This August, the National Writers Series presents the Summer Book Club Social featuring authors Annie Spence and Beth Macy at City Opera House.

Annie Spence | August 9, 7 p.m.

This year’s Summer Book Club Social welcomes Annie Spence, former librarian at the Traverse Area District Library and the author of Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks. In this brilliant collection of love letters and breakup notes to the books in her life, Spence gripes at Grey, kisses Karenina goodbye, and comes on too strong to The Virgin Suicides. “Dear The Goldfinch,” she writes in the book’s opening lines. “We’ve grown apart. Or, I guess, you’ve grown apart. Like, physically. Your spine is torn to crap.” Spence’s writing is many things: delightful, astute, sidesplittingly funny, and a little weird. One thing it is absolutely not is dull.

From the obscure to the trashy, the overrated to the timeless, Annie Spence has seen—and read—just about all of it. In her original debut collection, Spence takes readers on a relatable journey through first loves and betrayals, summer flings and bitter brawls—with literature.

“My enjoyment of it was, in the end, great enough to outweigh my fury that someone other than me had written it.” —NPR

“A charming epistolary volume that begs to be read with pencil in hand.” —Kirkus

Beth Macy | August 29, 7 p.m.

In our politically divided times, one tragic specter transcends the bounds of class, race, and party. In a groundbreaking and comprehensive new work, Beth Macy casts a light on a national epidemic that has been brewing for over 20 years. From the New York Times bestselling author of Factory Man comes Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. With real-life portraits of the families and first responders on the front lines of the opioid crisis in America, Macy unpacks the policies, incentives, and people that led us here.

From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996 to the pharmaceutical industry that pushed highly-addictive drugs, Macy takes readers through the harrowing trajectory of the most critical drug epidemic in the United States’s recent history. Macy’s is the only book to fully chart the opioid crisis in America. In it, she returns to some of the same distressed communities seen in her bestselling book Factory Man—small towns in Central Appalachia as well as formerly idyllic farm towns. In Dopesick, she charts more unassuming territory, too: the seemingly normal, upper echelons, where privileged teenagers trade pills in suburban cul-de-sacs and medical professionals routinely reap the incentives of over-prescribing painkillers.

Though Macy never shies from these bleak realities, her message is nevertheless hopeful. These portraits reveal the spirit and tenacity of those facing addiction, and their resolve to build a better future for themselves and their families.

—Press release provided by National Writers Series

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