Two local novelists present their latest works.
In a Silent Way chronicles the coming of age in the late sixties of young Jeanna Kendall as she quietly facilitates a close-knit community of learners in a progressive urban school, grapples with racism and sexism within her community activist group, and experiences the extreme highs and lows of her first intimate relationship which happens to be with a revered and powerful community leader. Jeanna encounters all the same issues we confront today: youth of color demeaned and destroyed, wise community elders discounted by leaders who know better, and the sexploitation of women in the movement. Gradually overwhelmed by the mounting challenges she faces on all fronts, and on the verge of a breakdown, a crisis emerges within her movement group that transforms everything and everyone and opens up a new world of possibilities ones deeply relevant to us today.
It's 1969, the summer of Woodstock. After nearly getting his head bashed in a demonstration on Milwaukee's East Side, John Meyer crashes down a hillside with fellow student Tony Russo. It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Then John meets Tony's wife, Claire, and their young son, Jonah, and things get complicated, especially when they and another student rent a house together. Meanwhile, John is at odds with his parents and with a society that supports the war in Vietnam. Then come a national student strike and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State. Over Claire's protests, John becomes involved in the strike in Milwaukee. Tony's brother being wounded n Vietman brings the war right into their crowded, complicated living room. Can John, Claire, Tony, and baby Jonah forge a new kind of family for a new age, or will the weight of the world pull them down?