Kirsten Holmstedt, writer and expert on female members of the armed forces, will visit the Waukegan Public Library on Thursday, November 5, to discuss her acclaimed book, Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq. Holmstedt’s visit is one of many special events in Waukegan and surrounding areas in support of “Those Who Serve,” a two-month initiative by the Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan.
The book recounts the stories of twelve American women serving in Iraq, with a forward by Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Holmstedt’s book offers journalistic insight into the experiences of American servicewomen, featuring the stories of soldiers, military policewomen, and nurses. Winner of the Military Writer’s Society of America Founders Award and the American Authors Association Golden Quill Award, the book represents a look into the sometimes universal, sometimes unique challenges faced by servicewomen, from the dangers of war to hazing to the multitude of emotions and struggles confronting returning soldiers. While the book’s primary focus is the experience of women in combat, whatever their roles, the closing chapter offers a peek into their lives as they continue their service – some remain with the armed forces, and others adjust to civilian life.
“Kirsten Holmstedt conducted detailed interviews with each subject to produce this book,” said Waukegan Public Library Executive Director Richard Lee. “That makes for a compelling and truly insightful look into what it means to be a female member of the armed forces.” The interviews, coupled with the book’s organization as anecdotes for each woman, result in a book that is at once broad in scope and deeply personal.
Holmstedt’s appearance is the last in Waukegan Public Library’s “Those Who Serve” writers series, which will bring three acclaimed authors to the Library for book talks, signings, and Q&A sessions this fall. The exhibit and writers series represent the Library’s contribution to “Those Who Serve,” a community-wide initiative called Waukegan ArtWise, which in its inaugural year spotlights the experiences of American service men and women.
As part of the series, Waukegan Public Library welcomed former Marine officer, artist, and author Benjamin Busch in mid-September, with Busch’s photographs on display in the Library’s lobby through November 11. Author Michael Pitre visited the Library on October 8, 2015, for a reading and Q&A.
For more information about Waukegan Public Library’s writers’ series, as well as Benjamin Busch’s ongoing “The Art in War” exhibit, please visit www.www.waukeganpl.org, or contact Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager, at (847) 775-2560.
For more information on Waukegan ArtWise – “Those Who Serve,” a project of the Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan, please visit waukeganartwise.com.