Oct
25
7:00 PM19:00

Joanna Luloff, October 25, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Following her acclaimed collection of short stories, The Beach at Galle Road, Jo Luloff will return to Columbia to discuss her debut novel, Remind Me Again What Happened, with the Chair of University of Missouri English Department, Professor Alexandra Socarides.

“There is a smudge where my memory is supposed to be.”

Claire wakes in a hospital room in the Florida Keys. She has no idea how she got there or why. The loss of so many memories is paralyzing. Some things she can piece together by looking at old photos saved by her husband, Charlie, and her best friend, Rachel, and by combing through boxes of letters and casual jottings. But she senses a mystery at the center of all these fragments of her past, a feeling that something is not complete. Is Charlie still her husband? Is Rachel still her friend?

Told from alternating points of view that pull the reader into the minds of the three characters, the story unfolds as the smudge that covers Claire’s memory is gradually, steadily wiped away, until finally she can understand the why and the how of her life. And then maybe she and Charlie and Rachel can move forward, but with their lives forever changed.

In Remind Me Again What Happened, Joanna Luloff has written a moving and beautifully nuanced story of transience, the ebb and flow of time, and how relationships shift and are reconfigured by each day, hour, and minute.

Remind Me Again What Happened is a profound and elegiac exploration of the relationship between memory and identity, the way one has the power to remake the other. Joanna Luloff is a splendid writer, and this haunting novel is a wonderful testament to her gifts.” — Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

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Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Charles J. Shields, October 26, 2018, 7 p.m.

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How many celebrated novels are set in Columbia, Missouri?

Probably just the one, but what a novel it is: STONER, by John Williams.

When it was published in 1965, the novel sold only a couple of thousand copies before disappearing with hardly a trace. Yet John Williams’s quietly powerful tale of an English professor at the University of Missouri, William Stoner, whose life becomes a parable of solitude and anguish eventually found an admiring audience in America and especially in Europe. The New York Times called STONER “a perfect novel,” and a host of writers and critics, including Colum McCann, Julian Barnes, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Emma Straub, Ruth Rendell, C. P. Snow, and Irving Howe, praised its artistry. The New Yorker deemed it “a masterly portrait of a truly virtuous and dedicated man.”

THE MAN WHO WROTE THE PERFECT NOVEL traces the life of STONER’s author, John Williams. Acclaimed biographer Charles J. Shields follows the whole arc of Williams’s life, which in many ways paralleled that of his titular character, from their shared working-class backgrounds to their undistinguished careers in the halls of academia. Shields masterfully recounts Williams’s development as an author, whose other works include the novels BUTCHER’S CROSSING and AUGUSTUS (for the latter, Williams shared the 1972 National Book Award). Shields also reveals the astonishing afterlife of STONER, which garnered new fans with each American reissue, and then became a bestseller all over Europe after Dutch publisher Lebowski brought out a translation in 2013. Since then, STONER has been published in twenty-one countries and has sold over a million copies.

CHARLES J. SHIELDS, of Charlottesville, Virginia, is the author of MOCKINGBIRD: A PORTRAIT OF HARPER LEE, a New York Times bestseller, a Literary Guild Selection, and a Book-of-the-Month Club Alternate. His young adult biography of Harper Lee, I AM SCOUT, was chosen an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a Junior Literary Guild Selection. In 2011, Shields published AND SO IT GOES: KURT VONNEGUT, A LIFE, a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year. We're thrilled to welcome Charles to Columbia to discuss his new book, which was recently named by Publishers Weekly as one of the fall's "Most Anticipated" titles.

Praise for THE MAN WHO WROTE THE PERFECT NOVEL:

“The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel is an expert uncovering of an American master who deserves the larger audience this biography will help give him. With his characteristic insight into the ligatures between life and art, and in his own enviable prose, Shields brings Williams into full-color relief. This is a major accomplishment by a major biographer, a gift for which Williams’s admirers will be most grateful.” – William Giraldi, author of Hold the Dark and the The Hero’s Body

“Charles Shields’s biography of John Williams is every bit as impressive as his subject’s book, the not-so-underground classic (and international bestseller) Stoner, a gripping and compulsively readable tale of an ‘unremarkable man.’ Shields brilliantly recreates Williams’s outwardly ordinary life as an English professor eager to balance his scholarship with a creative writing career, revealing fascinating psychological depths in a man who on the surface doesn’t seem to have any. The reader is carried along by this masterful, finely honed biography.” – Mary V. Dearborn, author of Hemingway: A Biography

“A masterful depiction of the generation of burnt-out alcoholic American writers who survived WWII. Shields comes about as close as humanly possible to recreating the crucible of chance, devotion, genius, and circumstance that produced ‘the greatest novel you have never read.’ His brisk, fluent biography will change this.” – J. Michael Lennon, author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life

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Nov
2
4:00 PM16:00

Meena Nayak, November 2, 2018, 4:00 p.m.

Skylark is pleased to present author and scholar Meena Nayak, in partnership with the MU South Asian Studies Program, the Religious Studies Department, and the University of Missouri Lectures Committee.

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Professor Nayak’s new book Evil in the Mahabharata offers a compelling reinterpretation of the epic that presents a nuanced analysis of the characters, away from the dominant noise of the grand narrative. She is also the author of the novel Endless Rain, a deeply moving story of daily life in Kashmir, which looks at how family life is constantly transformed by religious matters, political issues and other forces from outside the home, often with tragic results. She is also the author of the novels About Daddy and In the Aftermath, and a children’s book, The Puffin Book of Legendary Lives.  Her short stories are in anthologies The City of Sin and Splendour and Enhanced Gravity, and her forthcoming book is The Blue Lotus, Myths and Folktales of India.  She has a PhD in Philosophy with a focus on Hindu mythology and an MFA in Creative Writing.  She is a professor of English at Northern Virginian Community College.

Please note that this event starts at the slightly unusual (for us!) time of 4:00 p.m.

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Nov
3
1:00 PM13:00

When Women Wrote Hollywood, November 3, 2018, 1 p.m.

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This event is presented in collaboration with the Citizen Jane Film Festival and the Unbound Book Festival.

WHEN WOMEN WROTE HOLLYWOOD is a collection of 23 new essays that focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood. These women's work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences--but their names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It's a Wonderful Life.

As part of the Citizen Jane Film Festival, some of the authors whose work appears in this collection will appear at Skylark to read from their work and discuss the role of women writers in the early days of film. It promises to be a fascinating discussion. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the event. This event is free to the public and does not require a ticket or pass to the Citizen Jane Film Festival.

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Nov
8
7:00 PM19:00

Donald Quist, November 8, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Troubled souls haunt these thirteen interrelated stories of loss and rebirth. From a cramped passenger van in Ghana to a cash-only roadside motel in Utah to a cursed forest in Japan, Donald Quist’s narratives draw connections between the common and inexplicable. The diverse characters that people these stories are foreign and flawed but intimately familiar. At once scrutinizing and tender, FOR OTHER GHOSTS is an ambitious collection of short fiction.

Donald Quist is author of the essay collection, HARBORS—Foreword INDIES Bronze Winner and International Book Awards Finalist. His work has appeared in several print and online publications, including AGNI, North American Review, The Rumpus, Cleaver, and J Journal.  He’s creator of the online micro essay series, PAST TEN, and co-host of  the Poet in Bangkok podcast. He’s received fellowships from Sundress Academy for the Arts and Kimbilio Fiction. He earned his MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee for both fiction and nonfiction, Donald recently moved to Columbia to join the University of Missouri Department of English in order to pursue his PhD in creative writing. 

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STOP PRESS… we’re delighted to announce that Donald will be joined this evening by Jennifer Maritza McCauley! Jennifer is the author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF (Stalking Horse Press.) She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, Kimbilio, Sundress Academy, and awards from Independent Publisher Book Awards, Best of the Net, and the Academy of American Poets, and was a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Her work appears in Passages North, Puerto del Sol, Verse Daily, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She is currently poetry editor at The Missouri Review, fiction editor at Pleiades, and is pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Missouri.  

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Nov
15
6:00 PM18:00

Walter Bargen, November 15, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

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We’re very pleased to welcome Missouri’s first Poet Laureate, Walter Bargen, to Skylark. Walter will be reading from his new book of poems, MY OTHER MOTHER’S RED MERCEDES, on Thursday, November 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Walter Bargen has published many books of poetry.  His most recent books are: Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (2009), Endearing Ruins (2012), Trouble Behind Glass Doors (2013), Quixotic (2014), Gone West (2014), and Too Quick for the Living (2017).  He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).  His awards include a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1991), Prose Award from Quarter After Eight (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize (1997), the William Rockhill Nelson Award (2005), Short Fiction Award– A cappella Zoo (2011). His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in over 200 magazines.

Books will be available for purchase and signing by Walter after the event.

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Oct
14
9:30 AM09:30

Yoga at Skylark! October 14, 2018, 9;30 a.m.

Our very own Michaela is an experienced yoga instructor and she will be offering yoga lessons at Skylark on Sunday mornings, staring October 18. (If you like yoga, we think you might like yoga a little more if you’re surrounded by books.)

Read Michaela’s thoughts about the link between yoga and reading here.

A few details:

  • Who: Yoga is for everybody so this will be an all-levels class. Seriously. It will be an hour-long class suited to all ages and all levels.

  • You will need to bring your own yoga mat.  

  • Cost: $10 cash.

  • Perks: A $10 credit to Skylark Bookshop valid that day! (So it’s basically free!)

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Oct
11
6:00 PM18:00

Dave Matter, October 11, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

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So far in our little bookshop’s short life we’ve already lived through three home football games. Football weekends are like no other. The town is super quiet during the game itself, but for the rest of the time it’s pretty much full-on pandemonium. Columbia loves its Mizzou Tigers.

So of course we’re delighted to welcome Dave Matter to Skylark on Thursday, October 11, to talk about his new book, 100 Things Missouri Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die.

Most Tigers fans have taken in a game or two at the Zou, have seen highlights of "Mister Magic" Willie Smith, and remember the 2002 and 2009 Elite Eight appearances. But only real fans know the Civil-War roots of the "Tigers" nickname, the significance of Al Abram, and can name the football and basketball stars who went on to be Hall of Fame players. 100 Things Missouri Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is the ultimate resource for true fans of the Missouri Tigers. Whether you’re a die-hard booster from the days of Dan Devine or a recent supporter of the team, these are the 100 things every fan needs to know and do in their lifetime. Dave Matter has collected every essential piece of Tigers knowledge and trivia, as well as must-do activities, and ranks them all from 1 to 100, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as you progress on your way to fan superstardom.

After ten years of writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Dave now writes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com about University of Missouri athletics. He also co-wrote The 100 Yard Journey with some guy called Gary Pinkel.

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Oct
4
7:00 PM19:00

Tiffany D. Jackson, October 4, 2018, 7 p.m.

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We’re absolutely thrilled, in partnership with the Unbound Book Festival and the Columbia Public Schools Foundation, to welcome award-winning and best-selling author Tiffany Jackson to Skylark!

One of the most exciting new voices in YA fiction, Tiffany will be making appearances at several local schools during her visit to Columbia, where she will be talking about her books and writing career. On Thursday, October 4, she will be making her only public appearance at the shop. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. - and like all Unbound events, it is open to all and is completely free to attend. We’re billing the event as a Family Book Club - we hope that both children and their parents will come having read her award-winning debut novel, Allegedly, and ready to discuss the book.

Daniel José Older called the novel a “riveting, gut-wrenching thriller and a stunning debut.” Jason Reynolds had this to say: “I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been this rattled by a story. Tiffany D. Jackson chips at the world, then cracks it, then shatters it into shards of discomfort and complexity for the reader to grapple with it. Allegedly, undoubtedly, will linger long after it’s over.” This gritty, haunting novel will leave its mark on you.

Tiffany D. Jackson is the author of the critically acclaimed ALLEGEDLY and  MONDAY’S NOT COMING (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books). A TV professional by day, novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable Chihuahua, Oscar, most likely multitasking.

Here’s a selection of the stunning praise that her debut novel has garnered:

★ “With remarkable skill, Jackson offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline. This dark, suspenseful exploration of justice and perception raises important questions teens will want to discuss.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

★ “Searing and true. Effectively joins Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (2010) to become another indictment of the penal system’s decimating power beyond its bars and, more subtly and refreshingly, a pro-reproductive-justice novel.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

★ “The characters are complex, the situation unsettling, and the line between right and wrong hopelessly blurred. It’s also intensely relevant, addressing race, age, and mental illness within the criminal justice system. Well conceived and executed, this is an absorbing and exceptional first novel.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

★ “Suspenseful without being emotionally manipulative, compelling without resorting to shock value, this is a tightly spun debut that wrestles with many intense ideas and ends with a knife twist that will send readers racing back to the beginning again.” (Booklist (starred review))

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Sep
20
7:00 PM19:00

Karen Piper, September 20, 2018, 7 p.m. NB change of date!

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NB: the date of this event has been changed to September 20.

Karen Piper comes to Skylark to discuss her astonishing new memoir, A Girl’s Guide to Missiles, a poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on earth.

The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. But people who make missiles and other weapons are regular working people, with domestic routines and everyday dilemmas, and four of them were Karen Piper’s parents, her sister, and – when she needed summer jobs – herself. Her dad designed the Sidewinder, which was ultimately used catastrophically in Vietnam. When her mom got tired of being a stay-at-home mom, she went to work on the Tomahawk. Once, when a missile nose needed to be taken offsite for final testing, her mother loaded it into the trunk of the family car, and set off down a Los Angeles freeway. Traffic was heavy, and so she stopped off at the mall, leaving the missile in the parking lot.

Piper sketches in the belief systems – from Amway’s get-rich schemes to propaganda in The Rocketeer to evangelism, along with fears of a Lemurian takeover and Charles Manson – that governed their lives. Her memoir is also a search for the truth of the past and what really brought her parents to China Lake with two young daughters, a story that reaches back to her father’s World War II flights with contraband across Europe. Finally, it recounts the crossroads moment in a young woman's life when she finally found a way out of a culture of secrets and fear, and out of the desert.

“Karen Piper’s A Girl’s Guide To Missiles reaches back into the body of American war and retrieves the heart of a girl, still beating, not beaten. Her memoir riveted me – I read it in one sitting holding my breath as she made a story braid from growing up a girl and growing up in the military industrial complex at the China Lake missile range. Gender, family, war, and American myth-making make this an unforgettable book and a radical act of truth-telling.” –Lydia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan and The Chronology of Water

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Sep
11
7:00 PM19:00

Elliot Reed, September 11, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Elliot Reed will present one of the most eagerly awaited fiction debuts of the year, A Key to Treehouse Living. For fans of Mark Haddon, Tony Earley, and Jonathan Safran Foer, This is an epic tale of boyhood from an unforgettable new voice.

A Key to Treehouse Living is the adventure of William Tyce, a boy without parents, who grows up near a river in the rural Midwest. In a glossary-style list, he imparts his particular wisdom on subjects ranging from ASPHALT PATHS, BETTA FISH, and MULLET to MORTAL BETRAYAL, NIHILISM, and REVELATION. His improbable quest – to create a reference volume specific to his existence – takes him on a journey down the river by raft (see MYSTICAL VISION, see NAVIGATING BIG RIVERS BY NIGHT). He seeks to discover how his mother died (see ABSENCE) and find reasons for his father’s disappearance (see UNCERTAINTY, see VANITY). But as he goes about defining his changing world, all kinds of extraordinary and wonderful things happen to him.

Unlocking an earnest, clear-eyed way of thinking that might change your own, A Key to Treehouse Living is a story about keeping your own record straight and living life by a different code.

A Key to Treehouse Living by Elliot Reed scrambles up all the customary codes of the novel to piece together, at last, the moving story of a lost boy searching out his place in the world. What appears as all indexed coda turns out to be a well-told tale and, more vitally for me, the accumulation of enormous incidental pleasures.” - Joshua Ferris

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