Literati is delighted to welcome staff-favorite Rebecca Makkai - Author in support of Music for Wartime! Rebecca will be joined in conversation by Whiting Award-winning author Michael Byers.
Music for Wartime is a collection of short stories with intelligence, wit, and heart. A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, while her own relationship falls apart. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father’s past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction. Ranging from comedy to tragedy to the surreal, from the world of academia to war zones, these fifteen stories ask the question of what it means to be an artist in a brutal and sometimes ugly world.
“Though these stories alternate in time between WWII and the present day, they all are set, as described in the story “Exposition,” within “the borders of the human heart”—a terrain that their author maps uncommonly well.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred and featured review
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper’s, Tin House, and New England Review. The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai will be visiting faculty this fall at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Michael Byers is the author of The Coast of Good Intentions, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Long for This World, which won the annual fiction prize from Friends of American Writers; and the acclaimed novel Percival's Planet. Byers’ fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Best American Travel Writing, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan.