Ted Wheeler will read from his new novel, The War Begins in Paris, and be joined in conversation by Mary Helen Stefaniak. "Paris was home for the foreign correspondents who covered events in Europe for British and American media outlets during the interwar period. With the fall of France in 1940, a few of them such as the factual William Joyce, Robert Best, and Jane Anderson stayed behind and were recruited by Joseph Goebbels to broadcast treasonous Nazi propaganda from Germany. Theodore Wheeler’s informed and fascinating novel uses the invented character of fashion reporter Marthe Hess to float us through this dark milieu and acquaint us with the financial, antisemitic, and often unthinking justifications for a journalist’s alliance with evil. The War Begins in Paris is a great idea for a book and it’s insightfully and thrillingly told.”―Ron Hansen
Theodore Wheeler is the author of Kings of Broken Things and In Our Other Lives. His writing has been featured in The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Narrative, and LitHub. He worked for 14 years as a journalist who covered law and politics, including the last two presidential elections, and now is an assistant professor in the English Department at Creighton University. He is also director of Omaha Lit Fest and, with his wife, operates Dundee Book Company, an independent neighborhood bookshop.
Mary Helen Stefaniak is the author of Self-Storage and Other Stories and three novels: The Turk and My Mother; The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia; and The World of Pondside. Her most recent book is The Six-Minute Memoir: Fifty-Five Short Essays on Life (University of Iowa Press). She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and professor emerita of creative writing at Creighton University. Stefaniak currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University. She lives in Iowa City and Omaha.