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He raises a fist. It transforms into an open palm through the magic of extending his fingers. It sways from left, to right, then left. He repeats it as many times as is necessary.

It’s me, Moon.

I’ve written something on my hand. Won’t you give it back to me?

Thank you. Ahem. Danielle Dutton will read Wednesday, October 12, 2016, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. You will have to send me all your money, and pictures of small animals.

Just kidding. It’s free and open to the public. I prefer puppies, by the way.

Danielle Dutton’s fiction has appeared in magazines such as Harper’s, BOMB, Fence, and Noon. She is the author of Attempts at a Life, S P R A W L (a finalist for the Believer Book Award), and the novel Margaret the First. In 2015, Siglio Press released Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, an artist’s book with texts by Dutton and images by Richard Kraft. Dutton holds a PhD from the University of Denver, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, she taught in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa and was the book designer at Dalkey Archive Press. In 2010, Dutton founded the small press Dorothy, a publishing project, which now offers an internship to one MFA writing student each year.

OK, you can have my hand back.

To be honest, I have no idea who Margaret the First (the person) actually is. Let’s try Wikipedia. “Cavendish was a poet, philosopher, writer of prose romances, essayist, and playwright who published under her own name at a time when most women writers published anonymously.” “She has been claimed as an advocate for animals and as an early opponent of animal testing.” I think I like her.

Margaret the First (the novel) is the dramatization of her life, in which Dutton “expertly captures the pathos of a woman whose happiness is furrowed with the anxiety of underacknowledgment.” I can imagine – a female in science, philosophy, and a hundred other fields dominated by males within an age of unthinkable attitudes towards gender – but at the same time, I can’t. Perhaps the reading will help me better understand. We could all stand to understand Margaret Cavendish a little better, in this world where we’re a little behind schedule in moving forward. So do come on October 12, and listen to Danielle Dutton read.

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