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This Week in Short Fiction

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Motherhood is an all-consuming thing. The sleepless nights, the endless diapers, the undying love, the absurd tasks that must be performed to ease a baby into nap time. But time and energy aren’t the only casualties of motherhood. In our culture, motherhood often demands one’s identity as well, consumes it whole as the woman becomes a public object for fawning over, for scrutinizing, for judging whether she measures up.

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Notable Chicago: 12/2–12/8

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Friday 12/2: Poetry Night at City Lit Books! Valerie Hsiung, author of the new book e f g: a trilogy, will be reading from her work, along with Julia Cohen, Hannah Brooks-Motl, and Toby Altman. 6:30 p.m., free.

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Notable Portland: 12/1–12/7

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Thursday 12/1: Senator Bernie Sanders comes to Portland to share his personal experiences from the campaign trail and read from his book, Our Revolution. Powell’s City of Books, 12 p.m., free.

Local author and Olympian Carolyn Wood reads from her memoir, Tough Girl.

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Notable San Francisco: 11/30–12/6

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Wednesday 11/30: City Lights celebrates the publication of the magazine, Freeman’s: 2: Family: The Best New Writing on Family, from Grove Press. Editor John Freeman will be on hand. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Thursday 12/1: Novelist (Exiles) and short story writer Cary Groner reads for Story Hour at the Morrison Library at UC Berkeley.

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This Week in Essays

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For the office drones struggling to come back after the four-day weekend, take heart in James Livingston’s essay for Aeon considering whether work is necessary in our present age.

Here at The Rumpus, Helen Betya Rubinstein expresses a sense of dislocation that’s familial and personal in the face of our newly reinforced election-cycle gender binary.

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This Week in Indie Bookstores

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Hillary Clinton sought some post-election refuge at Savoy Bookstore in Rhode Island.

Borgo Publishing, a small indie publisher, will open an bookstore in Tuscaloosa.

Iconic Canadian bookstore owner James Munro passed away at the age of eighty-seven.

Washington DC’s Kramerbooks is expanding just in time for a president who claims not to have enough time to read books.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, Casandra Lopez threads together the fragments of self-identity, the love of cars her father and brother were born with, and a lost soul. Through the retelling of the death of her younger brother, Lopez explores the lasting wounds it caused for her and for her family, and how it feels to be related to the dead—it’s a brokenness that requires years of care and love—much like a beat-up car—to heal.

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Notable Twin Cities: 11/27–12/3

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Monday 11/28: Head out to Common Good Books to hear two featured poets read their newest work. Emilie Buchwald will read from The Moment’s Only Moment, and Margaret Hasse will read from Between Us. 7 p.m., free.

Tuesday 11/29: At Barnes & Noble in St.

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Notable NYC: 11/26–12/2

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Saturday 11/26: Sarah Kay, Maeve Higgins, Phil Kaye, and Mark Doss read for refugees, as part of the Festival to Improve the World. The Wild Project, 4 p.m., $10.

Monday 11/28: Jason Diamond launches Searching for John Hughes with a conversation with Danielle Henderson.

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The Daily Struggle

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Lord knows the world has changed since I wrote this talk, but when the world falls to pieces around us, especially when the world falls to pieces, writers will still sit down to write. As Beckett tells us, even when we have “no power to express” and “no desire to express,” we still have “the obligation to express.” Telling stories allows the reader or the audience to see through the eyes of another, and generates empathy that we need now more than ever.

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Notable Portland: 11/24–11/30

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Saturday 11/26: Celebrate Indies First Day with Cheryl Strayed, author of Torch and Wild. Other authors joining the celebration include Estela Bernal, Randy Blazak, Peter Ames Carlin, Curtis Chen, Rene Denfeld, Monica Drake, Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, Laura Foster, Casey Jarman, Karen Karbo, Joe Kurmaskie, Pamela Lindholm-Levy, Whitney Otto, Arn Strasser, Pauls Toutonghi, Suzy Vitello, Ruth Wariner, Alan Wieder, Carolyn Wood, and Lidia Yuknavitch.

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Readers Report: Harvest

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A collection of short pieces written by Rumpus readers pertaining to the subject of “Harvest.” ...more

Notable San Francisco: 11/23–11/29

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It’s a slow week for events, so we can all take a deep breath for reflection, then plunge back in this weekend. Thank you for visiting The Rumpus and helping to keep our communities alive and lively.

Saturday 11/26: Come hang with the East Bay crowd at Saturday Night Special, where participants will get down with the theme of “surreal.” Hugh Behm-Steinberg will be a featured reader.

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This Week in Essays

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Here at The Rumpus, this essay by Liz Latty on challenging the fairy tale myth of adoption is receiving a tremendous response from readers.

Malloy Owen has written a mind-opening essay for The Point providing a valuable perspective that challenges liberals to reexamine liberalism.

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This Week in Indie Bookstores

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Bookstore sales continue to grow.

In the wake of the presidential election, bookstores are becoming more than just shops and are serving their communities as impromptu community centers.

More independent bookstores are becoming publishers.

Bushwick Brooklyn’s Molasses Books has started fundraising for good causes following Trump’s election.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in Rumpus Saturday Fiction, Sherman Alexie’s shares three short stories—”Fixed Income,” “Honor Society,” and “Valediction”—that all offer his trademark whimsy and insight into the human condition. Three different teenagers struggle with poverty, endemic racism, and social exclusion, and must depend upon themselves to make the right choices in difficult moral situations.

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Dan Weiss’s Morning Coffee

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and just like that the holidays are descending upon us. We here at DWMC are out of town taking the week off for Thanksgiving. We’ll be back up and running next Monday. It’s a scary world out there, be good to each other.

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Notable Twin Cities: 11/20–11/26

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Sunday 11/20: As the protests to protect Native land and water continue up north, Native authors Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker will read and answer questions about their new, critically acclaimed nonfiction book, All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans (Random House).

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Notable NYC: 11/19–11/25

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Saturday 11/19: We Are All Affected, a Trump Protest. Union Square, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., free.

Maxe Crandall, Allison Parrish, Charlie Bondhus, and Hal Schrieve celebrate the third issue of Vetch. McNally Jackson Books, 7 p.m., free.

Sasha Banks and Alex Cuff join the Segue Series.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Following last week’s election results, the writing world has been full of voices reminding us of the power of words to protest, to heighten awareness, and to effect change. Whether through poetry, essay, memoir, fiction, or otherwise, words are an important vehicle for reaching those who need support, challenging those who need to be called out, bearing witness to injustice, and raising visibility of marginalized groups.

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Notable Chicago: 11/18–11/24

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Friday 11/18: Fifth Wednesday Journal presents a reading by Tony Triglio, Christina Pugh, Richard Jones, and Sheila Donohue at The Book Cellar. 7 p.m., free.

Tara Betts will read from her new poetry collection Break the Habit at Women & Children First

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