addcalendar Download Event

Date & Time

Thursday, January 16, 2020
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore


Free and open to the public

More Information


Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Jean Carney discusses "Blackbird Blues." She will be joined in conversation by Kenneth W. Warren. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

About the book: "Blackbird Blues" is a novel of illegal abortion and child abandonment in the 1963 Chicago world of civil rights and interracial jazz. Voices of two women tell their stories: Mary Kaye O’Donnell, an eighteen-year-old Irish-American aspiring jazz singer struggling with an unwanted pregnancy, and the 1940s diary entries of Sister Michaeline, Mary Kaye’s jazz mentor and guide through the bedlam of Mary Kaye’s childhood.

About the author: "Blackbird Blues" is Jean’s debut novel. Before turning to writing fiction, Jean spent eight years as an award-winning reporter and editorial writer at The Milwaukee Journal, covering Children’s Court, City Hall, and Roe v. Wade. She earned a Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Chicago and trained at a large Chicago inner-city psychiatric hospital. In full-time private practice as a psychologist for thirty years in the Chicago Loop, she saw patients from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. After her husband died of ALS, she edited his last book, "Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination," stopped publishing in professional psychoanalytic venues, and turned to fiction. She has since remarried and is the mother of a son and a son and daughter by marriage.

About the interlocutor: Kenneth W. Warren is Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. His most recent book is "What Was African American Literature?" He is also coeditor (with Adolph Reed Jr.) of "Renewing Black Intellectual History: The Ideological and Material Foundations of African American Thought" and (with Tess Chakkalakal) of "Jim Crow, Literature," and "The Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs."