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Rick Bailey and Sharon Harrigan

Literati is thrilled to welcome authors Sharon Harrigan and Rick Bailey in support of their new memoirs Playing with Dynamite and American English, Italian Chocolate

About Playing with Dynamite
Sharon Harrigan’s father was larger than life, a brilliant but troubled man who blew off his hand with dynamite before she was born and died in a mysterious and bizarre accident when she was seven. The story of his death never made sense. How did he really die? And why was she so sure that asking would be dangerous? A series of events compel her to find the answers, collecting other people’s memories and uncovering her own. Her two-year odyssey takes her from Virginia to Detroit to Paris and finally to the wilds of northern Michigan where her father died. There, she discovers the real danger and has to confront her fear.

Playing with Dynamite is about the family secrets that can distance us from each other and the honesty that can bring us closer. It’s about a daughter who goes looking for her father but finds her mother instead. It’s about memory and truth, grieving and growing, and what it means to go home again.

About American English, Italian Chocolate
American English, Italian Chocolate is a memoir in essays beginning in the American Midwest and ending in north central Italy. In sharply rendered vignettes, Rick Bailey reflects on donuts and ducks, horses and car crashes, outhouses and EKGs. He travels all night from Michigan to New Jersey to attend the funeral of a college friend. After a vertiginous climb, he staggers in clogs across the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In a trattoria in the hills above the Adriatic, he ruminates on the history and glories of beans, from Pythagoras to Thoreau, from the Saginaw Valley to the Province of Urbino. Bailey is a bumbling extra in a college production of Richard III. He is a college professor losing touch with a female student whose life is threatened by her husband. He is a father tasting samples of his daughter's wedding cake. He is a son witnessing his aging parents' decline. He is the husband of an Italian immigrant who takes him places he never imagined visiting, let alone making his own. At times humorous, at times bittersweet, Bailey's ultimate subject is growing and knowing, finding the surprise and the sublime in the ordinary detail of daily life

Sharon Harrigan has a B.A. in English from Columbia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University. She teaches memoir writing at WriterHouse in Charlottesville. She has published over four dozen essays, reviews, and short stories. Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Pleiades, SliceNarrativePearl, Prime Number, Silk Road, Mid American Review, Louisiana Literature, Apercus Quarterly, Rain Taxi, Hip Mama, Fiction Writers’ Review, Streetlight Magazine, Passing Through Journal, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Rumpus. She is a contributing editor at The Nervous Breakdownand at Silk Road Review.

Rick Bailey is a professor emeritus of English at Henry Ford College in Michigan. He is the author or editor of several books on writing, including The Creative Writer's Craft.

Event date: 
Friday, September 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
124 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Playing with Dynamite: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781612482101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Truman State University Press - September 1st, 2017

American English, Italian Chocolate: Small Subjects of Great Importance Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781496201195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Nebraska Press - July 1st, 2017