Lake Forest Library announces the 2019 selection for Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale

Lake Forest Library
360 E Deerpath Rd
Lake Forest IL 60045


Lake Forest Library announces the 2019 selection for Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale

May 15, 2019 – LAKE FOREST Ill – Lake Forest Library is delighted to announce "The Great Believers" by local author Rebecca Makkai as this year's selection for the seventh annual Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale one book/one community program. Read the book with us throughout the summer (the Library and Lake Forest Book Store will have numerous copies available) and enjoy book-related events in the fall, including a visit from Rebecca Makkai October 10–11. To learn more about Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale and related events, visit

Author Events

A Conversation with Rebecca Makkai
Thursday, October 10, 7:00 pm, Lake Forest College
Listen to a conversation between Rebecca Makkai and Davis Schneiderman, Dean of Lake Forest College, as they discuss "The Great Believers," the writing process, and more. Q&A session to follow.

Lake Forest Library and Ragdale present: Tea & Talk with Rebecca Makkai
Friday, October 11, 10:00 am, Lake Forest Library
Enjoy light refreshments as Rebecca Makkai discusses her writing and her novels in the intimate surroundings of the Library, followed by a Q&A session.

Book Signing with Rebecca Makkai
Friday, October 11, 6:00 pm, Lake Forest Book Store

Books will be available for purchase and Rebecca Makkai will sign books after all author events. The events are free, but registration is requested. For details and to register, please visit

Other Events

Readers interested in a new way to experience "The Great Believers" may enjoy the Library's new FaceBOOK Book Group. We will discuss "The Great Believers" every Wednesday at noon throughout July on the Library's Facebook page. Read fewer than 100 pages per week and take part in this fun weekly online discussion as a wonderful lead-in to the fall events. For more information, visit

Additional events and book discussions will be announced in the Library's fall newsletter and at

About Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale

Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale fosters a culture of reading and a sense of community in Lake Forest by encouraging everyone to read one book, host book discussions, and attend events at the Library and other venues around town. Each year a title is selected from the works of writers affiliated with Ragdale, the artists' residency in Lake Forest which has supported authors and their creative process for over 35 years. Lake Forest Library has been presenting Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale since 2012, in partnership with Ragdale, Lake Forest College, and the Friends of Lake Forest Library. Lake Forest Book Store is the official bookstore of Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale.

About "The Great Believers"

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

30 years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Praise and awards:

"A page turner… An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it's like to live during times of crisis."—The New York Times Book Review

"Cultural revolutions of the past painfully reverberate in Rebecca Makkai's deft third novel, The Great Believers, which captures both the devastation of the AIDS crisis in 1980s Chicago and the emotional aftershocks of those losses."—Vogue

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award
Shortlisted for the National Book Award

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai grew up in Lake Bluff and currently resides in Lake Forest. She is the author of the story collection "Music for Wartime" (2015) as well as the novels "The Hundred-year House" (2014) and "The Borrower" (2011). Her work was chosen for "The Best American Short Stories" in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and appears regularly in publications including Harper's, Tin House, Ploughshares, New England Review, and Ecotone, and on public radio's "This American Life" and "Selected Shorts." The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at Lake Forest College, Northwestern University, the Tin House Writers' Conference, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her website is