Photo of Janelle Monae and book cover of The Memory Librarian

Janelle Monáe: The Memory Librarian

Don’t miss this event! An evening with Janelle Monáe in celebration of the artist, rapper, singer, and actor’s debut book The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer on Friday, April 22 at 7pm CDT. This event takes place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E Randolph St, Chicago). Monáe will be joined in conversation by collaborating writer Sheree Renée Thomas, moderated by Theaster Gates. Tickets are now available for purchase here. Each ticket purchase includes a copy of The Memory Librarian. A limited number of signed copies will be available to purchase with your ticket, so login early to or call the Box Office at 312.334.7777.

Exhibit logo for Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice

This special event is presented in conjunction with our forthcoming exhibit and education initiative Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice. Opening in June 2022, the exhibit will explore racial injustice in America through the work of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement.

From groundbreaking musician, actor, fashion icon and futurist JANELLE MONÁE and an outstanding group of collaborators comes THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN, a collection of short fiction, bringing to the written page the rebellious and Afrofuturistic world of Monáe’s critically acclaimed album Dirty Computer.

  • “In this moving, triumphant collection, singer Monáe returns to the dystopian world of her Dirty Computer concept album and short film. . Though a special treat for Dirty Computer fans, readers won’t need to be familiar with the album to marvel at the big ideas, riveting action, and hopeful message here. This is a knockout.” –Publishers Weekly, *starred review
  • “Blistering, hopeful, and richly written. . . All readers will finish the book craving more of these extremely queer, bold stories that battle gatekeeping and erasure, digging into both the worst potential of a surveillance state and the gritty glimmer of the rebellion that can defeat it.” —Booklist, *starred review

Janelle Monáe, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, Eve L. Ewing, Yohanca Delgado, and Sheree Renée Thomas have delivered a sexy, soulful, and dissident collection of tales that expands the bold vision of Dirty Computer—in which Monáe introduced us to a world where people’s memories—a key to self-expression and self-understanding—could be controlled or erased by an increasingly powerful few. And whether human, A.I., or something in-between, citizen’s lives and sentience were dictated by those of the New Dawn, who’d convinced themselves they had the right to decide fate —that was, until Jane 57821 remembered and broke free.

The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monáe book coverGrown from the soil of that mythos, the stories in THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN explore the lives of those living in the heart and at the edges of a growing surveillance-hungry, totalitarian order—striving to see and hold on to their “dirtiness” without being tracked down and cleaned. Perfect for fans of Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor, THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN is a story collection filled with the artistic innovation and brave themes that have made Janelle Monáe a global influence; an anthology that sees our battles about gender identity, political violence, and sexuality as matters of space, time, love, and, of course, the power of memory.

JANELLE MONÁE is widely celebrated as an American singer-songwriter, actress, producer, fashion icon, and futurist whose globally successful career spans over a decade. With her highly theatrical and stylized concept albums, she has garnered eight Grammy nominations and has developed her own label imprint, Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has also earned great success as an actor, starring in critically acclaimed films including Moonlight, Hidden FiguresHarriet, The Glorias, and the 2020 horror film Antebellum. She will star in the highly anticipated sequel Knives Out 2The Memory Librarian is her debut book.

This program takes place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance located at 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Harris Theater logo

The event is finished.


Apr 22 2022


Central Time
7:00 pm

More Info



The Harris Theater for Music and Dance
205 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

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