all familiar with the agonizing scenario: the family dining table that serves
as a battleground; the television set (and, increasingly, the Internet) that
serves as a palliative and the drugs, alcohol or infidelity that serve as
emotional props. American popular culture and literature is resplendent with
memorably dysfunctional families, whether it’s through the writings of Eugene
O’Neill and Raymond Carver or animated TV hits like “The Simpsons” and “Family
Guy.” The success of shows like “The Osbournes” reveals the delight that
viewers take in seeing other people’s dirty laundry aired in public.
this tradition is PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author Jennifer Haigh. In her new book, The Condition, she writes about a New England
couple visited with more problems than most. Apart from a disintegrating
marriage, one increasingly estranged son and another in the throes of suburban
purgatory, their daughter suffers from Turner syndrome, a rare genetic disorder
where the body never matures from girlhood.
novel follows the success of Haigh’s 2004 debut novel, Mrs. Kimble, and has been described as being "filled with
genuine insight and touching lyricism." Haigh comes to the Harry W.
Schwartz Bookshop in Shorewood at 7 p.m. on June 30.
this week, parents looking to keep their kids occupied over the summer will be
glad to hear of a number of children’s readings taking place at venues around
the city. Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Brookfield
and BayshoreTownCenter host a story-time event
followed by a children’s activity at 10 a.m. on June 26 and July 2, and at
location at 10 a.m. on July 2. MilwaukeeArt Museum teams up with
MPTV to host its very own monthly book salon for children at 10:30 a.m. on June
28. The event, titled “Bugs, Butterflies and Backyard Fun,” includes a reading
that relates to the insects and outdoor places depicted in the museum’s art
collection, followed by an opportunity for children to draw images inspired by
what they’ve seen and heard. The event is free with general admission.