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Meet Author Irina Reyn in Northbrook

In the Suburbs

Meet Author Irina Reyn in Northbrook

Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:00 am

Takes place at:
Bernard Weinger JCC
300 Revere Drive, Northbrook, IL 60062

Tickets $5.
Advance ticket purchase recommended.
Purchase online below or call 312.322.1773.

In celebration of Jewish Book Month, join us to hear award-winning author Irena Reyn in one of just two area appearances.

She appears as part of the One Book | One Community, in which a single book is selected as the focus for Jewish Book Month activities across the Chicago region. This year's selection is Reyn's new book, The Imperial Wife.

As in previous years, the One Book initiative is spearheaded by Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

The Imperial WifeThe Imperial Wife, which was released earlier this year, is the second novel by Irina Reyn. Called "mesmerizing" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and "playful and profound" by Booklist, it intertwines the stories of two ambitious immigrants. One is a rising Jewish/Russian art specialist at an international auction house in present day New York. The other is the future Catherine the Great as she maneuvers through the 18th-century Russian court. It is notable and relevant that both are capable women grabbling with positions of power, a topic that hasn’t lost its relevancy in the more than three centuries since Catherine lived.


This fast-paced book unpacks a trove of topics that will resonate with readers: the impact of success on marriage, the privileges and obligations of great wealth, and the advantages and disadvantages of being outside the mainstream in terms of faith, gender, nationality, identity, community, and career.

Reyn’s first novel, What Happened to Anna K., won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in publications from Town & Country to Jezebel. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Like Tanya, one of the characters in The Imperial Wife, she immigrated to the United States from Moscow when she was seven years old. She has been writing about the experience — in one way or another — ever since.

Irena Reyn's photo courtesy of Aslan Habib Chalom.

Book Discussions

Discussions are led by Rachel Kamin, director of the Director of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El and the Spertus One Book I One Community Book Discussion Facilitator. All are open to the public. See reservation and ticket information below.

Tuesday, November 1, 10:30 am-1:00 pm
Hadassah Chicago-North Shore
Joseph & Mae Gray Hadassah House
60 Revere Drive, Suite 800, Northbrook
$18 | $20 at the door | Includes a light lunch

Thursday, November 3, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
McHenry County Jewish Congregation
8617 Ridgefield Road, Crystal Lake
Free | Info at

Thursday, November 10, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Congregation Or Shalom
21 W. Hawthorn Parkway, Vernon Hills
Free | Info at

Wednesday, November 16,
10:30 am-11:30 am
Hadassah South Suburbs
at B'nai Yehuda Beth Sholom
1424 183rd Street, Homewood
Registration info to come.

Tuesday, November 29, 7:30 pm
Congregation Etz Chaim
1710 S. Highland Avenue, Lombard
Free | Info at 630-627-3912

Saturday, December 10, 12:30 pm
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El
1175 Sheridan Road, Highland Park
Registration info to come.

Thursday, January 19, 1:30 pm
Temple Chai
1670 Checker Road, Long Grove
Registration info to come.


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of One Book | One Community.

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