Kathleen Rooney: Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey

Novelist, publisher, and professor Kathleen Rooney (Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk) joins us in a virtual event to discuss her new novel, Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, with book group leader Alice Moody. Chicago Magazine says"You'll be amazed at the depths of character Rooney plumbs from a literal bird's-eye-view, and by how she entwines the voices of a messenger pigeon and a witty, disconsolate veteran to craft a story based on true events."

Our Crowdcast event is free. We ask that your purchase a copy of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey from The Book Stall or your local independent bookstore if you plan on attending. Register for the event here!

About the novel:

"Both heartbreaking and sharply funny...Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey is brilliant and surprising at every turn."--Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers

A heart-tugging and gorgeously written novel based on the incredible true story of a WWI messenger pigeon and the soldiers whose lives she forever altered, from the author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk.

From the green countryside of England and the gray canyons of Wall Street come two unlikely heroes: one a pigeon and the other a soldier. Answering the call to serve in the war to end all wars, neither Cher Ami, the messenger bird, nor Charles Whittlesey, the army officer, can anticipate how their lives will briefly intersect in a chaotic battle in the forests of France, where their wills will be tested, their fates will be shaped, and their lives will emerge forever altered.

A saga of hope and duty, love and endurance, as well as the claustrophobia of fame, Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey is a tragic yet life-affirming war story that the world has never heard. Inspired by true events of World War I, Kathleen Rooney resurrects two long-forgotten yet unforgettable figures, recounting their tale in a pair of voices that will change the way readers look at animals, freedom, and even history itself.

"Imaginative and audacious...Rooney uses Cher Ami's bird's-eye view and curious afterlife to exhilerating, comic, and terrifying effect, while Whit's tragic fate is exquisitely rendered... Unforgettable... A celebration of animal intelligence, and tribute to altruism and courage."  --Booklist *Starred Review*

About the Author:  Kathleen Rooney is the author, most recently, of the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (St. Martin's Press, 2017) and the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). She is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her previous work includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and has appeared in The New York Times MagazineAllure, SalonThe Chicago TribuneThe Nation and elsewhere. She teaches English and creative writing at DePaul University and lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay.

About the interlocutor:  Alice Moody is a writing instructor, book group leader, and frequent Book Stall guest. Learn more here.

Event date: 

Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Online Crowdcast event!
Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143135425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - August 11th, 2020

"Both heartbreaking and sharply funny...Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey is brilliant and surprising at every turn."—Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250151162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - April 3rd, 2018


A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.