Karen Bender will read from her new short story collection, “The New Order” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.
Bender is a National Book Award finalist for “Refund.”
In “The New Order” Bender examines the changes in American culture over the last two years through the increasing presence of violence, bigotry, sexual harassment, and the emotional costs of living under constant threat.
Bender also is the author of the novels “Like Normal People” and “A Town of Empty Rooms.” She has won grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the NEA.
Bender is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Virginia with her husband, author Robert Anthony Siegel, and their two children.
if you go
Karen Bender, 7 p.m. Thursday at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Free.
Sandy Allen, 7 p.m. Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Nonfiction Writing Program alum Sandy Allen will read from “A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise.” The book is Allen’s rendition of the typewritten “true story” of Allen’s uncle Bob, a hermit who sometimes showed up at family vacations, and who had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2009 he had mailed Allen the typewritten “true story” about his being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” with a plea to help him get his story out to the world. Allen is a non-binary trans writer, speaker, editor and teacher, whose work focuses on constructs of normalcy, including psychiatric disability and gender. Bender lives in the Catskills.
Art Lovers Book Club Part 2, 4 p.m. at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Discuss “Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson through chapter 19. Free.
What’cha Reading Book Club, 6 to 7 p.m. at M & M Books, 212 Edgeweood Rd. NW, Cear Rapids.
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Chris McGreal, 7 p.m. at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. McGreal is a U.S. correspondent for The Guardian, and former journalist with the BBC. He will read from his book, “American Overdose.” McGreal was the Guardian’s correspondent in Johannesburg, Jerusalem and Washington D.C., and now writes from across the United States. Hed has earned awards for coverage of the Rwandan genocide, the Middle East, and the economic recession in America include the James Cameron prize for “combining moral vision and professional integrity” and the Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism that “penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth.” He is a former merchant seaman.