It took a 1,700-mile move to Philadelphia for Texas native Kevin Grauke to write about his past. On Tuesday, the local author will read from his new book and discuss the process of writing and publication at Joseph E. Coleman Library on West Chelten Avenue and Greene Street.
His book, Shadows of Men, is a compilation of short stories that depict the balance men seek between who they are as individuals with the roles assigned to them by society.
Though the stories are set in Texas, Grauke said the theme of his book affects men everywhere. “Boys growing up in Philadelphia certainly have to struggle with how they conceive of themselves,” said Grauke. “And how do you balance that in terms of what the culture says about what it means to be a man?”
Grauke has lived in Germantown for one and a half years and is an English professor at La Salle University. He said he is a big supporter of the Free Library system in Philadelphia. “My kids and I are at the library twice a week, if not more, checking out books,” said Grauke.
His own book was conceived in local cafes like InFusion on Germantown and E. Mount Airy Avenues.
Grauke grew up in Texas, but promised he hasn’t been a Cowboys fan for at least 20 years. “I’m neither a Cowboys fan or an Eagles fan,” said Grauke. “I grew up despising the Eagles for the same reason why the Eagles fans despise the Cowboys.”
A book set in Philadelphia may be in his future. “But I have a feeling I would need to get away from it,” said Grauke. “Then I would be able to approach it.”