Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015

Book Festival Archive Post.

2015 Book Festival Author
Will Schwalbe

When Will Schwalbe’s mother was dying of cancer, he did something that would, in a sense, keep their conversations going. In the process of assisting his mother with her treatments, Schwalbe embarked on long discussions about books with his mother, also an avid reader. His memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club, grew out of this experience.

At the Fox Cities Book Festival, Schwalbe will be discussing the book. He says, “This is a memoir I wrote about the books my mother and I read when she was dying of pancreatic cancer. But I like to think it’s really about what I learned from her, what we both learned from the books we read, and how books tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world."

Schwalbe, founder of, has worked in publishing, most recently as senior vice president and editor in chief of Hyperion Books. The experience was nothing if not helpful.

“I always wrote—starting in grade school,” says Schwalbe. “I wrote plays in college. I was a journalist right after. And I kept on writing. But I also love editing. I think the one thing you need to do, whether you are a writer or an editor, is read. Reading is everything. It teaches you how to write and it teaches you how to edit. So that’s the common thread.”

Making electronic communication flow more elegantly is the driving force behind Schwalbe’s other book, SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better, co-written with his friend, David Shipley, who was then op-ed page editor of The New York Times.

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