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Growing Up Chicago at The Book Cellar

July 26, 2022 @ 7:00 pm8:00 pm

On July 26th, The Book Cellar is hosting a panel for the book Growing Up Chicago edited by David Schaafsma, Roxanne Pilat, and Lauren Bell. The conversation will be between authors Jessie Ann Foley, Saja Elshareif, and Dhana-Marie Branton and will be moderated by editor Lauren DeJulio Bell and Megan Gallardo.

About the Book:

A collection of coming-of-age stories written by Chicagoland authors that reflects the diversity of the city and its metropolitan area. Primarily memoir, the book asks, What characterizes a Chicago author?

“An entertaining and touching tumble of sexual awakenings, identity quests, dangerous liaisons, early sorrows, boundary crossings, and 16-inch softball. There’s a different Chicago in each piece–the city serves as witness, backdrop, companion, solace. This ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse collection takes us to a snowy Chicago alley, a suburban living room, Catholic school, playgrounds and fields, buses and subways, the Art Institute, and a gas station in its explorations of the private and dramatic world of childhood and adolescence. This accomplished collection reminds us that childhood is never safe, but it is also wondrous and raw.” –S.L. Wisenberg, author of The Adventures of Cancer Bitch

About the authors:

Dhana- Marie Branton is an award winning playwright and essayist whose plays have been produced in Chicago and New York. A former fellow at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, she earned her MFA in creative nonfiction. She is the artistic director of the writing collective Brainboat Literary and Film, which will release Minors of the Universe in 2022.

Saja Elshareif was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and has never lived anywhere else. With her husband and two children, she currently lives in a southwest suburb of Chicago, where she is an English professor at the local community college.

Jessie Ann Foley is the Printz Honor- winning author of the novels The Carnival at Bray, Neighborhood Girls, Sorry for Your Loss, You Know I’m No Good and Breda’s Island. Her work has been praised by Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, YALSA, Bank Street, and Entertainment Weekly, and has been featured on school and recommended reading lists across the United States. Jessie lives with her family on the northwest side of Chicago, where she was born and raised.

About the Editors:

Lauren DeJulio Bell teaches in the Honors College at the University of Illinois Chicago. She previously taught in the UIC English Department and the Chicago Public Schools district. She serves on the associate board of StoryStudio Chicago and leads a local project (We Are All Chicago) where she engages with the people of Chicago to foster civic engagement, community writing, and artistic endeavors.

Megan Gallardo is currently a junior in the Honors College at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring to become an English teacher. She is working under the CURA grant as a research assistant and marketing assistant for the Growing Up Chicago bookShe currently works as a Youth Mentoring and Intern Coordinator at a non-profit organization called World Relief, dedicated to helping out immigrants and refugees settling in the US. In her free time, she is busy reading new books and concocting new stories.
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 – 7:00pm


July 26, 2022
7:00 pm–8:00 pm

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