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Butler Visiting Writers Series Spring 2013

January 21, 2013 by Reader's Connection

The Spring 2013 season of Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series begins on the 31st of this month. Thanks again to Butler for this gift. All programs are free and open to the public.

Click on the authors’ names to see their holdings at IndyPL.

Chuck Klosterman
Thursday, January 31
Reilly Room, Atherton Union
7:30 p.m.

The Visible Man  (2011)

The Visible Man

As his fans know, Klosterman writes quirky, edgy, disturbing, and yet quite funny material, and his newest is no exception. A man contacts Austin, Texas, therapist Victoria Vick, insisting that he is unique and that his personal situation is unlike anything she has ever come across. In order for her to accept him as a patient, she must agree to several conditions, most significantly that they conduct their sessions over the telephone. We soon learn that the mysterious Y—- is a scientist who is able to make himself invisible. His desire, he tells her, is to study people when they are alone and, thus, at their most honest. The story turns darker, and creepier, as the therapist learns more about Y—- and as their relationship changes . . . Klosterman has fashioned a compelling and exceedingly entertaining page-turner of a novel that touches on various aspects of popular culture, from the pervasive influence of the media on our day-to-day lives to the role of science in society to such basic issues as what constitutes identity and reality. — Booklist

 

Major Jackson
Monday, February 4
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
7:30 p.m.

Holding Company (2010)

Holding Company

“I now seek gardens where bodies have their will,/ where the self is a compass point given to the lost./ Let me call your name; the ground here is soft & broken.” Jackson invites readers into a series of ten-line lyrics, most of which are accentuated, nearly iambic, and often use internal and end rhymes. Almost a sonnet, this short form works well as a container and offers readers a narrative sequence in which one poem fittingly follows another, detailing love lost and found and the confounding territory between . . . These poems are passionate, urgent, and lonely. “All we want is to succumb to a single kiss/ that will contain us like a marathon/ with no finish line.” . . . More than one poem in this volume will take your breath away. A highly recommended collection from an important poet.– Library Journal

 

Laura Kasischke
Wednesday, February 27
Krannert Room, Clowes Hall
7:30 p.m.

In a Perfect World  (2009)

In a Perfect World

Poet and novelist Kasischke finds beauty amid the apocalypse in her timely seventh novel. The Phoenix flu is sweeping the world, causing mass hysteria, arousing profound paranoia and inciting anti-American hatred worldwide. Jiselle, 32, is a jaded flight attendant and perpetual bridesmaid who says, “I do,” when handsome pilot Capt. Mark Dorn, a widower, offers her a vision of a perfect Midwestern family life far from her humdrum job and the dangers of the pandemic. The glitch is Mark’s three minor children, who view Jiselle with derision, pity or outright hostility despite her best efforts to mother them. After the flu threat detains Mark overseas for months and then strikes close to home, Jiselle and her stepchildren must redefine their idea of family, community and their understanding of perfection and happiness. — Publishers Weekly

 

Jennifer Egan
Wednesday, March 20
Reilly Room, Atherton Union
7:30 p.m.

A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Egan is a writer of cunning subtlety, embedding within the risky endeavors of seductively complicated characters a curious bending of time and escalation of technology’s covert impact . . . Egan tracks the members of a San Francisco punk band and their hangers-on over the decades as they wander out into the wider, bewildering world. Kleptomaniac Sasha survives the underworld of Naples, Italy. Her boss, New York music producer Bennie Salazar, is miserable in the suburbs, where his tattooed wife, Stephanie, sneaks off to play tennis with Republicans. Obese former rock-star Bosco wants Stephanie to help him with a Suicide Tour, while her all-powerful publicist boss eventually falls so low she takes a job rehabilitating the public image of a genocidal dictator. These are just a few of the faltering searchers in Egan’s hilarious, melancholy, enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a novel. — Booklist

 

Albert Goldbarth
Monday, April 1
Johnson Room, Robertson Hall
7:30 p.m.

Budget Travel Through Space And Time (2005)

Budget Travel Through Space And TimeGoldbarth has produced another brashly original, mind-blowing collection of poems. Though it’s not for the faint-hearted, open-minded readers will hop on Goldbarth’s mental train and travel through awe–inspiring, and sometimes stupefying, leaps of association, encountering pharaohs, Victorians, da Vinci, even Paul Revere . . . A “mad scientist” of language, Goldbarth experiments with word compounds, brings things to boiling points, bumps matter against matter, and dissects our multilayered reality. His quirkily erudite, incongruously hip, and awkwardly human poetic expression shines in lines like “The moon is a baby’s nail-paring; the moon is the huge, / round resume of the career of light; the moon is a curd of afterglow.” He is the weaver of association, fiction, biography, and trivia, “spinning” ideas, opinions, and descriptions we just might buy. Goldbarth can take us places we’ve never been. — Booklist

 

Julianna Baggott
Wednesday, April 17
Johnson Room, Robertson Hall
7:30 p.m.

The Madam (2003)

The Madam[Baggott] now journeys back in her own family history to forge a tale as awesome and menacing as a hurricane. Marrowtown, West Virginia, during the 1920s and 1930s is a gritty place of backbreaking labor, moonshine, scam artists, abandoned children, men who beat women, and women who fight back. Haunted by a miserable childhood, Alma is overwhelmed by the demands of her husband and three children and utterly exhausted by her factory job and the work of running a boardinghouse. Finally abandoned by her weak-willed mate, she rejects the unjust world of thankless toil and starts her own business, a brothel. Baggott’s insights into the selling of sex and women’s depthless capacity for improvisation in the fight to survive and to defend their loved ones are galvanizing in their intensity and drama, and her cathartic and commanding novel is a provocative paean to unconventionality, unexpected alliances, courage, and autonomy. — Booklist

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