April 27, 2016 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights

Writers’ Workshop graduate Kim Brooks will read from her new novel,
The Houseguest.

The book begins the summer of 1941. Abe Auer, a Russian immigrant and small-town junkyard owner, has become disenchanted with his life. When his friend, a local rabbi with a dark past, asks him to take in a European refugee, he agrees, unaware that the woman coming to live with him is a volatile and alluring actress. As news filters out of Europe, American Jews struggle to make sense of the atrocities. Some want to bury their heads in the sand while others want to create a Jewish army that would fight Hitler and promote bold, wide-spread rescue initiatives. When a popular Manhattan synagogue is burned to the ground, they all begin to feel the drumbeat of war is marching ever closer to home.

"The Houseguest explores important questions —what is your responsibility to another person? If you could save another from terrible harm, what would you do? Kim Brooks answers through her cast of beautifully drawn, deeply human characters and a story that does not let you go.” —Karen E. Bender

Kim Brooks's fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, and other journals. She lives in Chicago.