Date & Time
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
**This event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule in the coming months.**
“Written with such tenderness and honesty, Degrees of Difficulty stole nights and weekends, as I found myself yearning to rejoin the journey of Ben’s family. What an astonishing debut.” — Alex Kotlowitz, author of "There Are No Children Here: A Story of Two Boys Growing Up" and "An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago"
Julie E. Justicz discusses "Degrees of Difficulty." She will be joined in conversation by Rosellen Brown. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
At the Co-op
About the book: Love is the foundation of family, but at what cost? After Ben Novotny is born with a rare chromosomal disorder that produces profound mental disability and brain-racking seizures, his parents, Caroline and Perry, and their two other children are asked to give more than they have. When Ben is an infant, the care and the fear are constant. The demands and pressure only mount when he and his older brother and sister become teenagers. Ben needs even more from his family, just as Hugo, the athlete and the “good soul”, and Ivy, the ambitious rebel, must carve out their own identities. Over the span of decades, this deep and understanding novel follow each family member, Perry and Caroline, Hugo and Ivy, as their lives diverge. In "Degrees of Difficulty," grace is found amidst heartache, love finds a way after loss.
About the author: Born and raised in rural England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont Center for Fine Arts. As an attorney, advocate and writer, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her spouse, Mary, their two kids, and two dogs.
About the interlocutor: Rosellen Brown has published eleven books – novels, short stories, poetry, essays – and has lived in almost as many places – New York, Boston, San Francisco, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Texas and, currently, Chicago. After many years on the faculty of the University of Houston and more than a dozen summers leading the Spoleto (Italy) Writers’ Workshop, she now teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
She has one husband, two daughters, one grand-daughter, one cat, too many books (read and unread) on her sagging shelves, and lives in Mr. Obama’s (ex-) Neighborhood, overlooking Lake Michigan.