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Nancy Pearl Talks with Kathleen Dunn About Books and Things at Boswell

Aug. 29, 2017
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Photo Credit: Susan Doupé Photography

Librarian, non-fiction author and action figure Nancy Pearl can now cross “write and get novel published” off her to-do list. She’ll be talking about George and Lizzie and other book-related matters with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Boswell Book Co. 

George and Lizzie is, on its face, about the title characters’ marriage. But it’s probably more accurate to describe it as the backstory of that marriage. “It’s a book that’s very character driven,” Pearl said in a recent phone interview.

As a public librarian, Pearl was the force behind 1998’s “If All Seattle Read the Same Book,” one of the earliest community reading initiatives. Such programs are now commonplace in libraries across the nation, including Milwaukee.

Pearl, who defines a good book as “any book that you like” said she wrote the book she wanted to read. “My attitude was that whatever I was writing, I was writing it for myself. If I was writing a book—and that wasn’t clear for several years,” she said, “it was going to be a book that was quirky and character-driven with a lot unsaid.”

George and Lizzie introduced themselves to Pearl one night when she couldn’t fall asleep. She knew from the jump where they met and what Lizzie’s last name was, but that was all. “Day by day, year by year, I gradually learned more about them,” she said, “and they were constantly surprising me… I thought about them all the time in my daily life, at the dentist and in my head and they became very, very real to me.”

Pearl said she’s looking forward to her Milwaukee visit, and hopes to squeeze in at least one stop before leaving the city. “I’ve been on Kathleen Dunn’s show for many years,” she said, “and I do love that Downtown library, so I’m hoping I can get to see it.”

Ticketed event featuring Nancy Pearl in conversation with Kathleen Dunn at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at Boswell Book Co. Tickets are $29 and include admission and a book with $5 of each ticket donated to Wisconsin Public Radio.

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