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Writing Workshop and Book Study

Join other reader-writers as they sample, create, discuss, and share writing practice prompts, literacy lore, inspiration, encouragement, and useful information. This workshop is facilitated by June Jefferson, an Arkansas LifeWriting Workshop leader since 1996.

The group is currently working from What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas. Concurrently, they will study Looking Back: A Book of Memories by Lois Lowry.

Abigail Thomas was startled to overhear herself described as "a nice old lady with a tattoo," because she thinks of herself as not nice, not old, nor a lady. But she has wondered: what comes next? What comes after the death of a spouse? What form does a lifelong friendship take after deepest betrayal? How does a mother cope with her child's dire illness? Or the death of a cherished dog?

And how to like it? How to accept, appreciate, enjoy? How to find solace and pleasure? How to sustain and be sustained by our most trusted, valuable companions? At its heart, What Comes Next and How to Like It is about the complicated friendship between Thomas and a man she met thirty-five years ago--a rich bond that has lasted through marriages, child-raising, and the vicissitudes and tragedies of life. "After all," she writes, "there are those people we love, and then there are those we recognize. These are the unbreakable connections."

Exquisitely observed, lush with sentences you will read over and over again, What Comes Next and How to Like It "is a beautifully felt, deeply moving memoir, the best work yet by a woman who has already done some of the best work in the field. Abigail Thomas is the Emily Dickinson of memoirists, and so much of this book's wisdom is between the lines and in the white spaces. It may only take you two days to read, but the impact will stay with you for a long, long time" (Stephen King). This is a glorious guide to living imperfectly and exuberantly.

In this fascinating, moving autobiography, Lois Lowry explores her rich history through personal photographs, memories, and recollections of her childhood. Lowry's writing often transports readers into other worlds. Now, we have the rare opportunity to travel into a real world that is her own--her life. This new edition features a refreshed design, an introduction by New York Times best-selling author Alice Hoffman, and original material from Lois as she shares memories from the past twenty years of her life, including the making of the film, The Giver. Readers will find inspiration and insight in this poignant trip through a legendary writer's past.

Earlier Event: August 10
Mystery Book Club