Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Events Mon Oct 14 2013

Travel Writer Kathleen Wheaton Reads @ Evanston Public Library

Kathleen Wheaton knows how it feels to be an outsider. She spent twelve years in Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico working as a journalist and travel writer before returning to the U.S. with her husband, NPR reporter David Welna, and their two sons. Wheaton now resides in Bethesda, Md., and has released a book of travel-inspired short stories called Aliens and Other Stories.
Aliens and Other Stories is a loosely linked collection of tales about characters in exile, whether it be physical or emotional. They were inspired by the time Wheaton spent writing a guidebook in Argentina, which was then still emerging from the shadow of its Dirty War, a brutal military dictatorship during which as many as 30,000 people disappeared. She was struck by the nonchalance with which people recounted the traumatic experiences of being arrested, going into hiding or having relatives disappear; she wrote short stories based on these interactions.

Wheaton picked up the project years later when she experienced her own sense of exile after returning to the U.S. She explained, "When I moved to the D.C. suburbs, after years of living abroad, I identified more with people who had come from other places and were struggling to adjust than with fellow Americans who'd always lived here. These experiences have informed the stories in Aliens."

Wheaton will be reading from Aliens and Other Stories at the Evanston Public Library (1703 Orrington Avenue, Evanston) on Tuesday, October 15 at 7pm. She will be joined by local sci-fi author Mark R. Brand, who will read from his own short story collection, Long Live Us. A Q&A session will follow.

Image courtesy of Kathleen Wheaton's website

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