Peter H. Fogtdal‘s book The Tsar’s Dwarf (Hawthorne Books) is about a Danish dwarf given to Peter the Great as a gift who ends up as a court jester at the Russian court. It’s this author’s first book in English, though he’s had twelve published in Danish.
Here’s more about the book:
Soerine, a deformed female dwarf from Denmark, is given as a gift to Tsar Peter the Great, who is smitten by her freakishness and intellect. Against her will, the Tsar takes Soerine to St. Petersburg, where she becomes a jester in his court. There, she lives a life that both compels and repels her. Soerine eventually gives in to the attentions of Lukas, the Tsar’s favorite dwarf, and carves out an existence for herself amidst the squalor and lice-ridden world of dwarfs in the early 18th century. In this inhospitable milieu, Soerine’s intelligence and detached wit provide her some small measure of protection — until disaster strikes in the shape of a priest who wants to “save” her.
This event will not be at Quimby’s but down the street at Chinaski’s, and Quimby’s will be there selling the book. Chinaski’s is at 1935 N. Damen, just south of Armitage. Starts at 7:30pm.
Poet and artist, Kristy Bowen is the author of In the Bird Museum (Dusie Press, 2008) and the Fever Almanac (Ghost Road Press, 2006), as well as the forthcoming Girl Show (Ghost Road, 2009). She lives in Chicago, where she runs dancing girl press & studio, which publishes a chapbook series for women poets, produces the online lit zine wicked alice, and hosts an online shop, dulcet.
This will be the release event for In the Bird Museum.
more info at:
Join Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl as they discuss their book and forthcoming documentary of the same name: HANDMADE NATION: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
Today’s crafters are no longer interested in simply cross-stitching samplers or painting floral scrolls on china. Instead, the contemporary craft movement embraces emerging artists, crafters, and designers working in traditional and nontraditional media. Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching has revolutionized the embroidery industry. Each year Nikki McClure sells thousands of her cut-paper wall calendars. Emily Kircher recycles vintage materials into purses. Stephanie Syjuco manufactures clothing under the tag line “Because Sweatshops Suck.” These are just some of the fascinating makers united in the new wave of craft capturing the attention of the nation, the Handmade Nation.
Faythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For Handmade Nation (along with the documentary film of the same name, coming in 2009) she and Cortney Heimerl have selected 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community. Participants in this community share ideas and encouragement through websites, blogs, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Twenty-four artists from Olympia, Washington, to Providence, Rhode Island, and everywhere in between show their work and discuss their lives. Texts by Andrew Wagner of American Craft Magazine, Garth Johnson of Extremecraft.com, Callie Janoff of the Church of Craft, Betsy Greer of Craftivism.com, and Susan Beal, author of Super Crafty, supply a critical view of the tight-knit community where ethics can overlap with creativity and art with community. Handmade Nation features photographs of the makers, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them. Handmade Nation is a fascinating book for those who are a part of the emerging movement or just interested in sampling its wares.
Burning Angel is a sexy photo book evolved out of the website founded in 2002 burningangel.com, a site devoted to punk-inspired erotic photos and hardcore videos as well as record reviews and interviews. The photographer, Brenda Staudenmaier (also known as the Lovely Brenda), uses brick walls, rooftops, subway stations and the like of New York City as her backdrop. Tattoos, glasses, mohawks, colored hair, gym shoes, guitars, pierced body parts — True, it’s kind of SuicideGirls-y, but tattoos and rock star hair on naked ladies can be sexy. You just can’t get enough o’ that! To see the photos on both burningangel.com or suicidegirls.com you have to pay a few bucks a month, but with either of the books you can see it for free (that is, once you buy the book) any time you want without the internet. Also, not unlike going to see a roller derby bout, there’s lots of opportunities to pick up some good fashion tips. Oooo! Black and magenta-striped leggings with sparkly gold high heels. I am SO there.