Evanston Public Library Friends – Evanston Public Library
Auction Ends: Jun 2, 2010 11:59 PM CDT

Outings with Authors!

Dinner with "The Time Travelers Wife" author, Audrey Niffenegger

Item Number
Estimated Value
$100 USD to Spiffykitchen
Number of Bids
1  -  Bid History

Item Description


Enjoy an enchanted evening with Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry!


Ms. Niffenegger will be your host, as you * and 11 other lucky winners enjoy a wonderful dinner at the famed Russian Tea Time

* This auction item is for one seat at this dinner.  There are a total of 12 seats available for bidding, and each seat has a separate auction page with an individual Item Lot Number.


Her diverse interests, engaging personality, and excellent sense of humor are sure to start the evening off well  -- add food and fun to the mix, sprinkle liberally with friends, and it is sure to be a dinner you will always remember!!

Art, in many forms, may very well be her first love.  She grew up drawing and painting, eventually receiving her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, her home of many years.  Her prints, paintings and drawings have been on exhibit for over 20 years, and her serialized graphic novels have been published in various periodicals around the world, cementing her place in the art world. The Time Traveler’s Wife  began as a graphic novel, but she eventually realized that the still images did not adequately convey the sudden time shifts  --  from that, a literary star was born.

Six years after the phenomenal success of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has returned with a spectacularly compelling and haunting second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.   Her Fearful Symmetry is full of imagery, both pictorial and literary.  It is gripping, thought provoking, yet also a very enjoyable read!  (Click here to read the first chapter) 


When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including--perhaps--their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life--even after death.


She recently made a serialized graphic novel for the London Guardian, The Night Bookmobile, which will be published in book form in 2010. Other current projects include an art exhibit at Printworks Gallery in September, 2010, and a third novel, The Chinchilla Girl in Exile.


Item Special Note


Audrey Niffenegger was born in 1963 in South Haven, Michigan.  Her family moved to Evanston, Illinois when she was little; she has lived in or near Chicago for most of her life. 

She began making prints in 1978 under the tutelage of William Wimmer, and trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice and has exhibited her extensive array of work at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987.

Her first books were printed and bound by hand in editions of ten.  Poisonous Plants at Table (includes Prudence: The Cautionary Tale of a Picky Eater) is pictured above and showcased on another donor website, Sherwin Beach Press. Two of these have since been commercially published by Harry N. Abrams: The Adventuress and The Three Incestuous Sisters.

In 1994 a group of book artists, papermakers and designers came together to found a new book arts center, the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. Miss Niffenegger was part of this group and taught book arts for many years as a professor in Columbia College’s MFA program in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. She still teaches at Columbia College; currently she is teaching writing courses that specialize in text-image relationships.

Miss Niffenegger has also taught for the Newberry Library, Penland School of Craft and other institutions of higher learning.

Miss Niffenegger is a founding member of the writing collective Text 3 (T3). Recent T3 endeavors include the litmag little Bang and some rather amusing dinner parties.


  • This auction item is for one seat at this dinner. 
  • There are a total of 12 seats available for bidding, and each seat has a separate auction page with an individual Item Lot Number.
  • Russian Tea Time is located at 77 East Adams, just a few steps from the main entrance of The Art Institute.
  • The event date will be coordinated between the author and designated contact person at a mutually convenient time; contact information provided at close of auction.



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