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Javad Djavahery in conversation with translator Emma Ramadan

My Part of Her

“A searing novel, by Iranian exile Djavahery, of love and betrayal in a time of revolution…. Djavahery’s novel is an aching evocation of paradise lost, one that is impossible to regain, even in our narrator’s searching dreams. Vivid, shattering, and utterly memorable.”

Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

For our unnamed confessor, the summer months spent on the Caspian Sea during the 1970s are a magically transformative experience. There, he is not the “poor relative from the North,” but a welcome guest at his wealthy cousin Nilou’s home and the gatekeeper of her affections. He revels in the power of orchestrating the attentions of her many competing admirers, granting and denying access to her would-be lovers and divulging intimate details of her life. In a moment of jealousy and youthful bravado, he betrays and humiliates an unlikely suitor, unwittingly setting into motion a series of events that will have drastic repercussions for all of them as the country is forever transformed by the Iranian Revolution a few short years later.

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Over the course of twenty years, the lingering effects of that summer propel the friends in their vastly different responses to radicalization as the country is plunged into political and cultural turmoil with the rise of a strict religious regime. Their surprising final reunion reveals the consequences of revenge and self-preservation as they each must decide whether and how to forget the past. In My Part of Her, translated from French by Emma Ramadan, celebrated exiled Iranian author Javad Djavahery captures the innocence of youth, the folly of love, and the capriciousness of fate as these friends find themselves on opposing sides of the seismic rifts of history.

About the author:

Javad Djavahery was forced to leave Iran at the age of twenty, escaping to France as a political refugee, and is now based in Paris. Djavahery has produced several films and writes screenplays and fiction. He has two short story collections in Persian and two novels in French. My Part of Her is his English-language debut.

About the translator:

Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, RI where she is the co-owner of Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of a PEN/Heim grant, an NEA translation grant, and a Fulbright fellowship for her translation work.

Kerri Maher

The Girl in the White Gloves

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves. But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth.

Kerri Maher is the author of The Kennedy Debutante, and This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full time and lives with her daughter and dog in a leafy suburb west of Boston.

Ken Liu

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years—sixteen of his best—plus a new novelette and an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.

Ken Liu is the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Locus Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards, he has also been nominated for the Sturgeon and Locus Awards. He also translated the 2015 Hugo Award–winning novel The Three-Body Problem, written by Cixin Liu, which is the first novel to ever win the Hugo award in translation. He lives near Boston with his family.

Megan Dowd Lambert

A Kid of Their Own

In this fresh and funny follow-up to the Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book A Crow of His Own, rooster Clyde is forced to adjust to new roommates on the farm when Fran the goat and her kid, Rowdy, take up residence. Can Clyde handle having a new kid in town?

Megan Dowd Lambert is the author of A Crow of His Own, Real Sisters Pretend, and Reading Picture Books with Children. She is an instructor at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons University, where she earned her master’s degree. She writes about books and parenting for Horn Book Magazine, has served on a Caldecott Committee, and worked at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for many years.

Noé Álvarez

Spirit Run

An electrifying debut memoir from the son of working-class Mexican immigrants, Noé Álvarez fled a life of labor in fruit-packing plants to run in an Indigenous marathon from Canada to Guatemala. Running through mountains, deserts, cities, and the territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents’ migration, and–against all odds, in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit–the dream of a liberated future.

Noé Álvarez was born to Mexican immigrant parents and raised working-class in Yakima, Washington. He holds degrees in philosophy and creative writing from Whitman College and Emerson College, respectively. He studied conflict analysis, peacemaking, and conflict resolution at American University and in Northern Ireland, received a fellowship at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and researched U.S. drug policy, military aid, and human rights issues in Colombia’s Putumayo jungles. He lives in Boston, where, until recently, he worked as a security officer at the Boston Athenæum.

Katherine Stewart

The Power Worshippers

Katherine Stewart shows that the real power of the American religious right lies in a dense network of think tanks, policy and legal advocacy groups, and pastoral organizations, embedded in a growing network of international alliances with like-minded religious nationalists around the world. The Power Worshippers is a brilliantly reported book of warning and a wake-up call.

Katherine Stewart is one of the leading authorities on the political aspects of the Religious Right. The author of The Good News Club, she contributes to the New York Times, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Nation, the Guardian, the Advocate, Slate, and the Atlantic. In 2014, she was named Person of the Year by the national civil liberties group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Donna Leon

Trace Elements

When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.

Donna Leon is the author of the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Donna Leon lived in Venice for many years and now divides her time between Venice and Switzerland.

Translating German with Karen Leeder & Iain Galbraith in conversation with William Waters

River

Thick of It

The Transnational Series welcomes two prominent German translators to discuss their work and their most recent translations.

This event is in partnership with Boston University’s Center for the Study of Europe.

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Karen Leeder is a writer, translator and academic, and teaches German at New College, Oxford where she works especially on modern poetry. She translates contemporary German literature into English, including works by Volker Braun, Evelyn Schlag, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Michael Krüger and Raoul Schrott. Her most recent translations include Evelyn Schlag’s All Under one Roof (Carcanet) which was the Poetry Book Society summer translation selection (2018) and Michael Krüger’s Postscript (Sheep Meadow, 2019). She was awarded an English PEN award and an American PEN/Heim award for her translation of from Ulrike Almut Sandig’s Dickicht (Thick of it) which appeared with Seagull in 2018 and was longlisted for the Warwick translation Prize and shortlisted for the Schlegel-Tieck prize. Her translations of Durs Grünbein stretch back over a decade and were awarded the Stephen Spender Prize (2011) and the John Frederik Nims Memorial Prize (2018).

Iain Galbraith grew up in Scotland and studied literatures and languages at universities in the UK and Germany, where he now lives. His most recent book publications include his volume of poetry The True Height of the Ear (2018) as well as translations of Jan Wagner’s Self-portrait with a Swarm of Bees (2015), Esther Kinsky’s River (2018) and Esther Dischereit’s Sometimes a Single Leaf (2020). He also translates into German, recently publishing selections by John Burnside (2016 and 2018 ) and Alice Oswald (2018). He has received several prizes for his work, including the Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation (2015), the Stephen Spender Prize (2014), the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (2016) and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant (2017).

About the moderator:

William Waters teaches courses on German literature, Comparative Literature, translation, German linguistics, advanced German language, and the Humanities sequence of BU’s Core Curriculum. His research interests center on poetry and poetics and on the poet Rainer Maria Rilke; he is the author of Poetry’s Touch: On Lyric Address (Cornell University Press) and numerous scholarly articles on poetry. At BU he has been honored with the National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Templeton Prize for Excellence in Student Advising, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the quondam Honors Program of the College of Arts and Sciences. From 2007 to 2013 he served as the founding chair of his department, and continues as Associate Director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Europe.

Jenny Offill

Weather

For years Lizzie Benson has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She’s become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls.

Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.

Erin Dionne

Balletball

Nini loves everything about ballet–the sparkles, the costumes, the twirling! But in the spring there’s only baseball practice. Baseball is nothing like ballet. Or is it?

Erin Dionne is the author of the picture book Captain’s Log: Snowbound and several middle-grade novels, including Lights, Camera, Disaster and Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, an Edgar Award nominee. Erin is an associate professor of liberal arts at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts.

Brookline Booksmith Book Club

The Great Alone

The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets downstairs at 7:30pm. To contact our moderator, email bookclub@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Discussing The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Night Road, Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden. She was born in Southern California and moved to Western Washington when she was eight. A former lawyer, Hannah started writing when she was pregnant and on bed rest for five months. Writing soon became an obsession, and she has been at it ever since. She is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Lily King in conversation with Andre Dubus III

Writers and Lovers

Co-sponsored by GrubStreet.

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Lily King is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2014 and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.

Deborah J. Cohan

Welcome to Wherever We Are

In this gripping memoir, Cohan tells her unique personal story while also weaving in her expertise as a sociologist and domestic abuse counselor to address broader questions related to marriage, violence, divorce, only children, intimacy and loss. A story most of us can relate to as we reckon with past and future choices against the backdrop of complicated family dynamics, Welcome to Wherever We Are is about how we might come to live our own lives better amidst unpredictable changes through grief and healing.

Deborah J. Cohan is an associate professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Alongside her many academic publications, she is the author of the popular blog “Social Lights” for Psychology Today.

Matthew Lippman and Jacob Strautmann

Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful

The Land of the Dead is Open for Business

In Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful, Matthew Lippman offers us a collection of poems that are wildly inventive yet grounded in the 21st-century dailyness of parenting and dinner parties and Dunkin Donuts, all of which serve as launch pads into perennial questions of mercy and trust. These are brash, beautiful poems, big-hearted in their tilt toward sentimentality and their yearning for something more, something better.

The Land of the Dead is Open for Business is an extended elegy for Jacob Strautmann’s home state of West Virginia and its generations of inhabitants sold out by the false promise of the American Dream. Throughout the book, voices rise up from the page to describe a landscape eroded and plundered by runaway capitalism—its mountain tops leveled by fracking, its waters polluted by runoff from mines—and the fallout from that waste.

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Matthew Lippman’s collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful won the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. He is the author of five other poetry collections—A Little Gut Magic, American Chew, Salami Jew, Monkey Bars, and The New Year of Yellow.

Raised in Marshall County, WV, Jacob Strautmann is a recipient of the Massachusetts Poetry Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His poems have appeared in the Boston Globe, Agni Magazine, Salamander Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, Blackbird, and others. He is the managing director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University, where he also teaches creative writing. He lives in Belmont, MA, with his partner Valerie Duff and their two children.

E.B. Goodale

Under the Lilacs

In this lush and playful picture book from E. B. Goodale, illustrator of Windows, Kate feels ignored by her mother and sister and so decides to run away. In a neighboring yard, she builds a fort and enjoys a sense of independence—until she finds herself making room for her family in her new home … Under the Lilacs is the perfect celebration of striking out on your own—while still making room for everyone.

E. B. Goodale is an author, illustrator, and designer. Her first picture book _Windows, _written by Julia Denos, received an Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor, and was an ALSC Notable Book. She has since illustrated a handful of other picture books, and her author/illustrator debut, Under the Lilacs, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring 2020. She creates from her home in Massachusetts where she lives with her family and a black cat named Green.

Mark Rader

The Wanting Life

The Wanting Life tells the intertwined stories of three Novak family members: Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer and has secrets he desperately wants to share; Britta, his self-destructive sister and caretaker, who’s struggling to find meaning in a world without her beloved husband; and Maura, a 39-year-old artist torn between family and the man she believes is her one, true love.

Mark Rader has had stories published in Glimmer Train, Epoch, The Southern Review and shortlisted for an O. Henry Award, the Best American Non-Required Reading anthology, and a Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.

Helen Epstein (Franci Rabinek Epstein)

Franci's War

The engrossing memoir of a spirited and glamorous young fashion designer who survived World War ll, with an afterword by her daughter, Helen Epstein, who joins us for this event. Franci’s War is the powerful testimony of one incredibly strong young woman who endured the horrors of the Holocaust and survived.  »

Franci Rabinek Epstein was born into a privileged family in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1920 and educated at the Ecole Francaise, Lycee de Prague, and the Deutsches Staatsrealgymnasium before dropping out to apprentice in her mother’s haute-couture Salon. At 18, Franci became the owner of the Salon and in 1940 she married Joe Solar. She regarded the Nazi concentration camps as her university. After liberation, she returned to Prague and married Kurt Epstein in 1946. In 1948, after the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, she emigrated to New York City and established a new fashion salon on the Upper West Side. She lectured at universities on her experience during the war before dying of a brain aneurysm in 1989.

Helen Epstein is a veteran arts journalist and author or translator of ten books of non-fiction including the trilogy Children of the Holocaust, Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History; and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma. Born in Prague, she grew up in New York City. Her reviews and articles have appeared in many newspapers, magazines, and websites.

Small Press Book Club

The Crying Book

Read something off the beaten path! To contact our moderator email smallpress@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Discussing The Crying Book by Heather Christie

Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. Along the way, she discovers an artist who designed a frozen-tear-shooting gun and a moth that feeds on the tears of other animals. She researches tear-collecting devices (lachrymatories) and explores the role white women’s tears play in racist violence.

Honest, intelligent, rapturous, and surprising, Christle’s investigations look through a mosaic of science, history, and her own lived experience to find new ways of understanding life, loss, and mental illness. The Crying Book is a deeply personal tribute to the fascinating strangeness of tears and the unexpected resilience of joy.

Heather Christle is author of the poetry collections The Difficult Farm, The Trees The Trees, which won the Believer Poetry Award, What Is Amazing, and Heliopause. A former creative writing fellow in poetry at Emory University, Christle’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, and many other journals. She was born in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and earned a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught at Wittenberg University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Guelph, and other institutions. She lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Chavi Karkowsky

High Risk

A doctor’s revelatory account of pregnancy and the complexity of reproductive life—and everything we lose when we don’t speak honestly about women’s health.

Chavi Eve Karkowsky, MD, is a maternal-fetal medicine physician working in New York City. Her writing has been published in Slate, the Daily Beast, the Atlantic, and the Washington Post.

Andy Husbands

The Smoke Shop's Backyard BBQ

Every meal is better with BBQ! Impress your friends, family, and co-workers with recipes from Boston’s popular Smoke Shop restaurant. Start off with a classic Backyard Barbecue featuring pulled pork, Twice-Smoked Pulled Chicken, deliciously simple brisket, and New Memphis Ribs. With a selection of the Smoke Shop’s favorite sides, drinks, and desserts, it might seem like all you ever needed.

Andy Husbands is an award-winning pitmaster who began developing his own unique style of cooking upon opening Boston’s Tremont 647 in 1996 and later, Sister Sorel. His latest culinary venture, The Smoke Shop, culminates Husbands’ continued success and pays homage to his extensive background in the competitive barbecue circuit. His honest, approachable fare makes Smoke Shop the “Best Barbecue Restaurant” according to Boston Magazine, and the restaurant has been praised in The Boston Globe, Wine Spectator, Star Chefs, and more.

Ioana Hobai

A Whale of a Mistake

When you make a mistake—a big mistake, a HUGE mistake—it can weigh you down or even swallow you whole! As one kid finds herself swept away by her whale of a mistake, she takes readers along on a journey of emotions. When the girl pauses to stare at the night sky, she realizes something important: there are as many mistakes in the world as stars in the sky, and maybe she can handle it after all. As the seemingly huge whale begins to shrink, the girl embraces her mistake and finds her way back to solid ground.

Ioana Hobai worked as an architect before she decided to return to her love of art and pursue children’s book illustration. She made her debut as an illustrator with Before You Sleep by Annie Cronin Romano (Fall 2018) and her author-illustrator debut with Lena’s Slippers (Spring 2019), both with Page Street Kids. She grew up in Romania, and now resides in Massachusetts.

Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez

Is it possible—is it even ethical?—to make hopeful art in an unjust and chaotic world? In the tradition of artist-essayists such as James Baldwin, Anne Lamott, and Adrienne Rich, Sandberg-Zakian looks to her own socially-engaged theater-making practice alongside a diverse array of cultural influences (from slave narratives to popular musicals, Batman to “This American Life”), considering how we might reconcile our desire for hope and possibility, connection and transformation, with the necessity of navigating darkness, despair, hate and violence.

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a freelance theater director based in Jamaica Plain, MA, and a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. She is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.

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Melinda Lopez is the Playwright-in-Residence at the Huntington Theatre. She was the 2109 recipient of the Sustained Excellence Award from the Elliott Norton Committee for her 20 years of theatre work in the Boston area. Her plays include Mala, Becoming Cuba, Orchids to Octopi, Caroline in Jersey, Sonia Flew, and others. Melinda is also an actress and teaches playwriting at Boston University. She is currently working on an Audible Original immigration drama set now and during the Mariel Boatlift, 1980.

Christine McDonnell

When the Babies Came to Stay

A gentle, humorous story that has a significant message of love and acceptance. This charming, lighthearted fairytale contains a message of acceptance that is particularly significant for our time.

Christine McDonnell grew up in New York suburbs and attended Barnard College and Columbia University Library School. She is a former New York City and Boston librarian, and subsequently taught in the Brookline, Massachusetts, public schools. She currently runs the book club at Brookline Booksmith and teaches literacy at Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter. Ms. McDonnell is the author of ten chapter books and middle grade novels as well as four picture books. She holds an MFA from Hamline University.

Bettye Kearse in conversation with Dr. Gloria White Hammond

The Other Madisons

In The Other Madisons, Bettye Kearse—a descendant of a slave named Coreen and, according to oral tradition, President James Madison—finally shares her family story, exploring legacy, race, and the powerful consequences of telling the whole truth.

Bettye Kearse is a retired pediatric physician and geneticist. Her commentary “Our Family Tree Searches for Branches” appeared in the Boston Herald. “Destination Jim Crow” was published in River Teeth, listed as notable in The Best American Essays 2014, and nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. “Mammy Warriors” is included in the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. Her research for The Other Madisons was recently covered in the Washington Post. She lives in New Mexico.

Joy Wieder

The Passover Mouse

In this charming and witty Passover story about kindness, community, tradition, and forgiveness, a little mouse disrupts a town’s preparations for the holiday when it steals a piece of leavened bread—or chometz—just as all the houses have been swept clean in time for the holiday.

Joy Nelkin Wieder is the author of over 30 books for children. She is also an illustrator, and her work has been exhibited in libraries and synagogues around the greater Boston area. She is a frequent school and library visitor and runs children’s writing sessions on historical fiction, oral history, and Jewish children’s books, highlighting Shabbat, family, and ancient Israel. Learn more about her work at jnwieder.com.

Elizabeth Segran

The Rocket Years

We tend to think of our twenties as a playground for life; a time for low-consequence experimentation and delaying big decisions. But the truth is that while you’re muddling through those years—exploring new cities, dating the wrong people, hopping between jobs—a small shift in your flight path can mean the difference between landing on Mars or Saturn. Rather than prescribing one correct path (who are we kidding, there’s no such thing anyway!), Elizabeth Segran invites readers to think critically and holistically about the life they want to build.

Elizabeth Segran spent her childhood in Brussels, Paris, Singapore, and Jakarta. She attended Columbia University, then got a Ph.D. in Indian literature and women’s studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She’s a senior staff writer at Fast Company, and her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Atlantic, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and the New Republic. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, and books.

Brookline High School Poetry Fest

Join us for an evening of poetry with Brookline High School’s finest emerging poets!

This event will take place in our Used Book Cellar from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Lisa Robinson

Madame Saqui

Join author Lisa Robinson for a special presentation: a reading and a petite circus show! Lisa will read her new picture book, Madame Saqui: Revolutionary Rope Dancer, a true story about a young tightrope walker in Revolutionary era France. Then, dressed as Madame Saqui, she will walk the tightwire! There may be juggling, too! After her performance, Lisa will set a wire on the floor so aspiring young circus artists can feel what it’s like to walk across a real tightwire.

Lisa Robinson has lived all over the world, including Seattle, Dakar, London, and Moscow. She and her family now call Massachusetts home, where Lisa spends time at the local circus gym, flying through the air with aerial silks. She is also the author of Pippa’s Night Parade.

Lois Lowry

On the Horizon

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, Lois Lowry contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world.

Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, Number the Stars and The Giver. Her first novel, A Summer to Die, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine.

Elizabeth Kadetsky in conversation with Joanna Rakoff

The Memory Eaters

The Memory Eaters tells the story of a family’s cyclical and intergenerational incidents of trauma, secret-keeping, and forgetting in the context of 1970s-‘80s New York City. Moving from her parents’ divorce to her mother’s career as a Seventh Avenue fashion model, and from her sister’s addiction and homelessness to her own experiences with therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, Kadetsky takes readers on a spiraling trip through memory fractured by addiction and dementia, and a compulsion to salve the past with nostalgia.

Elizabeth Kadetsky is author of the memoir First There Is a Mountain, the short story collection The Poison that Purifies You, and the novella On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World. A professor of creative writing at Penn State and nonfiction editor at the New England Review, she is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell Colony, and Vermont Studio Center.

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

The Mountains Sing

This event is co-sponsored by the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. It is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English.

Born into the Viet Nam War in 1973, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai grew up witnessing the war’s devastation and its aftermath. She worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction published in Vietnamese, and her writing has been translated and published in more than 10 countries, most recently in Norton’s Inheriting the War anthology. She has been honored with many awards, including the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Ha Noi Writers Association, as well as many grants and fellowships. Married to a European diplomat, Quế Mai currently lives in Jakarta with her two teenage children.

About our cosponsor:

The William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences promotes research, curriculum development, events, and educational, cultural, and humanitarian exchanges which address the consequences of war. By serving veterans, family members of veterans, war refugees and all victims of war, we aim to create a public space where the issues of war and their human, social, political, and environmental consequences can be openly discussed, debated, and analyzed.

Veronica Roth

Chosen Ones

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and he leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself. And this time, fighting back might take more than they have to give.

Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series and the Carve the Mark duology. Divergent received the 2011 Goodreads Choice Award for Favorite Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2011, and was the winner of the YALSA 2012 Teens’ Top Ten. The trilogy has been adapted into a blockbuster movie series. Carve the Mark published in January 2017, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and remained on the list for eighteen weeks to follow. The Fates Divide, the second installment of the Carve the Mark series, also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Betsey Johnson

Betsey: A Memoir

This event is a ticketed Meet and Greet. There will be no reading.

Mention the name “Betsey Johnson” and almost every woman from the age of 15 to 75 can rapturously recall a favorite dress or outfit; whether worn for a prom, a wedding, or just to stand out from the crowd in a colorful way. They may also know her as a renegade single mom who palled around with Edie Sedgwick, Twiggy, and The Velvet Underground, or even as a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Betsey will take the reader behind the tutu and delve deeply into what it took to go from a white picket fence childhood in Connecticut to becoming an internationally known force in a tough, competitive business.

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Betsey Johnson has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960s. Known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over-the-top, her commitment to remain true to her one-of-a-kind vision has kept her at the forefront of fashion for over 40 years. She is the recipient of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Timeless Talent Award (created just for her by the CFDA), The National Arts Club Johnson Medal of Honor of Lifetime Achievement in Fashion, and was honored with a plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame.

Robert Kolker

Hidden Valley Road

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Robert Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls, named one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books and one of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Books of 2013. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, O magazine,and Men’s Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the 2011 Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Ngozi Ukazu

Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks and Stones

This event will be in conversation with Kamille Washington

Check, Please!: Sticks and Scones is the second in Ngozi Ukazu’s hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age graphic novel series about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

Eric Bittle is heading into his junior year at Samwell University, and not only does he have new teammates—he has a brand new boyfriend! Bitty and Jack must navigate their new, secret, long-distance relationship, and decide how to reveal their relationship to friends and teammates. And on top of that, Bitty’s time at Samwell is quickly coming to an end…It’s two full hockey seasons packed with big wins and high stakes!

Ngozi Ukazu is the creator of Check, Please, an online graphic novel whose printing campaign remains the most funded webcomics Kickstarter ever. She graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a degree in Computing and The Arts, and received a masters in Sequential Art in 2015 from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Kamille Washington is one half of the Unfriendly Black Hotties, a podcast about the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in higher ed, pop culture, and politics. She finances her comic book habit by managing international things at Harvard.

John Scalzi

The Last Emperox

The Last Emperox is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling Interdependency series, an epic space opera adventure from Hugo Award-winning author John Scalzi.

The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems—and billions of people—are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people form impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization … or the last emperox to wear the crown?

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel for Redshirts, and his debut novel Old Man’s War was a finalist for Hugo Award as well. His other books include The Ghost Brigades, The Android’s Dream, The Last Colony and The Human Division. He has won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for science-fiction, the Seiun, The Kurd Lasswitz and the Geffen awards. His weblog, The Whatever, is one of the most widely-read web sites in modern SF. Born and raised in California, Scalzi studied at the University of Chicago. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.

C Pam Zhang in conversation with Serina Gousby

How Much of These Hills Is Gold

This event is co-sponsored by the Boston Writers of Color Group (supported by GrubStreet).

An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home.

Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.

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Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and re-imagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But page by page, it’s about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.

Born in Beijing but mostly an artifact of the United States, C Pam Zhang has lived in thirteen cities across four countries and is still looking for home. She’s been awarded support from Tin House, Bread Loaf, Aspen Words and elsewhere, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Serina Gousby is a poet and essayist from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is also the founder of her lifestyle blog, The Rina Collective, where she posts reflective, literary, and pop culture essays. She is the Development Associate and Boston Writers of Color Group Coordinator at GrubStreet, and Events Chair on the GOLD Alumni Council board at Suffolk University, where she studied English and Black Studies. She has performed spoken word at Suffolk University, Boston Poetry Marathon, Literary Death Match, and HUBWeek. Her work is featured in Medium, The Suffolk Journal, and Necessary Fiction.

D.J. Palmer

The New Husband

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them. Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

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D.J. Palmer is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels, including Delirious and Desperate. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer before turning his attention to writing. He lives with his wife and two children in New Hampshire.
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Jim Ross

Under the Black Hat

From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross comes a candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career.

Jim Ross has been involved in professional wrestling for more than forty years. Elected into the WWE, NWA, and National Wrestling Halls of Fame, Ross is also a New York Times bestselling author, a BBQ guru, and the host of his own podcast (The Ross Report), and he can be read through his columns on Fox Sports as well as his work with CBS Sports, AXS TV, and Britain’s ITV. He is the author of Slobberknocker and Under the Black Hat.

Fernanda Melchor in conversation with Nina MacLaughlin

Hurricane Season

The English-language debut of one of the most thrilling and accomplished young Mexican writers.

Like Roberto Bolano’s 2666 or Faulkner’s greatest novels, Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with mythology and violence—real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning everything around: it’s a world that becomes more terrifying and more terrifyingly real the deeper you explore it.

About the author:

Fernanda Melchor, born in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1982, is widely recognized as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. Her collection This Is Not Miami is also forthcoming from New Directions. Sophie Hughes has translated such Spanish-language writers as Iván Repila, Laia Jufresa, Rodrigo Hasbún, José Revueltas, Giuseppe Caputo, Enrique Vila-Matas, and Alia Trabucco Zerán.

About the moderator:

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, a re-telling of Ovid’s Metamorphoses told from the perspective of the female figures transformed, published by FSG/FSG Originals in November, 2019. Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared on or in The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, American Short Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, Meatpaper, and elsewhere. She carves spoons and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Angela DiTerlizzi

The Magical Yet

Each of us, from the day we’re born, is accompanied by a special companion–the Yet. Can’t tie your shoes? Yet! Can’t ride a bike? Yet! Can’t play the bassoon? Don’t worry, Yet is there to help you out. Told in tight rhyme reminiscent of the great Dr. Seuss himself, this rollicking, inspirational picture book is perfect for every kid who is frustrated by what they can’t do … YET!

Angela DiTerlizzi never forgets her Magical Yet, especially when she wrote more than ten drafts to get this book just right. She’s written other books, too, including Just Add Glitter, Some Bugs, Some Pets, and Baby Love. She lives with her husband, best-selling author-illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, and their daughter in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Madeline Miller

Circe PB

Celebrating the paperback release.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child – not powerful like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power – the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

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Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts, and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

Courtney Carver

Project 333

In Project 333, minimalist expert and author of Soulful Simplicity Courtney Carver takes a new approach to living simply–starting with your wardrobe. Project 333 promises that not only can you survive with just 33 items in your closet for 3 months, but you’ll thrive just like the thousands of woman who have taken on the challenge and never looked back. Let the de-cluttering begin!

Courtney Carver launched her blog “Be More with Less” in 2010 and is one of the top bloggers in the world on the subject of minimalism. She has been featured in countless articles, podcasts, and interviews on simplicity, and is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333, which was featured in O: The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple.

Omar Sakr, George Abraham, Chen Chen and moira j.

Bury Me in Thunder

The Lost Arabs

Birthright

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

In The Lost Arabs, Award-winning Arab Australian poet Omar Sakr presents a pulsating collection of poetry that interrogates the bonds and borders of family, faith, queerness, and nationality.

George Abraham’s highly anticipated debut Birthright constructs a dialogue in which “every pronoun is a Free Palestine.” Through poems of immense emotion, and the use of alluring form, Abraham crafts work that examines what we come to own by existing.

Chen Chen’s award-winning debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, interrogates the fragile, inherited ways of approaching love and family from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives.

Bury Me in Thunder, the full-length debut by moira j., is an eviscerating collection, suffused with nature, ceremony, and pain. Delivering an unflinching look into the consumption of Indigenous people, this collection sheds new light on the colonization of North America and how trauma is carried through intergenerational memory.

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Omar Sakr is a bisexual Muslim poet born and raised in Western Sydney to Lebanese and Turkish migrants. His debut collection These Wild Houses (2017) was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. Omar’s poems have been published in English, Arabic, and Spanish, featuring or forthcoming in the American Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day series, Prairie Schooner, The Margins, Tinderbox, Wildness, Peril, Circulo de Poesía, Overland, Meanjin, and Antic, among others. Anthologized in Best Australian Poems 2016 and in Contemporary Australian Poetry, he is the 2019 recipient of the Edward Stanley Award for Poetry.

George Abraham is a Palestinian American poet from Jacksonville, Florida. They are the author of Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020), and the chapbooks: the specimen’s apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) and al youm (TAR, 2017). He is a Kundiman and Watering Hole fellow, and recipient of the College Union Poetry Slam International’s Best Poet title. Their work has been published with the Paris Review, American Poetry Review, LitHub, Poem-A-Day, and Bettering American Poetry. He is currently based in Massachusetts, where he is a PhD candidate in Bioengineering at Harvard University.

Chen Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and in such publications as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. The recipient of the 2016 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, he has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation, Lambda Literary, and in 2015, he was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. He earned his BA at Hampshire College and his MFA at Syracuse University. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. Chen lives in Lubbock, Texas, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug dog, Rupert Giles.

moira j. is an agender writer of Dził Łigai Si’an N’dee descent. They are the winner of the 2018 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and are Frontier Poetry’s 2019 Frontier New Voices Fellow. moira j.’s writing examines narratives of indigeneity, queerness, gender, sex, kinship, and illness. Their work has been featured with many publications, including The Shallow Ends, WILDNESS, and PRISM International. They currently live with their partner in the occupied Massachusett homelands of Nutohkemminnit (Greater Boston, Massachusetts).

Christine Lynn Herman in conversation with Amanda Foody and Rory Power

The Deck of Omens

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat lurks in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her father, Ezra Bishop.

Born in New York City but raised around the world, Christine Lynn Herman subscribes to the firm philosophy that home is where her books are. She returned to the United States to study at the University of Rochester, where she received an Honors English degree. Currently, Christine and her books reside in Cambridge, MA, along with her partner and their extremely spoiled cat. You can find her in the nearest forest trying to figure out how to become a tree.

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Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a master’s in accountancy from Villanova University and a bachelor of arts in English literature from the College of William and Mary.

Rory Power grew up in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College, and went on to earn an MA in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Massachusetts. Her first novel is the New York Times bestseller Wilder Girls.

Independent Bookstore Day!

Come join us for Brookline Booksmith’s celebration of the 5th annual Independent Bookstore Day!

We are so excited to celebrate the magic of independent bookstores with our wonderful community, and are planning a fun-filled day of literary activities! Stay tuned on social media for more Independent Bookstore Day announcements.

Loree Griffin Burns

You're Invited to a Moth Ball

Kids are usually asleep when moths come out at night. But discovering the diverse moth population is simple–stay up late and set up a party for moths! Nature centers and museums host events called Moth Balls each summer, but kids can create their own right at home with this handy guide.

Loree Griffin Burns is an award-winning writer who holds a PhD in biochemistry. Each of her books draws heavily on both her passion for nature and her experience as a working scientist. She is the author of Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island; Citizen Scientist: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery in Your Own Back Yard; and Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It.

Nina MacLaughlin

Summer Solstice

What is summer made of? The smell of cut grass behind the gasoline of a lawnmower. Ponds, lakes, and oceans. The first swim. A sunburn. A crown you’ve made of flowers. Blackberry bush prickers. Fat red tomatoes sliced thin and salted. First hot dog off the grill. Stargazing, spooning, and sleeping with the windows open. Two bodies, naked and entwined. Throbbing light from fireflies. Nina MacLaughlin’s long essay (first published by Paris Review) brims with a searching honesty and insight about what this season has meant in our pasts and what it might mean in our lives ahead.

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake Siren: Ovid Resung and the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head. Formerly an editor at The Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for The Boston Globe.

Julia Alvarez in conversation with Gish Jen

Afterlife

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

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Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling.

Gish Jen is the author of four novels, a book of stories, and two books of nonfiction, The Girl at the Baggage Claim and Tiger Writing. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for fiction and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She teaches from time to time in China and otherwise lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sara Mesa and translator Katie Whittemore in conversation with Chad Post

Four by Four

“With short, propulsive chapters, Sara Mesa creates an unforgettable gothic landscape, centered on the mysterious and menacing Wybrany College, that twists in ways that unsettle and thrill. In Four by Four, Mesa’s sentences are clear as glass, but when you look through you will be terrified by what you see.”—Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

A haunting depiction of a sinister elite boarding school in a world veering toward chaos. An exploration of the relationship between the powerful and powerless—and the repetition of these patterns—Mesa’s “sophisticated nightmare” calls to mind great works of gothic literature (think Shirley Jackson) and social thrillers to create a unique, unsettling view of freedom and how a fear of the outside world can create monsters.

Translated from the Spanish by Katie Whittemore.

About the author:

Sara Mesa is the author of eight works of fiction, including Scar (winner of the Ojo Critico Prize), Four by Four (a finalist for the Herralde Prize), An Invisible Fire (winner of the Premio Málaga de Novela), and Cara de Pan. Her works have been translated into more than ten different languages, and has been widely praised for her concise, sharp writing style.

About the translator:

Katie Whittemore is graduate of the University of NH (BA), Cambridge University (M.Phil), and Middlebury College (MA), and was a 2018 Bread Loaf Translators Conference participant. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Two Lines, The Arkansas International, The Common Online, and Gulf Coast Magazine Online, The Los Angeles Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and InTranslation.

About the moderator:

Chad Post is the Publisher of Open Letter Books and Editor of The Three Percent Website.

Ananda Devi in conversation with translator Jeffrey Zuckerman

The Living Days

A chance encounter on Portobello Road incites an unsettling, magnetic attraction between Mary, a seventy-five-year-old white British spinster, and Cub, a thirteen-year-old Jamaican boy from Brixton. Mary clings increasingly to phantoms as dementia overtakes her reality, latching on to Cub and channeling her remaining energy into their relationship. But their macabre romance comes to a horrific climax, as white supremacy, poverty, and class conflict explode on the streets of London.

Through exquisite juxtaposition, Ananda Devi uses alluring prose to confront the tensions of an increasingly nationalistic metropolis, and to examine the queasy nature of desire muddled with power. Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman.

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Ananda Devi was born in 1957 in Mauritius, noted for its confluence of diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic identities. Devi won her first literary prize at the age of fifteen for a short story in a Radio France Internationale competition. After a few years spent in Congo-Brazzaville, Devi moved to Ferney-Voltaire in Switzerland in 1989, where she lives today. She has published twelve novels as well as short stories and poetry, and was featured at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York in 2015. Her literary awards include the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie (2006) and Prix Télévision Suisse Romande (2007) for Ève de ses décombres, as well as the Prix Louis-Guilloux (2010) and the Prix Mokanda (2012) for other works. In 2010 Devi was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and in 2014 she was awarded the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises by the Académie Française. Her latest novel, Manger l’autre (2018) won the Prix Étonnants Voyageurs.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is a translator of French and the Digital Coordinator at Music & Literature Magazine. His translations include Ananda Devi’s Eve Out of Her Ruins, the diaries of the Dardenne brothers, and Jean Genet’s The Criminal Child. He has also contributed shorter pieces to Frieze, The New Republic, The NYRDaily, The Paris Review Daily, The White Review, and VICE. Jeffrey studied English literature and literary translation at Yale University, and has served as a judge for the PEN Translation Prize and the National Translation Award. He is a recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for his ongoing work on the complete stories of Hervé Guibert.

Jacqueline Novogratz in conversation with Bina Venkataraman

Manifesto for a Moral Revolution

Drawing on inspiring stories from change-makers around the world and on memories of her own most difficult experiences, Jacqueline divulges the most common leadership mistakes and the mind-sets needed to rise above them. The culmination of thirty years of work developing sustainable solutions for the problems of the poor, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution offers the perspectives necessary for all those—whether ascending the corporate ladder or bringing solar light to rural villages—who seek to leave this world better off than they found it.

Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen. She has been named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, one of the 25 Smartest People of the Decade by the Daily Beast, and one of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds by Forbes, which also honored her with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In addition to Acumen, she is a sought after speaker and sits on a number of philanthropic boards.

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Bina Venkataraman is the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe. Before joining the Globe, she served as a senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, was the director of global policy initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and taught in the program on science, technology, and society at MIT. An alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School, Venkataraman grew up in a small town in Ohio and now lives in Boston.

Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon

Memoirs and Misinformation

Meet Jim Carrey. Sure, he’s an insanely successful and beloved movie star drowning in wealth and privilege–but he’s also lonely. Maybe past his prime. Maybe even … getting fat? He’s tried diets, gurus, and cuddling with his military-grade Israeli guard dogs, but nothing seems to lift the cloud of emptiness and ennui. Even the sage advice of his best friend, actor and dinosaur skull collector Nicolas Cage, isn’t enough to pull Carrey out of his slump.

But then Jim meets Georgie: ruthless ingénue, love of his life. And with the help of auteur screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, he has a role to play in a boundary-pushing new picture that may help him uncover a whole new side to himself–finally, his Oscar vehicle! Things are looking up! But the universe has other plans.

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Memoirs and Misinformation is a fearless semi-autobiographical novel, a deconstruction of persona. In it, Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon have fashioned a story about acting, Hollywood, agents, celebrity, privilege, friendship, romance, addiction to relevance, fear of personal erasure, our “one big soul,” Canada, and a cataclysmic ending of the world–apocalypses within and without.

Jim Carrey is an award-winning actor and artist.

Dana Vachon is the author of the novel Mergers and Acquisitions. His essays and journalism have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, and Vanity Fair. He lives in Brooklyn.

Melissa Stewart and Sarah S. Brannen

Seashells: More Than a Home

Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. Dual-layered text highlights how shells provide more than a protective home in this expository nonfiction exploration. The informative secondary text underscores characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than one hundred fifty science books for children. She holds degrees in biology and science journalism. Recent books include Feathers: Not Just for Flying; No Monkeys, No Chocolate; and Can an Aardvark Bark?. She lives in Acton, Massachusetts.

Sarah S. Brannen is the author and illustrator of Madame Martine, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding and the illustrator of Feathers: Not Just for Flying; Digging for Troy: From Homer to Hisarlik; and At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui. She lives in Massachusetts.

Ainissa Ramirez

The Alchemy of Us

In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us.

Ainissa Ramirez is a materials scientist and sought-after public speaker and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She has written for Time, Scientific American, the American Scientist, and Forbes, and makes regular appearances on PBS’s SciTech Now.

Maddie Frost

Smug Seagull

The sneakiest seagull on the beach meets his match when a plucky crab makes a grab for the tastiest snacks. Get a good look, because Smug Seagull just so happens to be the best snack swiper from shore to shore. That’s a fact! Sandwiches. Pretzels. French Fries. You bring ‘em to the beach, he’s going to swipe ‘em! But when a crab with even better swiping skills comes along, this seagull will have to decide if there are enough treats on the beach for everyone…

Maddie Frost is the author and illustrator of Once Upon a Zzzz, Wakey Birds, and Smug Seagull, as well as the illustrator of The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs, among other books. She grew up in Massachusetts and attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for animation. Maddie lives outside of Boston.

Rick Hanson

Neurodharma

Building on his classic bestseller Buddha’s Brain, New York Times bestselling author and senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley Rick Hanson uses his Buddhist analysis of the mind as a roadmap for strengthening the neural circuitry of deep calm, contentment, kindness, and wisdom–qualities we all need to succeed in the face of adversity.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times bestselling author of Resilient; Hardwiring Happiness; Just One Thing; Buddha’s Brain; and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he has been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.

Joseph Nevins, Suren Moodliar and Eleni Macrakis

A People's Guide to Greater Boston

A People’s Guide to Greater Boston reveals the region’s richness and vibrancy in ways that are neglected by traditional area guidebooks and obscured by many tourist destinations. Affirming the hopes, interests, and struggles of individuals and groups on the receiving end of unjust forms of power, the book showcases the ground-level forces shaping the city. Uncovering stories and places central to people’s lives over centuries, this guide takes readers to sites of oppression, resistance, organizing, and transformation in Boston and outlying neighborhoods—from Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn to Concord and Plymouth.  »

Joseph Nevins was born and raised in the Dorchester section of Boston and is Professor of Geography at Vassar College. His books include A Not-so-distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor; Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid; and Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War on “Illegals” and the Remaking of the US-Mexico Boundary.

Suren Moodliar, a resident of Chelsea, Massachusetts, is both coordinator of encuentro5, a movement building space in Downtown Boston, and editor of the journal Socialism and Democracy. He coedited Noam Chomsky’s Internationalism or Extinction (2020). He completed an MA in Political Science and African Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Eleni Macrakis grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now works in the field of affordable housing development in the Greater Boston area. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University.