Kim Brooks - "Small Animals" - Rebecca Makkai

Monday, August 19, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Kim Brooks

"Small Animals interrogates how we weigh risk as parents, how we judge one another's parenting and what the costs might be--not just to parents, but to children, too--of a culture of constant surveillance." ―New York Times Book Review

Kim Brooks discusses Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear. She will be joined in conversation by Rebecca Makkai. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: "It might be the most important book about being a parent that you will ever read." —Emily Rapp Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of the Turning World

"Brooks's own personal experience provides the narrative thrust for the book — she writes unflinchingly about her own experience.... Readers who want to know what happened to Brooks will keep reading to learn how the case against her proceeds, but it's Brooks's questions about why mothers are so judgmental and competitive that give the book its heft." —NPR

One morning, Kim Brooks made a split-second decision to leave her four-year old son in the car while she ran into a store. What happened would consume the next several years of her life and spur her to investigate the broader role America’s culture of fear plays in parenthood. In Small Animals, Brooks asks, of all the emotions inherent in parenting, is there any more universal or profound than fear? Why have our notions of what it means to be a good parent changed so radically? In what ways do these changes impact the lives of parents, children, and the structure of society at large? And what, in the end, does the rise of fearful parenting tell us about ourselves?

Fueled by urgency and the emotional intensity of Brooks’s own story, Small Animals is a riveting examination of the ways our culture of competitive, anxious, and judgmental parenting has profoundly altered the experiences of parents and children. In her signature style—by turns funny, penetrating, and always illuminating—which has dazzled millions of fans and been called "striking" by New York Times Book Review and "beautiful" by the National Book Critics Circle, Brooks offers a provocative, compelling portrait of parenthood in America and calls us to examine what we most value in our relationships with our children and one another.

About the author: Kim Brooks is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, The Missouri Review, and other journals, and her essays have appeared in Salon, Buzzfeed, New York magazine, LennyLetter, and on WNYC’s Note to Self. Her novel The Houseguest was published in 2016. Kim Brooks lives in Chicago.

About the interlocutor: Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637