The All But True series resumes on Friday, April 14, 7:00 p.m., at Mighty Writers West, 3861 Lancaster Ave. in West Philly. We'll be featuring the authors of two fine works of historical fiction.
The readers are Diane McKinney-Whetstone and Jim Remsen.
Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the acclaimed author of six novels, all set in Philadelphia. Her first five books spotlighted eras of Philly history from the 1940s through the 1990s. The latest, Lazaretto, from which she'll read on April 14, takes us back to the end of the Civil War. Abe Lincoln has just been assassinated. Two brothers, after being abused in an orphanage, get in trouble with the law when one retaliates against the injustice. A midwife has reluctantly given up a newborn baby to the machinations of the high-status people who want to hide the birth. Meanwhile, at the Lazaretto, the city's quarantine hospital, the African American staff are getting ready to celebrate a wedding. The characters and plot lines converge there in McKinney-Whetstone's typical spellbinding fashion.
Jim Remsen, longtime journalist and former Religion Editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer, will read from his middle-grades novel Visions of Teaoga. In a blend of history, suspense, and coming-of-age tale, a contemporary girl visits a seemingly out-of-the-way Pennsylvania town on a summer vacation and has close encounters with its amazing past, including the story of a Native American queen who fought British and French colonists to protect her people. The novel shifts between 1790 and today as it interlinks the two narratives. Remsen will also bring his latest book, Embattled Freedom, a nonfiction history for adults about another remote town in Pennsylvania that served as a station on the Underground Railroad. After finding refuge there, some of the fugitive slaves risked their necks by returning South to fight for the Union.
As always, the readings are open to all, we'll have complimentary refreshments, and the authors will be happy to autograph their books.
Because All But True is now part of the Second Fridays on Lancaster event series in West Philadelphia, we've begun doing announcements for the community newsletter. Here is the one for the upcoming reading on November 11, titled "Other Times, Other Worlds."
If you're interested, feel free to distribute this announcement or the larger flyer in our previous post to anyone else who might take a fancy to intelligent elephants, towers of living bone, or sci-fi/fantasy in general. (P.S. If you're a real fan of these authors' universes, it's okay to come to the reading wearing wings or an elephant costume.)
For Facebook updates, check the event page.
At the moment, we're just three days from the first All But True reading at Mighty Writers, with Stephanie Feldman and Tom Mendicino. Scroll down or click here to read the full description of that event on October 14.
Meanwhile, it's not too early to look ahead to reading #2, which will focus on speculative fiction. The date and time: Friday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., again at Mighty Writers West, 3861 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia 19104.
We're calling the event "Other Times, Other Worlds," and it features two award-winning science fiction writers, Lawrence M. Schoen and Fran Wilde, who will read from their recent novels, discuss them with the audience, and then stay around to sign their books.
Lawrence M. Schoen’s novel Barsk (Tor, 2015) is set in a far future when humans are long extinct, on a planet that’s home to the Fant, an intelligent species whose ancestors are elephants. Barsk won the Cóyotl award for best novel of 2015, and Schoen’s work has also been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards. He is a a cognitive psychologist, hypnotherapist, and world authority on the Klingon language.
Fran Wilde’s Cloudbound (Tor, 2016) is the second book in her Bone Universe trilogy, set on a world where people reside high above the clouds in towers made of living bone. To move from one tower to another, they fly on sail-like wings. Her first novel in the series, Updraft, was nominated for the 2016 Nebula Award, and it won the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the 2016 Compton Crook Award.
We hope you’ll join us for this free event, which should be both high-flying and hypnotic!
Here's a flyer that anyone can feel free to copy and distribute:
Founded in 2009, Mighty Writers offers free programs to Philadelphia kids, ages 7 to 17, to boost their writing skills. The idea is that better writing means clearer thinking, which then leads to smart decisions and long-term success, both in school and in life. Every year, more than 300 of the city’s best creative minds teach and mentor some 2,000 children and teens at Mighty Writers’ four locations.
Now Mighty Writers West, the branch at 39th Street and Lancaster Avenue in West Philly, has become the home for All But True, an author reading series for grownups. Begun in 2011 at Musehouse in Chestnut Hill, the series brings in published fiction writers to present their works. Each event features two authors who do short readings and then discuss their books with the audience. The Working Writers Group, which organizes and hosts the series, hopes that hearing and meeting successful authors will inspire both adults and teens to keep writing and imagining.
The first event in the season—Friday, October 14, at 7:00—offers two novels of sibling conflict and loyalty. In Stephanie Feldman’s The Angel of Losses, sisters Marjorie and Holly are best friends—until Holly converts to a mysterious sect and Marjorie must save her from disaster. Tom Mendicino’s The Boys from Eighth and Carpenter follows two South Philly brothers from the 1960s to 2008—until one gets in trouble and the other comes to the rescue.
Authors Feldman and Mendicino will be available after the reading to autograph copies for interested readers and aspiring writers.
All events in the All But True series are free and open to the public. Previous readers have numbered more than 50, from the Philadelphia area and elsewhere, including such well-known authors as Robin Black, Ken Kalfus, Beth Kephart, Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Liz Moore, Daniel Torday, and Lisa Zeidner.
Here's a flyer for the October 14 reading: