basu hollars poster

As part of our 150 Years of Library Service in Dunn County celebration, join Professors of English, Dr. Lopa Basu and BJ Hollars, for Writing What We Don’t Say Aloud: Grief on the Page. The event will be a conversation about BJ’s new book, Year of Plenty. It will be held in the library meeting room

Thanks to The Library Foundation, the 150 Years of Library Service in Dunn County committee and Dragon Tale Books for sponsoring this event.

B.J. Hollars, Year of Plenty 

In November 2020, B.J. Hollars answered a call from his father-in-law while teaching. “When will you be home?” Steve asked. “I have news.”

So began the Hollars family’s year of plenty—a cancer diagnosis on top of the ongoing COVID pandemic, then feelings of falling short as parents, partners, and people. While Hollars traces his family’s daily devastations alongside his father-in-law’s decline, he recounts the small mercies along the way: birthdays, campfires, fishing trips, kayaking, and fireflies. As he, his wife, Meredith, and their three young children grapple with how best to say goodbye to the person they love, they are forced to reassess their own lives. How can we make the most of our time, they wonder, when time feels so short?

Written in vignettes and accompanied by photographs and family interviews, Year of Plenty provides a poignant and unflinching account of how death separates us not only from the people we love but from places and memories too. Hollars explores how death’s all-consuming weight has the potential to fracture—rather than strengthen—even those relationships we think we know the best. Ultimately, he cracks wide personal moments from his own life and allows the world to peer in.

Author bio:

B.J. Hollars is the author or editor of more than a dozen books. The founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, he is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

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