UPCOMING READINGS, WORKSHOPS, AND ETC.
"Van Winckel's BOOK OF NO LEDGE reconfigures a book of knowledge into a book of wonder, just as life does, for many of us wonder what it was we ever knew – its long sigh issues through you and all the wild in you will be loosed." – Mary Ruefle
“As usual, it starts with love. I had my heart set on the door-to-door encyclopedia salesboy.” So begins BOOK OF NO LEDGE, a collection of poetically altered encyclopedia entries, pages filled with quirky social satire and absurdist wit that are unique and uniquely provocative.
The book charts a journey from a girl’s infatuation with the all-knowing voice of knowledge towards a speaker who “turned into a much older woman and had these nice sharp scissors and even X-acto blades.” In Nance Van Winckel’s encyclopedia, Mr. Explainer is forced to ask with dismay, “You're not certain that the white man helped the tribal people as well as I've so carefully outlined?” By the time he reaches the entry on Westward Expansion, Mr. Explainer is in a panic. “Surely you won’t chop away that whole paragraph about the wonderful westward expansion and put some little poem in its place. A poem is not a fact, dear. Wait! We’ve been together for almost half a century! How could you! You know I loved you first.
A 99-year-old great-grandmother tells the story of a family filled with quirks, foibles and downright strangeness through a series of photographs and family memorabilia. The photographs are all captioned, some at great length, by the family matriarch. They describe life in Butte, Montana, surrounded by the great copper mines of the early 20th century, and, later, by the environmental devastation left behind when the mines failed.
Here, in 1999, as the town awaits the Y2K meltdown and a “virgin birth” is apparently about to occur, Grandy hurries to divest herself of the secrets concerning both her good and bad contributions to Butte and her own descendants.
FRIDAY, NOV. 4, 7-9
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