Thursday, February 16, 2017
Columbia College Chicago Library, 3rd Floor
624 S. Michigan
Noted author and Creative Writing department associate professor, Shawn Shiflett is featured in the Winter 2017 Signature Showcase. He will read from and discuss his latest novel “Hey, Liberal!” published by Chicago Review Press in September 2016. Friends of the Library Signature Showcase is the Library’s semi-annual lecture and discussion series. Focusing on the research of Columbia’s distinguished faculty, each event features a prominent author, scholar, or artist in conversation with the community.
Signature Showcase is free and open to the public. A light reception will begin at 5pm, followed by the program at 5:30pm. Copies of Shiflett’s work will be available for purchase and signing.
Hey Liberal! is set in the racial tinderbox of Chicago in 1969. Thirteen-year-old Simon Fleming, the white son of a Civil Rights activist minister, is sent to a predominately African American high school feeling charged by his parents to carry out the family’s commitment to the “community” and school integration. Here, he is dropped into a world where gang warfare, drug abuse, and violence are rampant. Hey, Liberal! exposes an out-of-touch education system and the universality of racial violence amidst a nation moving toward a more culturally diverse and inclusive future. Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage and winner of the National Books Award said, “People are always afraid of the truth. Hey, Liberal! is, I believe, a work of courage, and we all need to thank Shiflett for it.”
Shiflett has received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for his work and his short stories and novel excerpts have appeared in a variety of literary journals including Hypertext and F Magazine. His first book, Hidden Place, received rave reviews from newspapers and literary trade publications.