Dawn Raffel - "Boundless as the Sky" - Pamela D. Toler

Thursday, January 26, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Dawn Raffel

Dawn Raffel will discuss Boundless as the Sky. She will be joined in conversation by Pamela D. Toler.

This is an in-person event at the Seminary Co-op. At this time, masks are required for in-store events. 


About the book: Dawn Raffel's Boundless as the Sky is a book of the invisible histories that repose beneath the cities we inhabit, and the worlds we try to build out of words. The first of its two parts, stories of real and invented cities, some ancient, some dystopian, is a response to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. The second part comes together into one narrative, taking place in a single city-Chicago-on a single day in 1933. It is based closely on a true event, the arrival of a "roaring armada of goodwill" in the form of twenty-four seaplanes flown in a display of fascist power by Mussolini's wingman Italo Balbo to Chicago's "Century of Progress" World's Fair. The 7000-mile flight from Rome to Chicago was lauded by both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Hitler, at a time when aviation made banner headlines across the US, and news of the Nazis was often in a side column. The novella follows a few of the many thousands of Chicagoans there to witness the planes' arrival. These two panels of Raffel's poetic diptych call out to each other with a mysterious and disquieting harmony, and from history and fantasy to the dangers and dark realities of the current moment with startling insight and urgency.

About the author: Dawn Raffel is the author of five previous books, most recently The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies, which won praise from Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, O, The Oprah Magazine, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. It was also one of the New York Post's most-read books and it was named ne of NPR's best books of 2018. Her most recent story collection Further Adventures in the Universe was longlisted for the Story Prize. Her stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including NOON, BOMB, Conjunctions, Exquisite Pandemic, New American Writing, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, Best Small Fictions, and more. You can find more on Dawn at www.dawnraffel.com

About the interlocutor: Armed with a PhD in history, a well-thumbed deck of library cards, and a large bump of curiosity, author, speaker, and historian, Pamela D. Toler translates history for a popular audience. She goes beyond the familiar boundaries of American history to tell stories from other parts of the world as well as history from the other side of the battlefield, the gender line, or the color bar. Toler is the author of nine books of popular history for children and adultsmost recently Women Warriors: An Unexpected History and Across the Minefields. Her work has appeared in Aramco World, Calliope, History Channel Magazine, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and Time.comYou can find more on Pamela at www.pameladtoler.com

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637