetry Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Brooklyn Public Library. He co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Patrick Nathan’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Boulevard, Real Life, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Some Hell is his first novel. He lives in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, November 13, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Susannah Cahalan presents The Great Pretender

For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness - how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is?  In search of an answer, in the 1970s a distinguished Stanford University psychologist named David Rosenhan organized a study where he and seven other people -- sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society -- went undercover and had themselves committed to asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry's labels.

Forced to remain inside until they'd "proven" themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan's watershed study – “On Being Sane in Insane Places” -- broke open the field of psychiatry, helping to close down institutions and changing mental health diagnoses forever.

But, as Susannah Cahalan's explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today?  In THE GREAT PRETENDER, Cahalan investigates through interviews with David Rosenhan’s colleagues and peers, searches for the anonymous participants or “pseudo-patients,” uncovers new never-reported material and information, and ultimately unravels the mystery surrounding Rosenhan’s research by shedding new light for the first time on the findings reported in his landmark study. 

Since her bestselling memoir Brain on Fire, where she chronicles her own struggles with modern medicine after being misdiagnosed with a serious mental illness, author and journalist Susannah Cahalan has become a leading voice on the treatment of mental illness in America. Brain on Fire has sold over a million copies, spent 52 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a feature film. 

Thursday, November 14, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Louis Jenkins presents Where Your House Is Now

Louis Jenkins has been charming readers with his subtle, curious, curmudgeonly, and Quixotic prose poems for decades. It might be late-night ruminations about the plumbing, a bear wandering aimlessly downtown, a fishing lure so grotesque it couldn’t possibly attract a fish, a row of spindly poplars in a field, or a visit to long-lost relatives in Norway. Given any situation or observation, Jenkins will follow the thread until it peters out, then veers in an entirely new but strangely logical direction, arriving, in the end, at some new, unexpected, and often hilarious truth. In Where Your House Is Now, Jenkins has combined the best of his earlier work with an entirely new set of poems that make it clear he has not lost his knack for uncovering the mysterious and bizarre beneath the quotidian experiences of Minnesota life.

Louis Jenkins’ poems have appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies. He has published ten collections of poetry. He was awarded two Bush Foundation Fellowships for poetry, a Loft-McKnight fellowship, and was the 2000 George Morrison Award winner. Mr. Jenkins has read his poetry on A Prairie Home Companion and was a featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 1996 and at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Aldeburgh, England in 2007.

A play, Nice Fish, based on his poems, premiered April 6, 2013, at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. A revised version was performed at American Repertory Theater in Boston (Jan-Feb 2016) where, thanks to Academy Award-winning actor Mark Rylance and Claire Van Kampen, Mr. Jenkins got a chance to attempt acting. It was a short-lived career. The play later opened at The Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End, where it ran until February 12, 2017. In March 2017 Nice Fish was nominated for an Olivier award as Best New Comedy of 2017.

Thursday, November 21, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)

Sci-Fi Night with Sue Burke, Naomi Kritzer, and Marissa Lingen

Sue Burke's sweeping SF Semiosis epic continues in Interference as the colonists and a team from Earth confront a new and more implacable intelligence. Over two hundred years after the first colonists landed on Pax, a new set of explorers arrives from Earth on what they claim is a temporary scientific mission.

But the Earthlings misunderstand the nature of the Pax settlement and its real leader. Even as Stevland attempts to protect his human tools, a more insidious enemy than the Earthlings makes itself known...Stevland is not the apex species on Pax.

Sue Burke spent many years working as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines. A Clarion workshop alumnus, Burke has published more than thirty short stories in addition to working extensively as a literary translator. She lives in Chicago.

Naomi Kritzer has been making friends online since her teens, when she had to use a modem to dial up at 2400 baud. She is a writer and blogger who has published a number of short stories and novels for adults, including the Eliana's Song duology and the Dead Rivers Trilogy. Her 2015 short story “Cat Pictures Please” won the Hugo Award and Locus Award and was a finalist for the Nebula. Naomi lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her family and four cats. The number of cats is subject to change without notice.

Marissa Lingen is the author of more than 100 short science fiction and fantasy stories. Her work has appeared in Nature, Analog, Uncanny, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many more. She lives with her family in the south suburbs.