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Sarah Prager (www.sarahprager.com) is the author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World (HarperCollins, May 2017). In what a starred Kirkus review called a “breezy, conversational tone that will engage teens and make them laugh while they learn,” Sarah profiles both famous and obscure heroes from history while looking at their genders and sexualities as important pieces of their lives. [3:00 Saturday, Library Mezzanine]From a transgender Roman emperor through 20th century LGBTQ athletes and artists, these true stories that never made it into history textbooks inspire readers of all ages. Sarah Prager is a speaker and writer on LGBTQ history and the creator of the free mobile app Quist (www.quistapp.com). She lives in Connecticut with her wife and daughter. Her presentation at Bookstock will include a reading from Queer, There, and Everywhere, brief discussion of little-known pieces of LGBTQ history.
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A Shirtwaist Story by Montpelier, Vermont artist, illustrator, and writer Delia Robinson examines the haunting memories of Peter, descended from owners of a notorious sweatshop, The Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Colorful, evocative art explores Peter’s relationship to his family and their response to the factory fire in 1911, a highly visible and deadly tragedy. [1:00 Friday, History Center]Public outrage demanded new laws concerning labor relations and worker safety, issues still threatened today. The role of immigrants in our culture also received widespread attention for the victims were newly arrived and mostly women. A slide presentation using archival photographs illustrates the conditions at the time; Hester Street on the lower East Side crowded from the immigration waves of the early 20th century, substandard housing, and jobs in dangerous workplaces. Illustrations from the book will guide a discussion on how this unique creation came to be published, plus some decisions made in shaping it.
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“Sonny Saul runs the famous “Pleasant Street Bookstore” in Woodstock which he started with his mother when he moved to Vermont from Philadelphia thirty years ago. It has been called one of New England’s finest used bookstores. [Lead-in: 7:00 Thursday, July 27, Pleasant Street Books]Featuring two floors of browsing – over 10,000 books – and many shelves and book cases full of very old books with beautiful bindings, rare books, and first editions, as well as many “good used books”, “Pleasant Street Books” is also a publishing company with a very small and select inventory which features printed music and cd’s as well as pamphlets and books. Some – but not all – of these titles were edited, composed, written, or designed by Sonny. Downstairs in the bookstore is a grand piano where Sonny and various ensembles regularly perform. Born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ, Sonny studied and lived in and around Philadelphia before moving to Vermont. He has played, composed, and taught piano his whole life. For this occasion Sonny will introduce and perform some of his original piano compositions, and will talk some about his life in music and books.”
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Nonhuman animals have long been considered legal “things” that lack capacity for legal rights.This has allowed them to be mercilessly exploited by legal “persons” who possess legal rights. At one time millions of humans were also “things” and much civil rights work since has been to change their legal status from “things” to “persons.”
The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) extends that struggle to nonhuman animals, beginning with great apes, elephants, and cetaceans. To advance this work, Steven Wise founded the NhRP, has taught “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at numerous law schools including Harvard and Vermont (since 1990), and written four books, including Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals and Though the Heavens May Fall, which tells how a 1772 London lawsuit ended human slavery in England. He lectures around the globe and his work is the subject of the 2016 D.A. Pennebaker/Chris Hegedus film, Unlocking the Cage featured on on HBO.
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“Alvarez and Field, both Vermont residents, have collaborated on a new picture book, Where Do They Go? The book has been described as a beautifully crafted poem for children of all ages who have ever wondered what happens to those they love after they die. [10:00 Saturday, Town Hall Theater]The author and artist, both Vermont residents, will read from and discuss their new book. Julia Alvarez, a novelist, poet, essayist, and recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, is considered one of the most prominent and widely read Latina writers of her time. Sabra Field, the quintessential artist of New England, creates immediately recognizable prints of brilliantly colored barns, churches, villages, farm fields, and seasons which have been widely collected and exhibited. Julia Alvarez’s novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, is the first novel by a Dominican-American woman to receive wide acclaim in the United States, selling over 250,000 copies. Sabra Field’s images have appeared on wine labels, UNICEF cards, CD albums, opera posters, and most famously, on the 1987 Vermont bicentennial US Postal Service stamp which sold 60 million copies.”
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“Chuck Gundersen will be reading from You Never Can Tell, his newly published collection of columns of the same name from The Vermont Standard in Woodstock, Vermont. He will speak about meeting a weekly deadline and how he comes up with ideas for the column each week. Chuck grew up on the Jersey Shore and came to Vermont in 1976 to be the Chef at the Prince and the Pauper Restaurant. He has been a boatbuilder, ice cream truck driver, real estate title examiner, disc jockey and short order cook. He was a young buckskin spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War, and has been Davy Crockett, Robin Hood, Elvis, Captain Horatio Hornblower, Sir Tristram, Mr. Roberts, Tom Sawyer, Jim Hawkins, Huckleberry Finn, Sebastian Dangerfield, Marilyn Monroe’s secret love, and for the past thirty years, the owner of the Teago General Store in South Pomfret, Vermont.”
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Roland Merullo is the author of 13 novels and 6 books of non-fiction, as well as numerous articles, stories, essays, and Op Ed pieces in the NY Times, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Yankee, and many other publications. He has won Massachusetts Book awards in both fiction and non-fiction, and his work has been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, Korean, Croatian, Chinese, and Turkish. His 2005 novel, Golfing with God is under film option with Gem Films. A former professor at Bennington and Amherst Colleges, he now teaches only in the Lesley University low-residency MFA program. He will speak about his newest novel, The Delight of Being Ordinary (Doubleday, April, 2017), and happily discuss and take questions and comments on his bestselling Breakfast with Buddha series and any of his other work. A native of Revere, Massachusetts, Merullo now lives with his wife and two daughters in the hills of Western MA.”