Organizers of this year's Wisconsin Book Festival continue their buildup to next month's seventh annual event with a special program scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 16. In cooperation with the west-side Borders Books at 3750 University Ave., the festival is presenting a big-screen webcast featuring Philip Roth live from New York City. The winner of a Pulitzer for fiction, two National Book Awards and a handful of PEN/Faulkner awards, Roth is scheduled to discuss his 29th novel, Indignation, with host Ben Taylor.
Set in Ohio on the campus of Winesburg College, against the backdrop of the Korean and Cold Wars, Indignation is the tale of a transplanted urban New Jersey youth who is eligible for the draft and struggling with the sexual myths and mores of the era. The book has drawn mixed reviews, but signed first editions of Indignation will be available at Tuesday's webcast while supplies last. Readers can register through the Wisconsin Book Festival website to enter a drawing to win one of the signed copies, but must be present at the drawing, scheduled for 6:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, festival presenter Gail Konop Baker, author of two novels and the forthcoming memoir Cancer is a Bitch: Or, I'd Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis, reports that her personal run-up to this year's Wisconsin Book Festival includes such recent expeditions as taking her daughter to college and three restorative days on Madeline Island in Lake Superior ("running, kayaking, biking, sitting around the campfire until 3 a.m. every night"), and that she is now facing a whirlwind of interviews, a photo shoot, an appearance at a health and wellness fair to benefit Dresses That Heal, a flurry of readings in San Francisco and New York City, back to Madison for the official book launch and reading, followed a quick trip down the interstate to Milwaukee before returning to town in time for the festival.
This year's Wisconsin Book Festival begins on Wednesday, October 15 and runs through Sunday, October 19.