Book It: The Five Best Literary Events in Denver This Week

Paul Child
Yes, it’s the third week in November, the time when Americans traditionally say, “Holy shit, it’s already the third week in November?” and then start freaking out about the Thanksgiving menu that they have yet to plan. One option, of course, is to head to the grocery store and get to work on pecan-based side dishes. The other option? Relax. Read a book. I know which one I’d choose. Here, a list of literary options to take your mind off turkey this week.

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Thames & Hudson
Alex Prud’homme, France Is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child
7p.m., Monday, November 13
Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax Avenue

While we might be ignoring turkey right now, that doesn’t mean we need to ignore the rest of the edible experience, right? And with that in mind, Alex Prud’homme presents this paean to the life and love of inimitable PBS culinary queen Julia Child and her equally noteworthy husband, the photographer Paul. Their story is told through narrative and over 200 images taken from 1948-'54, when they lived in Paris…and were prepping to become the national figures they were destined to be.

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Kazuo Ishiguro
Cynthia Wong, [email protected] Series: Kazuo Ishiguro
Noon, Tuesday, November 14
Auraria Campus
Student Commons Room 1300
University of Colorado Denver professor Cynthia Wong presents the work of Kazuo Ishiguro, the 2017 Nobel Prize Winner in literature, whose novels include Remains of the Day (1989), Never Let Me Go (2005) and The Buried Giant (2015). Wong literally wrote the book on Ishiguro; her insights are definitely worth packing a sack lunch.

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Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 15
Boettcher Concert Hall
1000 14th St.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the NEA’s Big Read and the City and County of Denver all team up to host poet and MacArthur fellow Claudia Rankine in the latest Denver Talks series — this one a timely discussion of race and social justice, free and open to the public, with Mayor Michael Hancock. Rankine is also appearing Thursday, November 16 at 12:30 ,p.m. in the Tivoli Turnhalle on the Auraria Campus, and will give a craft talk at 4 p.m. that same afternoon at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop (1515 Race Street, tickets $75). Join in the conversation.

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Simon & Schuster
Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened
7 p.m., Thursday, November 16
Bellco Theater, Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Just a little over a year ago, who would have guessed that Hillary Clinton was going to have the time these days to go on a national book tour? Pretty much everyone thought that she’d be too busy, you know, being president. Instead, we have Trump in the White House, and Hillary Clinton is going around the country trying to explain What Happened.
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Marea Evans
Helen Thorpe, The Newcomers
7 p.m., Thursday, November 16
Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax Avenue
As if your Thursday weren’t already crowded enough with possibilities, here’s one more: Helen Thorpe, author of Just Like Us and Soldier Girls, reads and signs The Newcomers. The new book focuses on a group of teenage refugees as they start a new life at South High School right here in Denver in the 2015-'16 academic year. “Few books could be more vital,” a cover blurb says, “in this particular moment.” Though to be fair, Clinton’s What Happened is right up there. And thus the Thursday conundrum. Luckily, either choice is a can’t-lose proposition.

Next week: the legendary Dan Rather and probably a whole lot of cookbooks.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen