Frustrated by the increasing amount of days here with no updates? Well, my free-content-reading friend, that's because CCLaP has a super high number of off-site things coming up over the next couple of months, which is keeping things awfully busy these days away from the blog itself...
First up -- a book release party! That's this coming Thursday, November 10th, at the fantastic Women & Children First bookstore in the Andersonville neighborhood (5233 North Clark), in celebration of Katherine Scott Nelson's bisexual runaway coming-of-age novella, Have You Seen Me, which believe it or not has made a whopping $600 in just its first two weeks of release, a new record for the center. Come see what's got everyone so excited! Oh, plus we're sharing the bill that night with a touring lesbian mystery author named JM Redmann, so how fascinating will that be? PLUS FREE HIPSTER STICKERS! How can you go wrong!?
Then on Monday, November 14th -- it's our next original book! In fact, it's the simultaneous release of Ben Tanzer's So Different Now, his second collection for the center of dark short stories all set in the same crumbling small upstate New York town (after 2008's Repetition Patterns); and the book all of us are much more excited about, a deluxe oversized holiday paper edition of these two electronic collections put together, simply known as The New York Stories, and containing thirty new illustrations by local artist Laura Szumowski (the same person who did our stickers), six of them in full color and inserted via special vellum sheets. Faux-suede covers! Cotton sheets! Seven by seven inches! Coptic stitching! Signature/provenance page and full Colophon! Victoriana-meets-Raygun design sensibility! Very likely to go up in value among art-book collectors in the future! It'll be a bargain at $75, I'm telling you right now, and a perfect Christmas gift for anyone who's a passionate fan of either the center, Ben or Laura.
Then that weekend, November 19th and 20th -- it's CCLaP's very first book fair! It's the inaugural Chicago Book Expo, in fact, being held literally four blocks from my apartment, very close to the intersection of Lawrence and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood. This is the very first time the center has officially participated in an event of this sort, so I thought I'd celebrate by ordering a six-foot-long vinyl banner of our Szumowski "angry nerd girl" logo to adhere to the front of our booth, to make us look like we actually know what we're doing. There's over forty Chicago publishers participating, all of whom will have books for sale in the convention-sized "popup bookstore" the expo is creating; plus CCLaP authors Jason Fisk, Sally Weigel and Katherine Scott Nelson will be performing at the main expo stage throughout the weekend, and with other center authors planning on at least spending some time at the booth, signing books and giving me much-needed bathroom breaks. Hope to see you there!
And then finally, on Saturday, December 10th -- it's our very first high-ticket fundraiser! I'm calling it "A CCLaP Christmas with Ben Tanzer and Friends" (separate web page coming soon), and has a very cool conceit at its core: it's being held in a literal Victorian mansion across the street from the University of Chicago campus, down in the far-south neighborhood of Hyde Park, and just one block away from Frank Lloyd Wright's historic Robie House. For just $100 a couple, you get not only a free copy of The New York Stories to take home with you (a $75 value just on its own), but free drinks all night, free gourmet finger-food, a trip down to the Robie House, and then finally an hour-long performance from the book in the home's wood-paneled library, including not just Ben and other famed Chicago performers reading from the stories, but with yet-to-be-picked musicians playing in the background as well, the whole thing being recorded for the CCLaP Podcast the following week. If you've been a long-time fan of the center, and have always wanted to do something ridiculously gracious to show your support, but would like something ridiculously fun back, and an evening you will literally never forget, now is the time to step up. Tickets for sale right this minute! GO BUY ONE RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!