Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books
Local authors headline event at UW-Waukesha
The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books is a celebration that features more than 60 state and nationally recognized authors. In its seventh year, SEWI Bookfest will be held at UW-Waukesha, Nov 4-5. In addition to panels, book signings and author-talks headlined by local artists such as Milwaukee novelist Lauren Fox (Still Life with Husband, Days of Awe and Friends Like Us), past poet laureate and current UW-Milwaukee professor Brenda Cárdenas and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Higgins, this year’s festival will feature a Friday night keynote address by bestselling author Jane Hamilton.
Jane Hamilton is the internationally acclaimed author of numerous works of fiction, including the Oprah Book Club selections, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World. Her most recent novel, The Excellent Lombards, tells a heartfelt coming-of-age tale of a Wisconsin farm family at the turn of the 21st century. Narrated by the feisty “farm kid” Mary Frances and set on a sprawling apple orchard similar to the author’s own residence, this classic family saga comes alive with witty prose and lively characters in the Lombard clan who yearn to adapt to an increasingly commercialized world and also struggle valiantly to hold on to their traditional farming roots. As seen through the wise eyes of a spunky protagonist, The Excellent Lombards raises poignant questions about the future of family farming and a changing Midwest rural landscape.
An Evening with Jane Hamilton will begin with a 5 p.m. reception on Nov. 4, followed by a keynote address as 6:30 p.m. This ticketed event includes a copy of Hamilton’s new novel. A complete schedule of the weekend’s festivities can be found online at sewibookfest.com.