James Bastian “Willa’s Pursuit” Presentation & Book Signing

Join James Bastian for “Willa’s Pursuit” presentation and book signing.


June 8th 2023 6 – 7:15 pm
Martha Merrell’s Book Store
231 W. Main Street
Waukesha, WI 53186

About the Author:

Jim Bastian is a former high school history and psychology teacher, who converted to capitalism, earned an MBA and proceeded to have a 35-year career in business, most recently providing corporate organizational and human resource assessments. During that time he, his wife, and their two daughters relocated from Wisconsin, to Illinois, to Orange County California, to Sarasota, Florida, before settling in Brookfield, Wisconsin where he presently resides when not at his cabin in the Northwoods pursuing snowshoeing, skiing, hunting, fishing, trapping and taxidermy as time and age permit. Writing is an evocative avocation, meeting his criterion of what can be done productively in sweatpants with a cocktail. He is the author of Wisconsin Logging Camp, 1921.

About the Book:

In the winter of 1971, graduate student Willa immerses herself in a sensory deprivation tank for a routine psychological experiment. The hallucinations and delusions she experiences in the tank are considered normal side effects, but the sudden ability to speak fluent French is not. Each time she enters the tank, she becomes more convinced the hallucinations are actually someone else’s memories. Her boyfriend dismisses her delusions and resulting anxiety and depression as proof that she is having a psychotic break. But what if her new abilities mean something more? Set in Wisconsin during the social turmoil and budding psychological science of the early 1970s, and inspired by actual events, Willa’s pursuit of the source of her visions and fluency in French (a condition called xenoglossia) unearths an unlikely archaeological discovery and a shocking truth that changes her life forever.

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