2023 I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye by Ivan Maisel

Thank you to all who attended last night’s author event!

Posted on  by mcoe

Armen Keteyian with Ivan Maisel at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts

It certainly was a wonderful evening with author Ivan Maisel in conversation with his long-time friend Armen Keteyian. If you were not able to be there or if you would like to watch it again, the video recording of the event is now available on our YouTube channel here.

Special One Book One Town edition of “Fairfield What Are You Reading” podcast is now available

Posted on  by mcoe

For Episode 25 of our podcast, we were so fortunate to have Ivan Maisel and his wife Meg Murray join us. Their open and honest conversation about their journey of grief as individuals, as a couple, and as parents will undoubtedly add so much to your reading experience of I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye.

You’ll find the podcast by clicking on the icon below or by searching “Fairfield What Are You Reading” on your favorite podcast platform.

One Book, One Town 2023: I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye

Posted on  by merry

We are honored to announce that the title chosen was written by a resident of Fairfield. This year’s OBOT selection is I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye by Ivan Maisel.  It is an honest and emotionally deep memoir in which Ivan reflects on the loss of his dear son Max to suicide, the impact of grief on family and community, and the painful journey which brings Ivan to a place of seeing grief as an expression of love.

I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye

What Ivan and his family experienced was felt throughout the entire community.  For this reason, the existence of this beautiful memoir presented itself as an urgent and unique opportunity to bring an essential conversation to the forefront.

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher:  “In February 2015, Ivan Maisel received a call that would alter his life forever: his son Max’s car was found abandoned in a parking next to Lake Ontario. Two months later, Max’s body would be found in the lake. I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye is the story of Maisel’s love for a son who was so different from him, but who he loved so deeply, and how he came to learn that grief for Max was nothing more than a last, ultimate expression of love. Navigating the moments of their complicated relationship, as well as their love for each other, Maisel explores the bridges he tried to build to his son and the grief that engulfed him and his family after Max’s death by suicide. Taking its title from Max’s love of photography–and his tendency to only love the camera when he was behind it, looking away whenever his picture was taken–I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye delves into the tragically transformative reality of losing a child, all with grace, depth, and refinement. But by humanizing Max and humanizing his grief, Maisel evokes understanding instead of sorrow, appreciation instead of anxiety–and love instead of fear.”

Special thanks goes to Tamara Lyhne, Children’s Librarian, and Jen Laseman, Teen Librarian, for choosing wonderful titles for our younger readers. For Teens and middle school readers the titles are Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers and also Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration.  Both books are edited by Rose Brock and feature stories that celebrate the triumphant power of hope, an important message in a time when hope is sometimes difficult to find.  

For Children, the title is The Rhino Suit by Colter Jackson. This gentle and moving picture book tells the story of a very sensitive little girl who builds herself a rhino suit as protection against all of the bad and sad feelings she experiences.

Ivan Maisel will be appearing at the Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00pm.  Registration for this event is required and will begin on Tuesday, February 28th.

Colter Jackson will be appearing at the Main Library on Saturday, March 25th at 1:00pm. Rose Brock will be holding an event as well, time and date TBA.  A full list of programs is to follow; many of them will include professionals who work in the counseling field. Details will be added to the events page as they become available.


  • Visit from author Ivan Maisel
    Tuesday, March 28 – 7:00 pm – Quick Center, Fairfield University
  • This is the signature event of Fairfield’s One Book One Town 2023. Join us as we welcome the author of I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye,  Fairfield’s own Ivan Maisel. This book is an honest and emotionally deep memoir in which Ivan reflects on the loss of his dear son Max to suicide, the impact of grief on family and community, and the painful journey which brings Ivan to a place of seeing grief as an expression of love.
  • **Registration for this event is required.**  Please call (203) 256-3160 with any questions. Register here.
  • Expressions of Grief
  • Wednesday, February 22—6:00pm—Pequot Library
  • Please join area mental health experts in a panel discussion on how grief is processed at different ages and life stages. This will be an open and frank conversation with clinicians and experts representing Silver Hill Hospital, the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield, as well as other institutions.  Register at https://www.pequotlibrary.org/event/
  • Writing Through Loss
  • Wednesday, March 1 – Noon –  Virtual
  • Join fellow writers for an hour of guided writing prompts focused on writing through loss. Participants can write individually in response to the prompts provided during the workshop.  This workshop is organized by the DiMenna-Nyselius Library at Fairfield University and will be facilitated by Elizabeth Boquet, Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at Fairfield University, and Lisa Thornell, Head of Library Outreach & Communications. Participants do not need to have read the OBOT title to attend. Register at https://libcal.fairfield.edu/event/10168631.
  • Embodied Meditation—Special edition
    Wednesday, March 8 – 6:30 pm – Caroline Platt Room, Fairfield Woods Branch Library
  • In this special session learn about and experience embodied meditation, a somatic meditation practice that grounds us to feel whole in our bodies and disentangle from all that fragments us during our everyday lives. Licensed physical therapist Marika Baxter, PT, MSPT, OCS will lead us. Register here.
  • Creating Lasting Family Connections
    Wednesday, March 8 – 6:30 pm – Rotary Room, Main Library
  • Join us for a discussion on strengthening parenting communication skills and developing resiliency in our children.  This presentation will introduce concepts as a foundation for effective parent-child communications: understanding your child’s perspective , valuable techniques to listen compassionately, identifying parental expectations and consequences and presenting them fairly for mutual agreement and lastly taking an in-depth look into emotions and their effect on behavior. Presented by Lauren Lanham from Inspire IncRegister here.
  • Woods Book Buzz Book Club
    Thursday, March 9 – 1:00 pm – Caroline Platt Room, Fairfield Woods Branch Library
  • Join us for a special session of this  book group at Fairfield Woods Branch Library. This month’s selection is the book chosen for One Book One Town 2023: I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye by Ivan Maisel.  Discussion facilitators: Claudia Silk and Mary CoeRegister here.
  • A Pen Can Heal
    Wednesday, March 15 – 6:30pm – Rotary Room, Main Library
  • Join us for this special workshop. By writing about your thoughts and feelings for as few as 10 minutes you may change your emotional state, improve your thought process and even sleep better. The goal is not to create a piece of literature but to release the tension of worrisome thoughts by transferring them from your mind to paper. In just one hour you will learn ways to add this simple practice to your Self-Care Plan. No writing experience or special skills are necessary. Presented by Inspire IncRegister here.
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
    Wednesday, March 22 – 6:30pm – Rotary Room, Main Library
  • Come join us for an evening of mindfulness and meditation. Some of the many benefits of a meditation practice include: Reduced Stress & Anxiety,Enhanced Self-Awareness & Emotional Health, Longer Attention Span & Ability to Focus, Improved Sleep, Can decrease blood pressure and Accessible almost anywhere. 
  • No experience necessary. Chairs will be provided but feel free to bring your own yoga mat if you would like to practice on the floor. Presented by Inspire IncRegister here.
  • Virtual Visit from Dr. Rose Brock, author of Hope Wins and Hope Nation
  • Monday, March 20 – 1:00pm
  • For the middle-grade and teen companion reads we selected two short story collections edited by Dr. Rose BrockHope Wins, the middle-grade selection features short stories by a veritable who’s who of middle-grade authors including Stuart Gibbs, Gordon Korman, Julie Buxbaum, and J.C. Cervantes each relating their personal experiences about how hope wins even in the darkest of times.  Hope Nation,  the teen companion selection, features a collection of stories by award-winning Young Adult authors including Angie Thomas, Jason Reynolds, Marie Lu and Nicola Yoon.  Their works all focus on the idea that hope is a decision, but that it can be a hard one to recognize in the face of adversity.

    The stories from these two collections are honest accounts that we hope will connect with readers, promote discussion, and offer some inspiration when things feel out of control or impossible. Register here.
  • Visit from Coulter Jackson, author/illustrator of The Rhino Suit
    Saturday, March 25 – 1:00pm
     – Rotary Room, Main Library
  • Colter Jackson’s The Rhino Suit, provides children an avenue to discuss children’s super big and sometimes overwhelming emotions by putting a larger than life visual- a rhino in armor- around all those feelings. Seeing another child struggle with a multitude of feelings helps kiddos understand that how they are feeling is okay; they are not alone and they can be sensitive to others who may be dealing with big happenings in their lives-(be a great friend). The Rhino Suit was chosen as this years OBOT Children’s companion book for the amazing illustrations and sweet, easily understood storyline.  Register here.
  • Main Library Book Club
    Wednesday, March 29  – 1:30 pm – Rotary Room,  Main Library
  • This month’s selection is our One Book One Town selection I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye by Ivan Maisel.  Discussion facilitators: Claudia Silk and Mary CoeRegister here.
  • QPR for Parents – Questions – Persuade – Refer
    Wednesday, March 29 – 6:30 pm – Rotary Room, Main Library
  • Like CPR, QPR relies on trained citizen action to save lives from suicide. Both CPR and QPR function as part of a ‘Chain or Survival’ in which trained citizens can respond to a life-threatening event, whether it is a suicidal crisis or a heart attack. QPR prepares everyone to be a Gatekeeper in this one-hour training class . You will learn the warning signs of mental/emotional distress, effective questions to ask, listening skills and how to refer to a mental health professional. QPR is a well-researched method of interrupting the advance of mental distress which can lead to self-harm. Learn more about the QPR Institute at www.QPRInstitute.comRegister for the event here.