Dani Shapiro

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years–years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

DANI SHAPIRO is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Abby Ellin

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married

Abby Ellin was shocked to learn that her fiancé was leading a secret life. But as she soon discovered, double lives are everywhere.

In Duped, Ellin plunges headlong into the world of double lives. Studying the art and science of lying, talking to women who’ve had their worlds upended by men who weren’t who they professed to be, and writing with great openness about her own mistakes, she lays the phenomenon bare. These remarkable–yet surprisingly common–stories reveal just how strange and improbable our everyday lives really are.

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Abby Ellin is an award-winning journalist and the author of Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs In On Living Large, Losing Weight and How Parents Can (and Can’t) Help. For five years she wrote the “Preludes” column about young people and money for the Sunday Money and Business section of the New York Times. She is also a regular contributor to the Health, Style, Business and Education sections of the New York Times. Her work has been published in The New York Times MagazineNew York, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and many others.

Katherine Arden & Julia Meitov Hersey

The Winter of the Witch

Vita Nostra

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to Katherine Arden’s bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias - the seen, and the unseen.

Translator Julia Meitov Hersey presents the definitive English language translation of the internationally acclaimed Russian novel, Vita Nostra—a brilliant dark fantasy combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.

Katherine Arden is the author of the national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. Born in Austin, Texas, she has studied Russian in Moscow, taught at a school in the French Alps, and worked on a farm in Hawaii. She currently lives in Vermont.

Sylvia Ruth Gutmann

A Life Rebuilt: The Remarkable Transformation of a War Orphan

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

Born in Belgium in 1939 to Jewish parents who had been forced to flee their beloved home in Berlin six months earlier, Sylvia Ruth Gutmann spent the first three years of her life in hiding with her family in the south of France. In the summer of 1942, three-year-old Sylvia, her two older sisters, and her young mother were arrested by the Vichy police and shipped to the French internment camp in Rivesaltes. Shortly thereafter, her mother was deported to Auschwitz, leaving her three children behind. Six months later, Sylvia’s bedridden father was also deported to Auschwitz. Sylvia and her sisters would never see their parents again.

A Life Rebuilt: The Remarkable Transformation of a War Orphan chronicles an odyssey that spans sixty years, three countries, and thousands of miles. In America, Sylvia began to share the story of her family’s fate with German students, senior citizens, and even neo-Nazi groups. By doing so, she reconciled with the people she had feared and loathed, and resurrected the lives of the parents she cannot remember, and cannot forget. Heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring, this memoir of loss, love, resilience, belonging, identity, and authenticity has a surprising resolution, told in an intimate voice with candor, substance, and heart.

Tessa Hadley in conversation with James Wood

Late in the Day: A Novel

After three decades of friendship, Zach has died, and Alexandr, Christine, and Zachary are left to grieve in ways that warp and strain their relationships. Late in the Day explores the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, to expose how infinite alternate configurations lie beneath the seemingly dependable arrangements we make for our lives.

Tessa Hadley is the author of five highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award; Everything Will Be All RightThe Master BedroomThe London Train, which was a New York Times Notable Book; and Clever Girl. She is also the author of two short story collections, Sunstroke and Married Love, which were New York Times Notable Books as well. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker. She lives in London.

Joseph Finder in conversation with William Landay

Judgment: A Novel

Joseph Finder will appear in conversation with William Landay, author of Defending Jacob and Mission Flats.

It was nothing more than a one-night stand. Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and has an unforgettable night with him—something she’d never done before. They part with an explicit understanding that this must never happen again.

But back home in Boston, Juliana realizes that this was no random encounter. The man from Chicago proves to have an integral role in a case she’s presiding over–a sex-discrimination case that’s received national attention. Juliana discovers that she’s been entrapped, her night of infidelity captured on video. Strings are being pulled in high places, a terrifying unfolding conspiracy that will turn her life upside down.

Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen previous novels, including The SwitchGuilty MindsThe FixerSuspicionVanished, and Buried Secrets. Finder’s international bestseller Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers’s Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2006. Other bestselling titles include Paranoia and High Crimes, which both became major motion pictures. He lives in Boston.

Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. There will NOT be a waitlist/standby.

Leigh Bardugo is hitting the road in support of her next adventure in the Grishaverse, King of Scars.

Exciting news: we’re partnering with Macmillan to host a Grishaverse fan meet-up an hour before Leigh arrives. We’ll be closing the store to everyone but ticketholders for this meet-up–Grishaverse fans will have the run of the store! The meet-up will include trivia/games, a themed King of Scars photo backdrop (so come in costume!), exclusive fan-meet-up-only moments, and more.

Once Leigh arrives, she’ll host a 30 minute Q&A followed by a book signing where you’re able to get King of Scars personalized and two additional Leigh Bardugo titles signed. You’ll also be able to grab a quick photo with her, so have your cameras ready to go!

All parts of this event will take place at Brookline Booksmith / 279 Harvard St / Brookline, MA 02446.

FAN MEET-UP: 6-7PM
Q&A AND SIGNING: 7PM

ABOUT THE BOOK

Face your demons…or feed them.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Enter the Grishaverse with this new novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Karen Dillon & Efosa Ojomo

The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty

Clayton M. Christensen, the author of such business classics as The Innovator’s Dilemma and the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life, and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon reveal why so many investments in economic development fail to generate sustainable prosperity, and offers a groundbreaking solution for true and lasting change.

Efosa Ojomo works side-by-side with Christensen and the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, where he leads the organization’s Global Prosperity Practice. His work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the Guardian, Quartz, CNBCAfrica, and the Emerging Markets Business Review.

Karen Dillon is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life? She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2011 she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.

February

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Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise - not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Steven Pinker is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books, he has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers.

Andrew & Irene Li

Double Awesome Chinese Food

Too intimidated to cook Chinese food at home but crave those punchy flavors? Not anymore. Put down that takeout kung pao chicken and get in the kitchen! Full of irresistible recipes that marry traditional Asian ingredients with comforting American classics and seasonal ingredients, Double Awesome Chinese Food delivers the goods. The three fun-loving Chinese-American siblings behind the acclaimed restaurant Mei Mei take the fear factor out of cooking this complex cuisine, infusing it with creativity, playfulness, and ease.

Margaret, Irene, and Andrew Li are the sibling co-owners of a food truck and restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Their food truck, Mei Mei Street Kitchen, opened in 2012 and was soon awarded Boston’s Best Meals on Wheels by Boston Magazine. Their brick-and-mortar restaurant opened in late 2013 and was named Eater Boston’s Restaurant of the Year.

Elinor Lipman

Good Riddance

Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of ‘68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.

In a fit of decluttering (the yearbook did not, Daphne concluded, “spark joy”), she discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it’s found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook’s mysteries—not to mention her own family’s—take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd. 

ELINOR LIPMAN is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including The View from Penthouse B and The Inn at Lake Devine; one essay collection, I Can’t Complain; and Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. She lives in New York City.

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Angie Thomas in conversation with Christina Tucker

From the author of #1 New York Times bestselling and award winning The Hate U Give, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

Angie will appear in conversation with Christina Tucker, co-host of the podcast Unfriendly Black Hotties. Each ticket comes with copy of On the Come Up, and Angie will do a book signing for all patrons after show.

Angie Thomas holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Thomas is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included.

Narayan Helen Liebenson

The Magnanimous Heart: Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation

In her long-awaited debut, a beloved master teacher shows us how to move from the “constant squeeze” of suffering to a direct experience of enoughness. The magnanimous heart is a heart of balance and buoyancy, of generosity and inclusivity. It allows us to approach each moment exactly as it is - fresh and alive, free from agendas and shoulds, receiving all that arises. It has the capacity to hold anything and everything, transforming even vulnerability and grief into workable assets.

Narayan Helen Liebenson is a guiding teacher at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and has been teaching there since its inception in 1985. Narayan is also a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where she offers residential retreats. She leads retreats as well in other parts of the country and the world.

Maddie Frost and Jessie Sima

Love, Z

The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section with special storytime guests Maddie Frost and Jessie Sima!

Maddie Frost is the author and illustrator of Once Upon a Zzzz. She grew up in Massachusetts and attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for animation. Maddie lives outside of Boston, and she invites you to visit her online at Maddie-Frost.com.

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. She grew up in a small town in Southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. She is the author of Not Quite NarwhalHarriet Gets Carried AwayLove, Z; and Spencer’s New Pet. You can visit her at JessieSima.com.

Brookline Booksmith Book Club

Discussing If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin.

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

Morgan Parker

Magical Negro

Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics–of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience.

Amit Chaudhuri & Amitava Kumar

Friend of My Youth

Immigrant, Montana

In Friend of My Youth, the narrator, Amit Chaudhuri (a novelist who is not to be confused with Amit Chaudhuri the novelist) is in Bombay, where he lived and went to school as a child and teenager: Hailing as he and his family do from Calcutta, he was never exactly home there although their home was there. That was long ago, however, and Bombay is now a different Bombay, just as his own childhood looks different through the lens of intervening years. And there’s another difference now: The old friend he always visited on returns to Bombay has fallen prey to a drug habit and is no longer there–and so another link with the past is broken. Amit wanders the streets of Bombay, reflects on the terrorist takeover of the glamorous Taj Mahal Hotel, runs errands for his wife and mother, remembers his father, misses his friend.

In Immigrant, Montana, a young Indian man’s American friends call him Kalashnikov, AK-47, AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in–and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor–also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK’s is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them. Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires.

This event is part of Brookline Booksmith’s Transnational Series. For more information, contact series moderator Shuchi Saraswat at shuchi@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch: A Witchlands Novel

New York Times bestselling young adult epic fantasy series Witchlands continues with the story of the Bloodwitch Aeduan.

Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop a bloodthirsty horde of raiders preparing to destroy a monastery that holds more than just faith. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Susan Dennard  is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the Witchlands series, which includes the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch and Windwitch. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, slaying darkspawn on her Xbox, or earning bruises at the dojo.

Charlie Jane Anders & S.A. Chakraborty

The City in the Middle of the Night

The Kingdom of Copper

January is a dying planet - divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Sophie, a reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal. But fate has other plans–and Sophie’s ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world.

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which won the Nebula, Locus and Crawford awards and was on Time Magazine’s list of the 10 best novels of 2016. Her Tor.com story “Six Months, Three Days” won a Hugo Award and appears in a new short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others

S. A. Chakraborty continues the sweeping adventure begun in The City of Brass, conjuring a world where djinn summon flames with the snap of a finger and waters run deep with old magic; where blood can be dangerous as any spell, and a clever con artist from Cairo will alter the fate of a kingdom.

S. A. Chakraborty is a speculative fiction writer from New York City. Her debut, The City of Brass, was the first book in the Daevabad trilogy. You can find her online at www.sachakraborty.com or on Twitter @SAChakrabooks.

The Pilgrim Magazine

Join us to celebrate a new installment of The Pilgrim, a ten-times-a-year literary magazine from the homeless community of downtown Boston!

Small Press Book Club

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Discussing How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon.

Read something off the beaten path! Our Small Press Book Club will meet to discuss a book from an independent publisher. To contact our moderator, email smallpress@brooklinebooksmith.com

Author and essayist Kiese Laymon is one of the most unique, stirring, and powerful new voices in American writing. How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is a collection of his essays, touching on subjects ranging from family, race, violence, and celebrity to music, writing, and coming of age in Mississippi. In this collection, Laymon deals in depth with his own personal story, which is filled with trials and reflections that illuminate under-appreciated aspects of contemporary American life. New and unexpected in contemporary American writing, Laymon’s voice mixes the colloquial with the acerbic, while sharp insights and blast-furnace heat calls to mind a black 21st-century Mark Twain. Much like Twain, Laymon’s writing is steeped in controversial issues both private and public. This collection introduces Laymon as a writer who balances volatile concepts on a razor’s edge and chops up much-discussed and often-misunderstood topics with his scathing humor and fresh, unexpected takes on the ongoing absurdities, frivolities, and calamities of American life.

Kiese Laymon was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College in 1998. He earned an MFA from Indiana University in 2003 and is now an associate professor at Vassar College.

Dariel Suarez in conversation with Laura van den Berg

A Kind of Solitude

Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1997, during the island’s economic crisis known as The Special Period. He is the author of the novel The Playwright’s House (forthcoming, Red Hen Press) and the story collection A Kind of Solitude (Willow Springs Books), winner of the 2017 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Dariel is an inaugural City of Boston Artist Fellow and the Director of Core Programs and Faculty at GrubStreet, the country’s largest and leading independent creative writing center. He earned his M.F.A. in Fiction at Boston University and now resides in the Boston area with his wife and daughter. Laura van den Berg is the author of two story collections, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, and two novels Find Me and The Third Hotel. She is the recipient of a Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, an O. Henry Award, and a MacDowell Colony fellowship. Born and raised in Florida, she lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog.

About the book:

Set in Cuba, largely after the fall of the Soviet Union, the eleven stories in A Kind of Solitude (Willow Springs Books) explore themes of isolation and preservation in the face of widespread poverty and sociopolitical oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care to a female-fronted heavy-metal band risking it all to emerge from Havana’s underground, Dariel Suarez, in his daring debut, portrays the harsh reality, inherent humor, and resilient heart of a people whose stories should be known.

Leila Slimani

Adèle

Adèle appears to have the perfect life: She is a successful journalist in Paris who lives in a beautiful apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But underneath the surface, she is bored–and consumed by an insatiable need for sex. Driven less by pleasure than compulsion, Adèle organizes her day around her extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she’s been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making. Suspenseful, erotic, and electrically charged, Adèle is a captivating exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman’s quest to feel alive.

Leila Slimani is the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny. A journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights, she is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she now lives in Paris with her French husband and their two young children.

Jacob Kramer

Noodlephant

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section with special storytime guest Jacob Kramer!

Famous for her pasta parties, Noodlephant is shocked when the law-loving kangaroos decide noodles are only for them. A zany tale full of pasta puns, friendship, and one Phantastic Noodler, Noodlephant, written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele, explores a community’s response to injustice.

Jacob Kramer grew up in Providence, RI and studied film-making and writing at Harvard. Like Noodlephant, he loves hunting for mushrooms, eating noodles, and organizing with friends in pursuit of justice. He lives in Somerville, MA, where he is an Arts Council Fellow.

Elizabeth Flock in conversation with Min Jin Lee

The Heart Is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai

Elizabeth Flock has observed the evolving state of India from inside Mumbai, its largest metropolis. She spent close to a decade getting to know these couples—listening to their stories and living in their homes, where she was privy to countless moments of marital joy, inevitable frustration, dramatic upheaval, and whispered confessions and secrets. The result is a phenomenal feat of reportage that is both an enthralling portrait of a nation in the midst of transition and an unforgettable look at the universal mysteries of love and marriage that connect us all.

Elizabeth Flock is a reporter for PBS NewsHour. She began her career at Forbes India magazine, where she spent two years as a features reporter in Mumbai, and has worked for U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post. She has also written for major outlets, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Hindustan Times, and The Hindu. She lives in Washington, DC. The Heart Is a Shifting Sea is her first book.

Sándor Jászberényi in conversation with William Pierce

Sándor Jászberényi is a Hungarian writer and Middle East correspondent who has covered the Darfur crisis, the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, the Gaza War, and the Huthi uprising in Yemen, and has interviewed several armed Islamist groups. A photojournalist for the Egypt Independent and Hungarian newspapers, he currently lives in Cairo, Egypt. Born in 1980 in Sopron, Hungary, he studied literature, philosophy, and Arabic at ELTE university in Budapest. His stories have been published in all the major Hungarian literary magazines and in English in the Brooklyn RailPilvax, and BODY Literature. The release of his first collection of short stories, Az ördög egy fekete kutya (The Devil is a Black Dog), in late 2013–both in Hungary (Kalligram) and Italy (Anfora Editore)–was treated with much fanfare in his native land; for it marked the arrival of a distinctive new voice in Hungarian letters, one whose credible focus on timely international themes and settings carries the potential for a broad international readership. William Pierce is the author of Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle (Arrowsmith Press, 2016). His fiction and essays have appeared in Granta, Ecotone, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. He is senior editor of the literary and cultural magazine AGNI.

About the book:

Set mostly in contemporary Cairo and Iraq, as well as Israel, London, and Hungary, these twelve short stories are a staggering follow-up to those in the acclaimed collection The Devil Is a Black Dog by leading Hungarian writer/photojournalist Sándor Jászberényi. Told from the perspective of Cairo-based European war correspondent Daniel Marosh, The Most Beautiful Night of the Soul is, above all, about a journalist examining some of today’s most pressing Middle East conflicts and the lives of others even while forced to question his own assumptions and haunted by his own demons.

Sam Lipsyte

Hark

In an America convulsed by political upheaval, cultural discord, environmental collapse, and spiritual confusion, many folks are searching for peace, salvation, and—perhaps most immediately—just a little damn focus. Enter Hark Morner, an unwitting guru whose technique of “Mental Archery”—a combination of mindfulness, mythology, fake history, yoga, and, well, archery—is set to captivate the masses and raise him to near-messiah status. It’s a role he never asked for, and one he is woefully underprepared to take on. But his inner-circle of modern pilgrims have other plans, as do some suddenly powerful fringe players, including a renegade Ivy League ethicist, a gentle Swedish kidnapper, a crossbow-hunting veteran of jungle drug wars, a social media tycoon with an empire on the skids, and a mysteriously influential (but undeniably slimy) catfish.

Sam Lipsyte is the author of the story collections Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and The Fun Parts and four novels: HarkThe AskThe Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

Michael Levin

New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin will write an entire novel in 12 hours (9AM-9PM–from open to close!) to raise funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Boston Marathon team. Brookline Booksmith customers can add a plot twist, location, character name, or anything else to the novel, in exchange for a donation to Levin’s run.

Michael is an accomplished ghostwriter with more than 700 titles to his name over 25 years. Readers will be able to view the novel as it’s written at the store or online at Levin’s website, MichaelLevinWrites.com/Booksmith.

Valeria Luiselli in conversation with Christopher Lydon

Lost Children Archive

Valeria will be in conversation with Christopher Lydon, the host of WBUR’s Radio Open Source.

From the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border - an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection Sidewalks; the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth; and, most recently, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Tina Cassidy

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote

An eye-opening, inspiring, and timely account of the complex relationship between notable suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in Alice’s fight for women’s equality. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? reveals the inspiring, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America.

Tina Cassidy is the executive vice president and chief content officer at the public relations and social content firm InkHouse and also a board member at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. She has written two previous nonfiction books, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born and Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered her Dreams. Previously, Tina was a journalist at The Boston Globe, where she covered politics, sports, fashion, and business.

Amber Tamblyn

Era of Ignition

Amber Tamblyn will appear at Coolidge Corner Theatre from 6:00-7:00pm (ticket required) to discuss her new memoir, Era of Ignition. A book signing across the street at Brookline Booksmith will follow her talk.

Through her fierce op-eds and tireless work as one of the founders of the Time’s Up organization, Amber has emerged as a bold, outspoken, and respected advocate for women’s rights. In Era of Ignition, she addresses gender inequality and the judgment paradigm, misogyny and discrimination, trauma and the veiled complexities of consent, white feminism and pay parity, reproductive rights and sexual assault–all told through the very personal lens of her own experiences, as well as those of her Sisters in Solidarity. At once an intimate meditation and public reckoning, Era of Ignition is a galvanizing feminist manifesto that is required reading for everyone attempting to understand the world we live in and help change it for the better.

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Amber Tamblyn is an author, actor, and director. She’s been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film, including House M.D. and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Most recently, she wrote and directed the feature film Paint It Black. She is the author of three books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed bestseller Dark Sparkler, and a novel, Any Man, as well as a contributing writer for the New York Times.

Diana Kuan

Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces from Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make With Them

In this completely unique Asian cookbook, culinary instructor and trained chef Diana Kuan offers a flavorful education in the art of cooking with homemade Asian hot sauces. From Thai Sriracha to Indonesian sambal to Korean gochujang and other fiery favorites, Asian chili sauces have become staples in restaurants and homes across America. They add a palate-pleasing subtle kick or a scorching burn to the stir-fries, appetizers, and noodle dishes so many people love. But until now, these tantalizing flavors haven’t been easy to recreate at home with fresh, all-natural ingredients.

Diana Kuan is a food writer and photographer based in Brooklyn. She is the author of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook, on Chinese food and culture in America. Her work has also appeared in Food & Wine, Time Out New York, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Epicurious. In addition to writing and photography, Diana has taught cooking classes for the past ten years in both Beijing and New York. Her favorite foods are dumplings, ramen, and tacos, usually with hot sauce on the side.

Matti Friedman

Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff - but it’s all true.

Spies of No Country is about the slippery identities of four young spies, but it’s also about Israel’s own complicated and fascinating identity. Israel sees itself and presents itself as a Western nation, when in fact more than half the country has Middle Eastern roots and traditions, like the spies of this story. And, according to Friedman, that goes a long way toward explaining the life and politics of the country, and why it often baffles the West.

Matti Friedman’s 2016 book Pumpkinflowers was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book. It was selected as one of the year’s best by Booklist, Mother Jones, Foreign Affairs, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. His first book, The Aleppo Codex, won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize, the ALA’s Sophie Brody Medal, and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for history. 

J. R. Krause

Dragon Night

Georgie is afraid of the night. It’s too dark with the lights off. Too quiet with everyone asleep. And being alone makes everything worse. The dragon is afraid of the knight. After all, the knight carries a heavy sword, and he always wants to fight. The dragon knows just what to do to help Georgie overcome his fear, and the two set off on a unforgettable magical adventure. But when the morning comes, the dragon is still afraid of the knight. How can Georgie help his friend? With kindness and empathy–and a little creativity–maybe Georgie can work some magic of his own.

J. R. Krause is an award-winning animator and designer. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has worked on many television shows, including The Simpsons and Futurama. He lives in Southern California with his family. To learn more, visit jrkrause.com.

Small Press Book Club

Read something off the beaten path! Our Small Press Book Club will meet to discuss a book from an independent publisher. To contact our moderator, email smallpress@brooklinebooksmith.com

Helen Oyeyemi & G. Willow Wilson

Gingerbread

The Bird King

Join us at Coolidge Corner Theatre for an evening of fantastic fiction! Helen Oyeyemi (Gingerbread) and G. Willow Wilson (The Bird King) will discuss their new books, in conversation with author and editor Kelly Link.

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GINGERBREAD
Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there’s the gingerbread they make. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi’s inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.****

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of the story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, along with five novels– most recently Boy, Snow, Bird, which was a finalist for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She received a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award and a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists.

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**THE BIRD KING
**A stunning new novel tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, and her dearest friend, Hassan the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

G. Willow Wilson is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Alif the Unseen, which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2013; the memoir, The Butterfly Mosque; the graphic novels Cairo, Air, and Vixen; and the celebrated comic book series Ms. Marvel.

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Kelly Link is the author of three collections of short stories, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have won the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. She and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press.

Erica Feldmann

HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft

Harness the power of magic to create a beautiful, healing living space with this unique illustrated guide from the founder of HausWitch, the popular Salem, Massachusetts, store and online lifestyle brand.

Anyone looking to put together their ideal home—full of beauty, comfort, protection, and positive energy—will gravitate to HausMagick, a simple and striking modern handbook for using witchcraft to bring divine wellbeing into every dwelling.

Owner and founder of HausWitch, ERICA FELDMANN has been using intuition to heal spaces from a very young age. A Chicago native, Feldmann moved to Salem, MA, in 2010 to study witches and the sacred feminine in the Gender and Cultural Studies graduate program at Simmons College. The knowledge she gained there, combined with her innate talents for interiors, came together to form HausWitch, a company devoted to helping people heal their spaces and love their homes. 

Carolyn Forché in conversation with Askold Melnyczuk

What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance

Carolyn will appear in conversation with Askold Melnyczuk.

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.

Carolyn Forché is an American poet, editor, translator, and activist. Her books of poetry are Blue HourThe Angel of HistoryThe Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes. In 2013, Forché received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship given for distinguished poetic achievement. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. She is a University Professor at Georgetown University. Forché lives in Maryland with her husband, the photographer Harry Mattison. Askold Melnyczuk is a writer, editor, translator, and professor. He is the author of four books and has published essays, reviews, poetry, and translations in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glimmer Train, The Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He founded AGNI magazine in 1972 and in 2001 received the Magid Award from PEN which described AGNI as “one of America’s, and the world’s, most significant literary journals.” He has taught at Harvard University and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Transnational Book Club

An Unnecessary Woman

The Transnational Literature Book Club focuses on books concerned with migration, displacement, and exile, with particular emphasis on works in translation. To contact our moderator, email brad@brooklinebooksmith.com.

An Unnecessary Woman is a breathtaking portrait of one reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, which garnered a wave of rave reviews and love letters to Alameddine’s cranky yet charming septuagenarian protagonist, Aaliya, a character you “can’t help but love” (NPR). Aaliya’s insightful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and her volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. Here, the gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman’s life in the Middle East and an enduring ode to literature and its power to define who we are.

Laurie Katz

When Laurie went to college in Chicago, she was all set to embark on a new life. But on the third weekend of her freshman year, Laurie was raped. And everything changed. In the aftermath, Laurie reached out for help. But she didn’t get any. Friends didn’t believe her. The dean didn’t support her. Laurie had to fight not just for justice but for understanding. For validation. Laurie could have dropped out of college, she could have given up, but she carried on. And not even seeing her attacker on campus could stop her.

Laurie’s story is an all-too familiar account of how the fight for justice is repeated in campuses and courtrooms around the world. Laurie never got the justice she deserved. But she got something else - a resolute sense of her own self, and her own strength. Laurie’s #MeToo story is a testament to the strength and courage of people who have been wronged, but never stop fighting back.

Laurie Katz is an elementary teacher from Boston, Massachusetts who spent her undergraduate years studying early childhood education, then completed a Master’s in Education. She is passionate about ending sexual assault on college campuses and elsewhere, and helping to expand the conversation on helpful services for survivors. She is now ready to share her own story and help others in the process.

Ali Liebegott

The Summer of Dead Birds

In this chronicle of mourning and survival, Ali Liebegott wallows in loneliness and over-assigns meaning to everyday circumstance, clinging to an aging dog and obsessing over dead birds. But these unpretentious vignettes are laced with compassion, as she learns to balance the sting of death with the tender strangeness of life.

Ali Liebegott has published three books: The Beautifully Worthless, The IHOP Papers, and Cha-Ching! She is the recipient of two Lambda Literary Awards and a Ferro-Grumley Award. She currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for the Emmy Award-winning show Transparent.

Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

In conversation with Amy Cuddy.

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love.

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who writes the weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column for the Atlantic. A contributing editor for the Atlantic, she also writes for the New York Times Magazine, and is a sought-after expert on relationships, parenting, and hot-button mental health topics in media such as The Today ShowGood Morning AmericaCBS This MorningDr. Phil, CNN, and NPR. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more at LoriGottlieb.com or by following her @LoriGottlieb1 on Twitter.

Brookline High School Poetry Fest

Local teens showcase their literary talents! Join Brookline’s up-and-coming poets for a night of the spoken word.

Meredith May

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

This event will take place at the Coolidge Corner location of the Public Library of Brookline.

An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee. Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. In that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.

Miriam Toews in conversation with Paul Yoon

Women Talking

Miriam will appear in conversation with Paul Yoon, author of Once the Shore and The Mountain.

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm. While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women–all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in–have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Miriam Toews is the author of six previous bestselling novels: All My Puny SorrowsSummer of My Amazing LuckA Boy of Good BreedingA Complicated KindnessThe Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of nonfiction, Swing Low: A Life. She is winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

Paul Yoon is the author of Once the Shore, which was a New York Times Notable Book and Snow Hunters, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award. His most recent book, The Mountain, was a National Public Radio Best Book of the Year. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, the fiction writer Laura van den Berg and their dog. A new novel, Run Me to Earth, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.

Ana Luisa Amaral and translator Margaret Jull Costa

What's in a Name

With the elliptical looping of a butterfly alighting on one’s sleeve, the poems of Ana Luisa Amaral arrive as small hypnotic miracles. Spare and beautiful in a way reminiscent both of Szymborska and of Emily Dickinson (it comes as no surprise that Amaral is the leading Portuguese translator of Dickinson), these poems–in Margaret Jull Costa’s gorgeous English versions–seamlessly interweave the everyday with the dreamlike and ask “What’s in a name?”

Ana Luisa Amaral was born in Lisbon, in 1956, and lives in Leça da Palmeira. She has written poetry, plays, children’s books, books of essays and a novel. She has translated poets such as Emily Dickinson, John Updike or William Shakespeare. Her books have been published in several countries, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico or the United States. She has received various prizes and awards, and her name has twice been put forward for the Premio Reina Sofia. She taught for many years at the University of Porto, from which she received her Ph.D. on Emily Dickinson, and where her academic research centered around Comparative Poetics, Feminist Studies and Queer Theory. She currently co-hosts a weekly radio program on national radio on poetry, O som que os versos fazem ao abrir.

Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for nearly thirty years and has translated many novels and short stories by Portuguese, Spanish, and Latin American writers, including Javier Marías, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Bernardo Atxaga, and Ramón del Valle-Inclán. She received the 2008 PEN Book-of-the-Month Translation Award, the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her version of Eça de Queiroz’s masterpiece The Maias, the 2012 Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersão (Dedalus Books), and The 2015 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize in Translation for Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub.

Randy Susan Meyers

Waisted

In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.

Randy Susan Meyers is the bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage, The Comfort of Lies, The Murderer’s Daughters, and The Widow of Wall Street. Her books have twice been finalists for the Mass Book Award and named “Must Read Books” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. She lives with her husband in Boston, where she teaches writing at the Grub Street Writers’ Center.

Matt McCarthy

New York Times bestselling author shares this exhilarating story of cutting-edge science and the race against the clock to find new treatments in the fight against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.

Physician, researcher, and ethics professor Matt McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal superbugs, bacteria that have built up resistance to the life-saving drugs in our rapidly dwindling arsenal. This trial serves as the backdrop for the compulsively readable Superbugs, and the results will impact nothing less than the future of humanity.

MATT MCCARTHY is the author of two national bestsellers, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly and Odd Man Out. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell and a staff physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he serves on the Ethics Committee. His work has appeared in Sports IllustratedSlateThe New England Journal of Medicine, and Deadspin. He reviews nonfiction for USA Today and is editor-in-chief of Current Fungal Infection Reports.