Monthly Archive for August, 2008

Deb Olin Unferth Event for Vacation

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

In Vacation:
A man follows his wife. The wife follows a stranger. The stranger leaves town and the man goes after him, determined to settle the score. But the man is not the only one looking for the stranger, and the stranger has troubles of his own. Amid all this, the earth quakes, a boy leaps out a window, and a dolphin swims free. Of course people have adventures of this kind—of course! of course!—but we’ve never heard of it before. With deadpan humor and skewed wordplay, Deb Olin Unferth weaves a mystery of hope and heartbreak.

Deb Olin Unferth  is a University of Kansas professor and Pushcart Prize winner. She has been published in Harper’s, NOON, 3rd Bed, McSweeney’s, Fence, and other places. Vacation is her first novel.

Deb Olin Unferth will read and signs copies of Vacation at the event.

“Deb Olin Unferth is one of the most daring and entertaining writers in America today. She is an artist who knows that every sentence is an opportunity to have it all — music, invention, narrative drive –  and hers most definitely do. This novel is tricky, odd, unnerving, hilarious, and ultimately quite scary, not to mention very, very moving. We may or may not deserve this Vacation, but we are lucky to have it.”

“Part mystery, part sonata, Unferth writes like a musician plays, weaving images and themes and melodies with these beautifully rhythmic, funny, heart-breaking sentences. The whole novel should be read aloud and relished.”

“In visionary, original prose, Deb Olin Unferth’s wonderful, quirky Vacation briskly sends forth its characters on their expectant journeys of self-discovery. Sentence by sentence, Unferth surprises and makes profound sense of what it is to be alive and how easily a lifesuit may be shucked off: “You won’t even feel it.” Loud applause should follow this accomplished —entertaining, funny, sad, solemn—book.”

Joe Meno and Arthur Nersesian

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

Joe Meno with Arthur Nersesian at Quimby’s!

Join authors Joe Meno and Arthur Nersesian as the read signs copies of their newest books

Demons in the Spring is a collection of twenty short stories by Joe Meno with illustrations by twenty artists from the fine art, graphic art, and comic book worlds–including Charles Burns, Archer Prewitt, Ivan Brunetti, Jay Ryan, Paul Hornschemeier, Anders Nilsen, Geoff McFedtridge, Kelsey Brookes, Kim Hiorthoy, Caroline Hwang, Rachell Sumpter, KOZYNDAN, Evan Hecox, and Cody Hudson.

Oddly modern moments which occur in the most familiar of public places, from offices to airports to schools to zoos to emergency rooms: a young girl who refuses to go anywhere unless she’s dressed as a ghost; a bank robbery in Stockholm gone terribly wrong; a teacher who’s become enamored with the students in his school’s Model United Nations club; a couple affected by a strange malady–a miniature city which has begun to develop in the young woman’s chest, these inventive stories are hilarious, heartbreaking, and unusual. While many of them have never been previously published, others have been featured in the likes of LIT, Other Voices, Swink, TriQuarterly, and McSweeney’s.

Joe Meno is the best-selling author of the novels Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails, How the Hula Girl Sings, and Tender As Hellfire. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago

Arthur Nersesian will also be on hand to read from his newest book The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Swing Voter of Staten Island–the first two installments in Nersesian’s series of novels offering an alternate history of New York: The Five Books of Moses.

Robert Moses was responsible for creating contemporary New York’s infrastructure, but he did so at the cost of destroying neighborhoods. In this novel, Robert has looted his brother Paul’s share of the Moses family fortune, repeatedly blocked his attempts at gaining public office, thwarted his career in the private sector, and set in motion events that will decimate Paul’s home life. Paul Moses’s deep-seated rage metamorphoses into an act of terrorism committed against his brother and against a city that he once cherished.

Although it can be read as a stand-alone novel about Robert and Paul Moses, The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx is also a memory play that follows Uli Sarkisian–the hero of The Swing Voter of Staten Island–en route to solving a massive historical crime, while desperately struggling to escape from becoming another one of its victims.

Arthur Nersesian is the author of eight novels, including the smash hit The Fuck-Up (more than 100,00 copies sold), Chinese Takeout (HarperCollins), Manhattan Loverboy (Akashic), Suicide Casanova (Akashic), dogrun (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster), and Unlubricated (HarperCollins), and, most recently, The Swing Voter of Staten Island, the first volume in The Five Books of Moses series. He lives in New York City.

Sin: A Deadly Anthology Release Event at Quimby’s!

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

Join us for a release party and reading for Sin: A Deadly Anthology, by The Chicago Contingent. Five authors will read excerpts from their stories in the anthology and each author will also ask some sort of literary or Chicago trivia question with correct answers garnering audience members some fabulous prizes.

SIN is the first of a new anthology series delving into man’s battle with right and wrong. It is an exciting collection of original short stories by The Chicago Contingent, an ensemble of Chicago’s top popular fiction authors, including Marcus Sakey, Patricia Rosemoor, Marc Paoletti, A.C. Frieden, Julia Borcherts, Dana Kaye, Jamie Freveletti, Ric Hess and others. Stories range from crime mysteries to fantasy to noir and inspire the reader to question where they’d draw the line when the circumstances go beyond the impossible.

The Performers:
A.C. Frieden is an author and lawyer living in Chicago. Born in Africa and raised in Europe and Asia, he carries his global experiences into his novels. His background as a molecular biologist, attorney, private pilot , martial artist and army sniper comes together in Tranquility Denied, his latest spy thriller set in Moscow and New Orleans, cities where he studied law. In addition, his non-fiction works have appeared in professional publications in the U.S. and Europe, including the National Law Journal, BNA periodicals and IICLE books. He teaches arts and media law at Columbia College Chicago and serves as senior intellectual property counsel with a large U.S. corporation.

Julia Borcherts is the co-founder of and regular performer at the Reading Under the Influence monthly literary series. She has also been a featured reader at 2nd Story, The Parlor Reading Series, Printer’s Row Book Fair and many other events and venues. Her freelance work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, Metromix, Red Eye, Chicago Fighting Arts, Not For Tourists Chicago,, The Golden Gloves program and other publications. She is the recipient of a first-prize award from the Columbia University (New York) Scholastic Press Association and teaches fiction workshops at Columbia College Chicago.

Alverne De’Jesus Ball has a BFA in Fiction Writing and is pursuing an MFA in Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. He has taught comic book writing at Noble Charter High School in Chicago and is currently an editor at McGraw-Hill. Alverne’s work has been published in the literary magazine Annalemma, The Columbia Chronicle and online at He received first place in the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Creative Writing Competition for his graphic story Virgin Wolf. He also received Weisman Scholarships for his graphic stories R-Squared, Geddeon and Zulu.

Jamie Freveletti
is a trial attorney, martial artist and runner. After law school, she lived in Geneva, Switzerland while obtaining a diploma in International Studies. Back in Chicago, she represented clients in areas ranging from class actions for mass salmonella poisoning to securities fraud. Her debut thriller, Running from the Devil, will be released by Harper Collins/William Morrow in winter, 2009.

Dana Kaye is a novelist, freelance writer and book critic living in Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. There she studied under well-known authors such as Patricia Rosemoor and Joe Meno, and found her love of writing crime fiction. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Curve Magazine, Crimespree Magazine and the Windy City Times.

Relevant websites:
“Sin” (Avendia Publishing website)

Danica Novgorodoff signs Slow Storm

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

With commanding landscapes and a lyrical rhythm of prose, SLOW STORM is the first full length graphic novel from 2007 Eisner nominee Danica Novgorodoff, and introduces an exciting new talent in comics.

SLOW STORM tells the emotional story of two individuals brought together by loss and loneliness.  On the day after the Kentucky Derby, tornado season descends on Oldham County.  With yesterday’s results still resonating, lightning strikes and sets a barn ablaze.  In its embers, a poignant but fleeting relationship is kindled between forlorn firefighter Ursa Crain, an out-of-place woman struggling to fit into her small Kentucky community, and Rafi, a Mexican immigrant wondering whether his American dream will ever be fulfilled.

By turns violent and poetic, magical and mundane, SLOW STORM follows the flight of a young illegal both enchanted and disappointed by America, and a woman with dark clouds looming above and within her.  Their interaction, though passing, evokes powerful imagery of homeland and family, and leaves the reader questioning his own sense of these values.

This compelling story explores the heart-wrenching struggle of immigration, an outsider’s difficulties to find her place in the world, and the power created when unexpected relationships find us.  SLOW STORM’s poignant themes, accompanied by Novgorodoff’s lush watercolor washes and masterful linework, tell an emotionally-charged tale of homesickness and horses, storms and saints.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Danica Novgorodoff studied painting and photography at Yale University and cowherding in the Andes Mountains.  She has worked as a horse trainer in Virginia, an English teacher in Ecuador, and assistant to photographer Sally Mann, and an artist review writer for galleries in Chelsea and SoHo, New York.  In 2006 she won the Isotope Award for her mini-comic A Late Freeze and in 2007 was nominated for an Eisner Award.  She currently lives in New York City, where she works as a designer for First Second.

Bob Calhoun & Floyd Webb at Quimby’s!

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

Join us for a night delving into the continuing Count Dante phenomenon. Filmmaker Floyd Webb will discuss his film and the Count Dante legend and then introduce Bob Calhoun, who will read from his punk wrestling memoir and sign copies of his book Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling after a Q&A.

BOB CALHOUN is the author of Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling. In the mid 1990s, San Francisco rocker Bob Calhoun took the name of Chicago comic book kung fu huckster Count Dante and joined the punk rock wrestling troupe Incredibly Strange Wrestling (ISW). ISW emerged from the back alleys and seedy clubs of San Francisco’s South of Market scene to headline the historic Fillmore and barnstorm North America on the Van’s Warped Tour. At the height of its popularity, Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong and Metallica’s James Hetfield could be seen tossing tortillas (which the promoters supplied) at ringside with the rest of the hell heads, boozehounds and tattooed party girls that made up ISW’s rabid following. It’s a story of urban misfits risking their necks for local celebrity in one of America’s most famous cities all told against the backdrop of the dot com boom and bust and an increasingly corporate entertainment industry.

FLOYD WEBB: Director and producer of the documentary film “The Search For Count Dante.” From Clarksdale, Mississippi Delta and raised on Chicago’s Southside, Floyd Webb’s background includes global work in cinema, photojournalism, publishing and advertising. He has found all of these experiences useful as a convergent worker, designer and consultant for the Internet.

After a 10 year career as a photojournalist Floyd was founder and creative director of the Blacklight Festival of International Black Cinema. From 1984-1995 the festival was one of the most critically acclaimed festivals of it’s kind during that period.

Floyd was an associate producer of the award winning Julie Dash Film, Daughters of the Dust(US 1992), and developed the Geechee Girls Multimedia website in 1995. He works as a consultant in film programming and online issues for The Raindance Festival of Independent Cinema in London and The Black Filmmaker Magazine Film Festival in London.