What do a former Jesuit priest, a retired German language teacher, and a former Cook County Jail inmate have in common? All have written new books and will be at the Local Author Book Fair on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 4 pm at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Here are some of the authors you can meet:

Long-time Oak Park resident and writer Jim Bowman has written and published “Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968.” Former religion editor for the Chicago Daily News from 1968 to 1978, he married his wife in 1969 and became the father of six now-grown children.

Heribert Breidenbach, born and raised in Germany, came to the U.S. in 1960 at age 25 as an exchange student studying theology. He eventually earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a doctorate in German language and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His new book is “The Honey Bee: Deborah’s Fate,” a novel about a talented university student who experiences exclusion and discrimination because of her misfortune of having been born with facial distortions.

Sean Brennan, the 10th of 11 Brennan children who grew up in Oak Park in the 1950s, has written a memoir of those lively years titled “Bridie’s Boy.” His father, Tom, created matching Easter outfits for the entire family for many years, a feat that got the Brennans’ photograph in a Chicago newspaper and the family some special notoriety!

Omar Yamini spent more than 10 years in the Cook County Jail for making some very bad choices as a teen without a high school degree. He’s written “What’s Wrong with You!” which includes his view of day-to-day prison life behind bars to help parents and teens know what they could face if young teens and adults follow his early example. After his release from jail, where he took every educational course available to him, Yamini earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and published this book.  

At the Book Fair, each author will have the opportunity to do a three-minute reading and talk about their book, as well as set up shop to sell books on a table from 2 to 4 pm. Oak Park area readers/residents can meet our local authors and get a jump on holiday book shopping—fiction, non-fiction, and even some local history authors will be among the group. Refreshments will be served for authors and visitors alike.

If you are an author with a book and live in Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, or another neighboring community, and you would like to participate in the Oct. 18 Book Fair at the Oak Park Arms, please contact Debby Preiser, Community Relations Coordinator for Oak Park Public Library, at (708) 697-6915 or dpreiser@oppl.org.


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