Successful Cincinnati author Leah Stewart will read from her new novel 'What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw' tonight at the Mercantile Library

The book, an investigation into the consequences of gaining and losing fame, is the sixth by the author and UC creative writing professor

click to enlarge Leah Stewart - PHOTO: Jason Sheldon
PHOTO: Jason Sheldon
Leah Stewart

Leah Stewart, the University of Cincinnati creative-writing professor whose new novel What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw has been winning national praise, will read from and discuss the book at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, May 23) at the Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St. in Downtown. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested at 513-621-0717 OR via [email protected]

The Mercantile's website describes Charlie Outlaw this way: "After a series of missteps in the face of his newfound fame, actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity and a chance to reevaluate his recent breakup with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. But soon after his arrival on the peaceful island, his solitary hike into the jungle takes him into danger he never anticipated.

"As Charlie struggles with gaining fame, Josie struggles with its loss. The star of a cult TV show in her early twenties, Josie has spent the twenty years since searching for a role to equal that one, and feeling less and less like her character, the heroic Bronwyn Kyle. As she gets ready for a reunion of the cast at a huge fan convention, she thinks all she needs to do is find a part and replace Charlie. But she can’t forget him, and to get him back she’ll need to be a hero in real life."

When the book was published in March, Stewart told Cincinnati Citybeat writer Mackenzie Manley that the subject appealed to her because, "“People have always had a public self and a private self. It used to be that when you talked about the public self, it was the self they were at work or at church. We didn’t necessarily mean that someone who lived on the other side of the country could put your name into a (digital) box to see pictures of you and learn a bunch of information about your life. This is a relatively new phenomenon for people in culture — even those of us who are not famous are now accessible to strangers in a much wider way.”

You can read that full interview here.

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