America's most famous cheerleading coach is coming back to Chicago.
Jane Lynch, who portrays the outspoken, often-hated cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on the FOX-TV show Glee, will be signing copies of her upcoming autobiography, Happy Accidents, on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9, at Women & Children First bookstore in Andersonville, it was announced late Wednesday night.
The exact time of Lynch's appearance has not yet been finalized and only those who buy the book at Women & Children First will be allowed to get her autographand she is only signing the book during her appearance.
Lynch will be talking at the store that Sunday and only the first 200 who purchase the book will be allowed entrance into Women & Children First to hear her. (Anyone interested in pre-ordering the book now to secure a spot for Lynch's talk, or at least to get the book autographed, is asked to visit the Women & Children First, or call the store at 773-769-9299.).
"I think it's going to be huge for us," said Linda Bubon of Women & Children First. "I had the chance to read the book [already] and it's really good. I got the [book] galley and read it in like two days. A lot of [the book] is about her self-loathing as a homosexual woman, as a lesbian. She recognized fairly early on and was in huge denial about it; she didn't come out about it to her family until she was in her 30s.
"She really recounts the struggle in the book for her to acknowledge her sexuality. Of course, she's [now] married and happy … her partner has a child … she's happy to be a parent, and things have really worked out. A lot of [the book also] is about her career and how her career developed, but her path as a lesbian coming to terms with her sexuality is very poignant."
Lynch, 51, was born and raised in Dolton and graduated from Thornridge High School and then Illinois State University. Her Chicago roots also include stints at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and The Second City.
Lynch, who married Lara Embry in Massachusetts in 2010, has been very supportive of gay issues, and with Embry recorded a video message as part of the It Gets Better Project.
Lynch's book won't be available at Women & Children First until Sept. 13, though Bubon anticipates selling several hundred copies before that date.
"She's from the Chicago area, so she definitely wanted to make Chicago a good stop on her book [signing] tour," Bubon said. "The publishers know our reputation for handling big authors and for being a go-to place for lesbians, so I think they thought she'd be most comfortable here and we could do the best job with [the appearance]."
Personally, Bubon is thrilled for Lynch's appearance. "I am so excited I can hardly stand it," she said. "I've loved her as an actress since [the 2000 independent film] Best In Show and I probably saw her in things before that, yet didn't recognize [her]. I'm very, very excited for her appearance."
Bubon said she wouldn't be surprised if Lynch signed 1,000 copies of the book, or more, during her stop at Women & Children First.
"Whenever we have a celebrity here, even if it's someone as quirky as Chelsea Handler, it brings in people from all over the state, from all over the area. It brings people from little towns in Southern Illinois, from distant suburbs, and also people who had never [previously] heard of Women & Children First, but they want to meet this celebrity. It's very good for our profile; it's very good for bringing new people to the store," Bubon said. "We have developed a wonderful clientele of serious readers over the years because of the books we stock and because everyone who works here is a serious reader. Customers know that they can come here and get recommendations.
"A celebrity [appearing here] brings in those people who aren't necessarily 'readers.' They're mostly just buying the book because it's about this celebrity who they think is special, even though they may only read two books a year."
The top in-store book-signing ever at Women & Children First was Hillary Clinton, Bubon said. Clinton signed about 1,100 books.
"[Lynch's appearance] will be huge; it probably will be our best [attended] event all fall," Bubon said. [Lynch] is extremely hot right now, so I think this will be one our biggest [in-store signings] ever."