National Library Week, April 13 – 19

The Friends of the Library will be sponsoring a library performance on April 16th at 7pm to celebrate National Library Week. Come and enjoy a live performance by Michèle LaRue.

Michèle is a transplanted Midwesterner: raised in Illinois and Iowa, she makes her home in New Jersey—just across the Hudson from Broadway, NYC. Michèle began performing short stories more than two decades ago, on the porches and in the parlors of Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, for The East Lynne Company— ”purveyors of American theatricals.”

She has specialized in performances from America’s Long 19th Century for 25 years. She will enthrall you with vintage gems from America’s best writers. Let an actress and a book spirit you away to the turn of the twentieth century.

In 1901, Illinois writer Edith Wyatt published Every One His Own Way, an evocative collection of 21 short stories played out in the Chicago of her day.

In Every One His Own Way: The Chicago Stories of Edith Wyatt, professional actress Michele LaRue performs three gems: tragic, comic and romantic. Wyatt’s insightful tales conjure up Chicago and Chicagoans—post-Fire, post-Fair and pre-War—with keen observation, subtle understanding and sympathetic humor.

In Trade Winds, tradesman John Wollfe—resident of “the neighborhood of Harrison and Halsted streets”—dotes on his daughter and devotes himself to dry goods … until tragedy overtakes the one and progress the other.

In The Parent’s Assistant, “far out on North Clark Street,” Mrs. Porter joins a self-improvement club and bravely writes a paper—on a subject about which she knows nothing—helped by a son who knows too much.

In A Question of Service, “on the most crowded part of State Street,” pretty shopgirl Annie O’Grady boxes confections—and dreams of Fireman Murphy, whose two-step on the dance floor and daring on the job may win her heart.

Famed editor William Dean Howells lauded Wyatt’s stories as “exquisite things, delicate portraits of [Chicago] life worthy of equal place with the stories and studies of those unrivalled sisters three, Miss Jewett, and Mrs. Wilkins Freeman and Miss Alice Brown …,” and compared her to Jane Austen as a satirist of social manners.

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