#ArtLitPhx: Am I American Yet? with Abdi Nor Iftin

Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019

Time: 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Location: Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Cost: Free

Event Details:

Join author Abdi Nor Iftin in partnership with Snell and Wilmer and The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a community reading and book signing Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013).

While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.

About the Book

Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. Marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.

Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. Eventually, though, Abdi was forced to flee to Kenya.

In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life. (Penguin Random House)

About the Author
Abdi Nor Iftin

When the civil war in Somalia began, Abdi Nor Iftin was five; he and his brother became the sole providers for the family while they also attended a madrassa. Amidst the daily shelling and the famine, Abdi had one escape: American movies and music. At neighborhood showings of RamboCommando, and The Terminator, Abdi learned of America, and taught himself English, and began to dream of a life in the United States.  

In Call Me American, Iftin recounts his harrowing, extraordinary, and uplifting story. His love of western culture and music earned him the name “Abdi American.” This became a liability when Islamic extremism took hold of Somalia. Evading conscription by al-Shabaab while secretly filing stories for NPR under penalty of death, he stayed in Somalia until he had no choice but to flee. He smuggled himself into Kenya, where a different but grinding life of hopelessness awaited. He spent days hiding silently in an apartment from raids by Kenyan police, once passing time reading The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump. And then, a stroke of incredible luck: he won the Diversity Visa Lottery.  

Now a proud and legal resident of Maine and on the path to citizenship this year, Abdi is attending a university in Maine, and working on a film about his book. He volunteers with his immigrant community in Maine, he translates for people with limited English.

Today’s America and the travel/immigration ban worry Abdi, a Muslim; as he writes, his brother, still in Kenya, is now often the one comforting him. Abdi’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid portrait of the desperation refugees seek to escape and a reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life.

Learn More About the Event or RSVP

#ArtLitPhx: Laurie Halse Anderson – SHOUT

Date: Sunday, March 31, 2019

Time: 4pm

Location: Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Cost:
Ticket Package 1: $19.54 + fees: One (1) copy of SHOUT and admission for one (1) person
Ticket Package 2: $23.54 + fees: One (1) copy of SHOUT and admission for two (2) people

Purchase tickets here.

Event Details:

The New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Speak shares her new book, SHOUT – a searing poetic memoir for the #MeToo era.

GET YOUR BOOK AND TICKET
Order your book and ticket through the Eventbrite page. We’ll send you an email confirmation.

TICKET PACKAGES→ Ticket Package 1: $19.54 + fees: One (1) copy of SHOUT and admission for one (1) person
→ Ticket Package 2: $23.54 + fees: One (1) copy of SHOUT and admission for two (2) people

EVENT GUIDELINES

  • PLEASE NOTE: This event is for mature audiences; children under the age of 13 will not be admitted.
  • CHECK-IN at the front information counter in Changing Hands Phoenix between 3 and 4pm.
  • PICK UP YOUR BOOK at Changing Hands Phoenix on event day between 3 and 4pm. You must purchase a ticket package (which includes a copy of SHOUT) from Changing Hands to enter the signing line.
  • SIGNING LINE forms by letter group printed on signing line vouchers handed out at check-in.
  • EVENT GUIDELINES may be subject to changes.
  • REFUNDS will not be issued within seven days of the event.

CAN’T MAKE IT? Call 602.274.0067 to order a signed copy of SHOUT and we’ll have it signed and reserved for you. We also ship anywhere in the US and to most international locations!

ABOUT THE BOOK
Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and new adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. She has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Find out more about Laurie by following her on Twitter and Instagram at @halseanderson or by visiting her website, madwomanintheforest.com.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR 
KATHLEEN GLASGOW’s first novel was the New York Times bestselling novel Girl in PiecesHow to Make Friends with the Darkis her second novel. She lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. To learn more about Kathleen and her writing, visit her website, kathleenglasgowbooks.com, or follow @kathglasgow on Twitter and @misskathleenglasgow on Instagram.

#ArtLitPhx: Piper Writers Studio Showcase

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Event Description:

See what the students and faculty of the #PiperWritersStudio have been up to with short readings of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and more.

Piper Writers Studio Showcase
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013)

For more information and to RSVP, visit http://piper-writers-studio-showcase.eventbrite.com

Readers will be announced in mid-to late November.

If you are interested in reading and have taken or taught a Piper Writers Studio class within the last year, you can send the Piper Center an email at pipercenter.info@asu.edu for more details.

#ArtLitPhx: First Fiction at First Draft

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Event Description:

It’s back! First Fiction returns to Changing Hands Bookstore, now at our own First Draft Book Bar.

Three first-time fiction writers read excerpts from their buzz-worthy novels while YOU enjoy happy hour prices at the bar. Afterwards, we’ll open the floor to questions, then enjoy an informal mixer with the authors, who will meet attendees, take photos, and sign their books.

FREE EVENT / VIP OPTIONS
The event is free, but you can also select from two VIP options, both of which entitle you to a pre-event mixer with the authors, all three books, an exclusive First Fiction tote, a free drink from our First Draft Book Bar, and complimentary light refreshments.

EVENT DETAILS RSVP: free: Entry to the FREE event starting at 7pm. → VIP Package 1: $85 + fees: Admission for one (1) person to an EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet with the authors (get pictures taken, mingle, one free drink, and free light refreshments), plus a collectible First Fiction tote, a reserved seat for the event, one (1) copy of THE INCENDIARIES, one (1) copy of FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE, and one (1) copy of FRIDAY BLACK. → VIP Package 2: $100 + fees: Admission for two (2) people to an EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet with the authors (get pictures taken, mingle, two (2) free drinks, and free light refreshments), plus a collectible First Fiction tote, reserved seats for the event, one (1) copy of THE INCENDIARIES, one (1) copy of FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE, and one (1) copy of FRIDAY BLACK.

The EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet (with the purchase of a VIP Package) takes place from 6-7-pm.

FREE PARKING / LIGHT RAIL

  • Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon

The Incendiaries probes the seductive and dangerous places to which we drift when loss unmoors us. In dazzlingly acrobatic prose, R. O. Kwon explores the lines between faith and fanaticism, passion and violence, the rational and the unknowable.” Celeste Ng, author of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet in their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn’t tell anyone she blames herself for her mother’s recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is drawn into a secretive cult founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will finds himself struggling to confront a new version of the fanaticism he’s worked so hard to escape. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

“When women tell stories, they are finally at the center of the page. When women of color write history, we see the world as we have never seen it before. In Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras honors the lives of girls who witness war. Brava! I was swept up by this story.” Sandra Cisneros, author of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

“This book is dark and captivating and essential…A call to arms and a condemnation. Adjei-Brenyah offers powerful prose as parable. The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope. Read this book.” — Roxane Gay

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

R. O. KWON is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Guardian, Vice, Buzzfeed, Time, Noon, Electric Literature, Playboy, and elsewhere. She has received awards from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Omi International, the Steinbeck Center, and the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.

INGRID ROJAS CONTRERAS was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She has received fellowships and awards from The Missouri Review, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is the book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate.

NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black is his first book.

#ArtLitPhx: Reading with Dan Beachy-Quick

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Event Description:

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Changing Hands proudly present a reading with essayist, poet, and author Dan Beachy-Quick on Friday, October 26, 2018 at Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013) at 7 p.m. This event is open to the public and free

To learn more and RSVP, visit http://piper.asu.edu/events/dan-beachy-quick/poetry-reading.

At Work in Sound and Vision with Dan Beachy-Quick takes place the following day, Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Piper Writers House at 1:00 p.m. To learn more about Dan’s class, visit http://piper.asu.edu/classes/dan-beachy-quick/poetry-workshop.

About the Book:
Midway through the journey of his life, Dan Beachy-Quick found himself without a path, unsure how to live well. Of Silence and Song follows him through the forest of his experience, on a classical search for meaning in the world and in his particular, quiet life.

In essays, fragments, marginalia, images, travel writing, and poetry, Beachy-Quick traces relationships and the identities through which he sees the world. As father and husband. As teacher and student. As citizen and scholar. And as poet and reader, wondering at the potential and limits of literature, and guided by his studies in ancient Greek.

Of Silence and Song finds its inferno—and its paradise—in moments both historically vast and nakedly intimate. Our world’s disappearing bees, James Eagan Holmes, Columbine, and the persistent, unforgivable crime of slavery—these are the circles of hell Beachy-Quick wanders, but cannot escape. And yet he encounters redemption in the art of Marcel Duchamp, the pressed flowers in Emily Dickinson’s Bible, and long walks with his youngest daughter, Iris. “The litany in hell is weeping, weeping,” he writes, “but there are other litanies.”

Curious, earnest, and masterful, Of Silence and Song is an unforgettable exploration of the human soul.

About the Author:
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of a collection of essays, fragments, and poems, Of Silence & Song (Milkweed, 2017). He has written six books of poetry, gentlessness, Circle’s Apprentice, North True South Bright, Spell, Mulberry, and This Nest, Swift Passerine, six chapbooks, Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs, Apology for the Book of Creatures, Overtakelesness, Heroisms, Canto and Mobius Crowns (the latter two both written in collaboration with the poet Srikanth Reddy), a book of interlinked essays on Moby-Dick, A Whaler’s Dictionary, as well as a collection of essays, meditations and tales, Wonderful Investigations. Reddy and Beachy-Quick’s collaboration has recently been released as a full-length collection, Conversities, and he has also collaborated with the essayist and performance artist Matthew Goulish on Work From Memory. In 2013, University of Iowa Press published a monograph on John Keats in their Muse Series (editor Robert D. Richardson) titled A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work, and Coffee House Press published his first novel, An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky. He is a contributing editor for the journals A Public Space and West Branch. After graduating from the University of Denver, he attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He has taught at Grinnell College, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently teaching in the MFA Writing Program at Colorado State University. His work has been a winner of the Colorado Book Award, and has been a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Prize, and the PEN/USA Literary Award in Poetry. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation residency, and taught as Visiting Faculty at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in spring 2010. He was one of two Monfort Professors at CSU for 2013-2015, and his work has been supported by the Guggenheim Fellow and by a Creative Fellow of the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline SLAM: Skool’d

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Date: September 14th

Time: 7 pm-9 pm

Event Description:

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme Skool’d.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org August 11th through September 8th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn September 9th and posted on the TheStoryline.org. Two more names will be drawn live at the beginning of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

Get Tickets Here

#ArtLitPhx: Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing: Poetry Reading with Carolina Ebeid

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Event Description:

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Changing Hands proudly present a poetry reading with Carolina Ebeid on First Friday, September 7, 2018 at Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013) at 7 p.m. This event is open to the public and free.

To learn more and RSVP, visit https://piper.asu.edu/events/carolina-ebeid/poetry-reading

Between Inventory and Invention with Carolina Ebeid takes place the following day on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281). To learn more about Carolina’s class, visit https://piper.asu.edu/classes/carolina-ebeid/list-poem-workshop.

About the Book
You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior emerges out of the ontological shock and double-bind of there being a world (rather than nothing at all), and inhabiting this world that “depends on violence.” Still, Carolina Ebeid writes, “I have wanted / to make you something // beautiful.” Drawing on influences such as Roland Barthes’s notion of the punctum (the photographic detail that pierces the viewer) to the repertoire of circles and twirls––the veronicas––bullfighters make with the red cape to attract the bull, Ebeid explores a poetics that is at once intricate and intimate. The poems in this book move by way of metaphors and poetic turns that reveal and wound; they cover territories ranging from personal confession and diagnosis to political catastrophes such as war and exile. Witnessing again to the lyric as art of ethical reckoning, each poem in You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior is an ardent fathoming of our most interior selves, each poem in Ebeid’s long-awaited first collection is a momentary “allegory for the soul.”

About the Author
Carolina Ebeid’s work appears widely in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, jubilat, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, and others. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers, and has won awards and fellowships from the Stadler Center for Poetry, CantoMundo, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Academy of American Poets. She was awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry for 2015.

She is a PhD candidate in the University of Denver’s creative writing program, where she serves as Associate Editor of the Denver Quarterly. Her first book, You Ask Me To Talk About The Interior, was published by Noemi Press in 2016 as part of their Akrilica series. Poets & Writers Magazine selected You Ask Me To Talk About The Interior as one of the ten best debut collections in 2016. She is currently at work on a book project entitled Hide.

Carolina grew up in West New York, NJ, and now lives in Denver. Her fellow travelers include the poet Jeffrey Pethybridge and their son Patrick; together they edit Visible Binary.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline Slam: Luck

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10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it. – Hunter S. Thompson

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme LUCK.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org May 18th through July 7th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn posted July 8th on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn live at the beginning of the show on July 13th.

The line-up for this coming Friday, July 13th Storyline Luck SLAM:

  1. Danae Barnes
  2. Dortrecia Adelis
  3. Lenys Andrade
  4. Seth Goodman
  5. Dixie Walljasper
  6. Jessica Lamartiniere
  7. John Chakravarty
  8. Mike Savarese

At least two storytelling spots are open for a live drawing at 7:00pm on the night of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline Slam: Luck

artlitphx10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it. – Hunter S. Thompson

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme LUCK.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org May 18th through July 7th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn posted July 8th on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show on July 13.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

EVENT DETAILS

  • TICKET (admits one) is $6 in advance, $8 at the door from Changing Hands Phoenix.
  • Order at 602.274.0067, by clicking “add to cart” below, in-store prior to the event, or at the door.
  • More info at thestoryline.org »

ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE
THE STORYLINE SLAM is a monthly slam competition hosted by Dan Hoen Hull aimed to further storytelling in The Valley and foster a spirit of fun in the community.

#ArtLitPhx: Andrea Lechner-Becker: Sixty Days Left: A Novel at Changing Hands Phoenix

Local author Andrea Lechner-Becker shares her debut at Changing Hands Phoenix on Thursday May 24 at 7pm.

Almost 40% of Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. This staggering statistic inspired Phoenix-based ex-lady boss, Andrea Lechner-Becker, to craft Sixty Days Left, a story about small town Willow, who at thirty, found herself with a six-months-to-live terminal diagnosis. The Right to Die debate mingles with Willow’s history to form an unforgettable read that will leave readers unable to avoid the question, “What would I do with just sixty days left?”

This character-driven read is presented in reverse chronological order, which leads the reader back in time to more deeply understand each character’s motivations through their histories. Refreshingly honest and intimate, Willow’s reflective diary entries hold a surprisingly uplifting lesson for the living.

Beyond the compelling story, this debut novel explores the taboo topic of Death with Dignity, an issue being debated all over America with recent coverage in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and The Washington Post. Join this event to meet the author, hear about her motivations for creating this tale and grab your signed copy of Sixty Days Left.

PARKING / LIGHT RAIL
Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phoenix-based ANDREA LECHNER-BECKER is an ex-executive from a leading digital marketing agency in Scottsdale. A new kind of American author, with a casual, straight-forward and approachable writing style, she, like her name, is a little awkward and kinda funny. On a perfect day, she sits at a bar (like First Draft Book Bar!) ingesting craft beers and talking to strangers. She believes everyone has a story to tell and deeply desires to tell as many of them as possible.