WAUKESHA - Technology
may be changing the way people are able to read, but the appeal of holding
a physical book and talking to the author who wrote it is an experience
that will draw people from all over the area to the fourth Southeast
Wisconsin Festival of Books this weekend.
readings and talks will be held throughout the three-day event on a
variety of topics, such as “The Future of the Book,” “Chick Lit and
Women’s Fiction: Sexist Marketing Practices?”, “The Complete
Idiot’s Guide to Sausage Making,” and “Science Fiction Gaming.”
Programming has been
created to meet a wide range of ages and interests. There are areas for
children and young adults, as well as a cookbook stage. The Southeast
Wisconsin Festival of Books also partnered with the Science Fiction
Writers of America to offer presentations on topics appealing to readers
of that genre.
vice president of the the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha Foundation,
said the festival was moved from June to September this year to better
coincide with school calendars and to a time when people are thinking more
about reading. Another change is that there are three keynote speakers -
Kathie Giorgio, Christina Schwarz and Dean Bakopoulus - this year instead
novel, “Learning to Tell (A Life) Time”, will be debuted during the
Festival of Books.
During her keynote
address at 6 p.m. Friday, Giorgio said she is going to talk about the
theme of the book festival: “To Books and Beyond - Literacy Without
Limits.” She will also do a reading from her new novel and will be
interviewed by Stephanie Lecci of WUWM-FM Lake Effect.
“I think it’s a
really good thing. It’s a chance for readers to meet with authors,
finding out what goes in to the book,” Giorgio said of the Festival of
Books. “It creates a real sense of community.”
She is also happy that
the Festival of Books focuses on Wisconsin authors.
speaker, Schwarz, will be returning to Waukesha County from her new home
in California. She grew up on Pewaukee Lake and she has drawn on her
Wisconsin roots for her writing. Her newest novel, “The Edge of the
Earth,” which was published in April, is set in 1898 and uses Milwaukee
as part of the setting.
“I was impressed and
excited when I first learned about the Festival a few years ago,”
Schwarz said in an email. “The way the book market works now, only a few
authors manage to get enough attention to let people know that their work
exists. But what makes the United States interesting is that there are
still lots of regional differences among us and a rich variety of points
of view. The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books encourages and
energizes our local voices, and so keeps them from being drowned out by
the generic squawk of the market.”
Another component of
the Festival of Books is a focus on Little Free Libraries, which are boxes
that citizens set up where people can give and take books for free. Little
Free Libraries founder Rick Brooks will show a film and talk about the
libraries several times Saturday and Sunday. A Little Free Library will
also be given away during the festival.
“This is an
opportunity to interact with authors and to discuss the issues that are in
our world today and also to enjoy some of the best of what is going on in
the literary field in Wisconsin,” O’Brien said.
At a glance
Wisconsin Festival of Books
When: 5 p.m. to 7:30
p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: University of
1500 N. University Drive
Cost: free admission
Kathie Giorgio is a
Waukesha author who will debut her new novel, “Learning to Tell (A Life)
Time,” during the Festival of Books on Friday. She will take the stage
at 6 p.m. “Learning to Tell (A Life) Time” is the sequel to 2011’s
award-winning “The Home for Wayward Clocks.” “Giorgio uses a
non-traditional format, inserting independent short stories between novel
chapters, to portray what one reviewer calls ‘a masterful, artful look
at what it means to be him and the fissures that are ever present between
any two people,’ “ according to the festival’s program. She is also
the founder of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop LLC in Waukesha.
Christina Schwarz will
discuss her newest novel, “The Edge
of the Earth”,
during her keynote address at noon Saturday. Shwarz grew up on Pewaukee
Lake and still draws on Wisconsin for her writing despite living near Los
Angeles. Her novels include “All is Vanity”, “So Long at the
Fair”, and “Drowning Ruth”, a 2000 New York Times bestseller and
Oprah’s Book Club selection. Her newest novel is about a restless
character who leaves a comfortable life in 1898 Milwaukee and goes to live
at an isolated lighthouse on the California coast.
teaches English at Grinnell
College in Iowa and is
the author of two novels, “Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon” and
Unhappiness.” Another novel, “Summerlong,” is forthcoming, he said.
Bakopoulus will be the keynote speaker at 11 a.m. Sunday at
the Festival of Books.
Bakopoulus lectures across
the country and has
written essays with topics ranging
from the economic and
environmental problems facing the post-industrial Rust Belt to inspiring
love for literature in students.