Steven Hassan

The Cult of Trump

One of America’s leading experts in cults and mind-control provides an eye-opening analysis of Trump and the indoctrination tactics he uses to build a fanatical devotion in his supporters. The Cult of Trump is an accessible and in-depth analysis of the president, showing that under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas.

Steven Hassan is a mental health professional who specializes in helping people to recover from mind control as well as helping loved ones to exit without coercion. He has been helping people leave destructive relationships and organizations since 1976 after he was rescued from the infamous cult, the Moonies. Hassan directs the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a counseling and publishing organization outside of Boston, teaches at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Kate Wisel with Jenn De Leon

Driving in Cars with Homeless Men

This event will be in conversation with Jenn De Leon, author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.

Serena, Frankie, Raffa, and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Homeless Men is the collective story of women whose lives careen back into the past, to the places where pain lurks and haunts. With riotous energy and rage, they run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.

Kate Wisel is a native of Boston. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in publications that include Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, Tin House online, Redivider as winner of the Beacon Street prize, and on the Boston subway as winner of the “Poetry on the T” contest. She currently lives in Chicago and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

Transnational Film Series & Boston Palestine Film Festival Screening: Gaza: A Documentary

at Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Remis Auditorium

Our Transnational Literature Series further explores migration, exile, and displacement through foreign film. This screening of Gaza: A Documentary is part of the Boston Palestine Film Festival.

A small coastal strip that measures just twenty-five miles by six, Gaza is home to almost two million people who have lived under siege since 2007. This elegantly shot and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life offers a rare chance to be fully immersed in the heart of today’s Gaza, as we go behind the walls to meet some of the real, resilient Palestinians living there.

Post screening discussion with Ahmed Mansour (Gaza native and director, Brooklyn, Inshallah!)

Tickets required. Transnational Series attendees receive a special discount. Use code FILM to receive $3 off the ticket price.

Toddy Smith & Darren Nuzzo

I'll Give You a Dollar If You Consider This Art

Join us for a meet and greet with Toddy Smith and Darren Nuzzo, who are celebrating their new book I’ll Give You a Dollar if you Consider This Art (Tallfellow Press). This event will consist of a book signing and photo op–there will be no author talk. Tickets come with a paperback copy of the book. Hardcovers will be available to purchase in limited quantities. The event will take place at Brookline Booksmith starting at 6pm.  »

Toddy Smith is a performer, writer and leading digital content creator (and member of the Vlog Squad) who has amassed a following of over 4 million adoring fans. Toddy uses his unique take on storytelling to share a glimpse into his and his friends’ lives through vlogs and other comedic content across his social channels. Toddy has ties with Calvin Klein (ambassador of their 2019 Coachella campaign), and Smirnoff (recurring face of the brand). He has a lifestyle clothing brand, Gothic Mochas. He hopes to continue to use his platform to stop bullying while encouraging people not to take themselves too seriously, and to inspire fun.

Darren Nuzzo is a writer and performer from Southern California. His fiction work has been anthologized in esteemed literary journals and his articles have appeared in numerous University newspapers. Off the page, his stand-up routines have been seen by his continuously growing fanbase at various open mics, and the occasional lingering patron. Darren built a cult social media following through his lengthy literary captions accompanying various photos of himself. As a fitness guru, sustainability advocate, self-proclaimed wizard, and hippy at heart, Darren brings a unique outlook to his literature.

Gary Janetti

Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me)

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. As Gary himself says, “These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me.”

Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.

Wheelock Family Theatre - WILLY WONKA

The Complete Adventures of Charlie and Mr. Willy Wonka

Join us for a special storytime performance from Wheelock Family Theatre!

Learn more about the full show here.

Roald Dahl’s timeless musical story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to chocolate-covered life. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale.

Click here for Tickets

Rhett McLaughin and Link Neal

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality and creators of Good Mythical Morning, a thrilling and darkly funny novel about two best friends fighting the sinister forces at the heart of their Southern town.

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, raised in North Carolina and best friends since the first grade, are a comedy duo known for creating the internet’s most-watched daily talk show, Good Mythical Morning; their award-winning weekly podcast, Ear Biscuits; and the instant #1 New York Times bestseller Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality. They share an office at Mythical Entertainment, the company they co-founded, but live separately with their respective wives, children, and dogs in Los Angeles.

Eva Chen and Derek Desierto

Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure

It’s school picture day and Juno Valentine is having a fashion emergency! Her mom wants her to wear fabulous florals, her dad wants her to wear rainbow ruffles, but Juno’s not sure what to choose. And just when Juno thinks her conundrum couldn’t get any more complicated, her little brother, Finn, disappears into the magical hall of shoes! In an epic chase through time, Juno gets some help from female icons like Simone Biles, Audrey Hepburn, Annie Oakley, and Michelle Obama. Along the way, she discovers the self-confidence she needs to express herself in her own magical way.  »

Eva Chen is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. She blames her deviation from pre-med at Johns Hopkins University on a love of fashion and beauty instilled in her by her mother, whose perfect bob and lipstick made a permanent imprint on her impressionable young mind. Previously the editor in chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue,Vogue China, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Derek Desierto, illustrator of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, is a Vancouver-based illustrator, designer, and overall nice guy from a nice family. His animation work has been recognized by the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the National Cartoonist Society, and 9 Story Media Group.

Joshua Foer in conversation with Jack Lepiarz

Atlas Obscura, Second Edition

This revised and updated second edition includes 120 new entries and a fold-out road trip map (with a dream itinerary) to offer readers even more of the most unusual, curious, bizarre, and mysterious places on earth. Oversized, beautifully packaged, compellingly written, scrupulously researched, and filled with photographs, illustrations, maps, charts, and more, this is the book that inspires equal parts wonder and wanderlust.

Joshua Foer is the co-founder and chairman of Atlas Obscura. He is also the author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, a bestseller published in 33 languages, and a forthcoming book about the world’s last hunter-gatherers.

The son of a circus performer and an anthropology professor, Jack Lepiarz received his broadcasting degree from Emerson College, where he worked as an anchor, producer and news director for WERS 88.9 FM. He joined WBUR in the spring of 2010, and maintains a healthy love for performing and the circus.

Heather Morris

Cilka's Journey

PLEASE NOTE: this event was formerly scheduled to take place at Coolidge Corner Theatre. It will now take place downstairs at Brookline Booksmith. All other details remain the same.

Heather Morris, the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, returns with Cilka’s Journey, the story of a young woman’s survival from Auschwitz to Siberia. From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.

This event will consist of a talk at Coolidge Corner Theatre, followed by a signing at Brookline Booksmith.

November

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Jane Bernstein

The Face Tells the Secret

Everything has been hidden from Roxanne G.—her birth name, her sister, her family history—until her “boyfriend” tries to ingratiate himself by flying in her estranged mother from Tel Aviv. That visit is the start of a tumultuous journey, in which she first learns about a profoundly disabled sister who lives in a residential community in the Galilee and later begins to unearth disturbing long-held family secrets. How far should Roxanne go to care for the wounded people in her life—her mother, her sister, the man who professes undying love? What should she take on? When is it necessary to turn away from someone’s suffering?

Jane Bernstein is the author of two novels, three memoirs, and a children’s book she co-wrote with her daughter. Her essays, which have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, and many other journals, have been anthologized in such places as True Stories Well Told, Love You to Pieces, and Best American Sports Writing 2018. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Fulbright Fellowship and is a member of the Creative Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kate DiCamillo

Beverly, Right Here

This event is now sold out. There will be a standby line at Coolidge Corner Theatre the day of the event, so please come try your luck if you’d still like to attend!

Welcome to a wonderful Sunday with multiple Newbery-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo! Kate will be speaking at Coolidge Corner Theatre about her new book, Beverly, Right Here. The talk will be followed by a public signing at the Booksmith, directly across the street from the theatre.

Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it’s not running away. It’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly doesn’t want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can’t help forming connections with the people around her — and gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.

Erin Morgenstern with Liberty Hardy

The Starless Sea

Join us for a conversation, reading and signing with the author of The Night Circus. For this event, Erin Morgenstern will be in conversation with Liberty Hardy.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a number-one national best seller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in theater from Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.

Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, the main host of the All the Books podcast, and a Book of the Month judge. She resides in the great state of Maine, where she reads 600 books a year and spoils her three cats, who hate books.

Idra Novey in conversation with Laura van den Berg

Those Who Knew

Award-winning novelist, poet, and translator Idra Novey’s highly acclaimed Those Who Knew explores the consequences of abuse and the public exposure of abuse in the deep and truthful way only fiction can. “Gripping and astute,” Lauren Collins-Hughes wrote in her rave review for The Boston Globe, “a destabilizing, almost hallucinatory unreality wisps through Those Who Knew…but this is a hopeful novel, too.”

Those Who Knew conjures a modern-day fable that shows how profoundly public politics and private violence can contradict each other. This groundbreaking novel explores the forces—both personal and structural—that conspire in such confounding ways to let abuses of power flourish in our homes, businesses, and governments. It is a novel about our human capability for hypocrisy and monstrous acts, but also for resilience. A New York Times Editors’ Choice, Indie Next Pick and Best Book of the Year with over dozen media outlets, Pulitzer finalist Laila Lalami described it for NPR’s Best Books of 2018 as “a completely riveting…timeless novel about sex and power.”

Idra Novey is the author of the novels Those Who Knew and Ways to Disappear. She received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Public Library Prize and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her work has been translated into twelve languages and she is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writ­ers Mag­a­zine, and the PEN Translation Fund. She has translated the work of several prominent Brazilian writers, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Pas­sion Accord­ing to G.H. She teaches fiction at Princeton University.

Laura van den Berg’s most recent novel, The Third Hotel, was named a best book of 2018 by over a dozen publications and was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award. She is also the author of one previous novel, Find Me, and two story collections. Her honors include the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, and an O. Henry Award. Laura lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog, and is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard. Her next story collection, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, is forthcoming from FSG in 2020.

Matt Saincome and Bill Conway

The Hard Times: The First 40 Years

The Hard Times: The First 40 Years is the first book from The Hard Times.net, the Internet’s favorite music satire site. Often referred to as “The Onion for punk rock,” the site has developed a sizable, devoted following for its razor-sharp takes on underground music and alternative culture. And with headlines like “Man Magically Transforms into Music Historian While Talking to Women” and “Pretentious Friend Only Listens to Podcasts on Vinyl,” you don’t have to be a punk rock diehard to appreciate their hilarious commentary.

Matt Saincome and Bill Conway are the founders of The Hard Times, a satirical publication spawned from the depths of DIY punk and hardcore scenes, in 2014.

Su Hwang,Tamiko Beyer and Rajiv Mohabir

The Cowherd's Son

We Come Elemental

Bodega

Against the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, Su Hwang’s Bodega tells the story of a Korean girl who comes of age in her parents’ bodega in the Queensbridge projects, offering a singular perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions pulsing in the margins where they live and work. In We Come Elemental, Tamiko Beyer leads readers to reconsider the true meaning and implications of nature and “natural” order. Reclaiming nature as queer, Beyer inspires us to discard gender dichotomies and uncover the intricate relationships between bodies both human and elemental, through syntax as unpredictable as the natural world’s movements. In Rajiv Mohabir’s The Cowherd’s Son, the poet-narrator creates an allegorical chronicle of dislocations and relocations, linking India, Guyana, Trinidad, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Honolulu; combining the amplitude of mythology with direct witness and sensual reckoning, all the while seeking joy in testimony.  »

Su Hwang was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in New York, then called the Bay Area home before transplanting to the Midwest, where she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of the inaugural Jerome Hill Fellowship in Literature, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, writer-in-residence fellowships to Dickinson House and Hedgebrook, among others, her poems have appeared in Ninth Letter, Water Stone Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere.

Tamiko Beyer spent the first ten years of her life in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of the chapbook bough breaks. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and was awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship. Beyer is a former Kundiman Fellow, a recipient of a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, and a contributing editor to Drunken Boat.

Broadening the scope of his award-winning debut to consider the wider Indo-Caribbean community in migration across the Americas and Europe, Rajiv Mohabir uses his queer and mixed-caste identities as grace notes to charm alienation into silence. Mohabir’s inheritance of myths, folk tales, and multilingual translations make a palimpsest of histories that bleed into one another.

Susannah Cahalan

The Great Pretender

From “one of America’s most courageous young journalists” (NPR) comes a propulsive narrative history investigating the 50-year-old mystery behind a dramatic experiment that changed the course of modern medicine.

Susannah Cahalan is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She writes for the New York Post and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Hanna Cha

Tiny Feet Between the Mountains

Soe-In is a tiny child in a village full of large people. She struggles with completing chores due to her size, but she never gives up. One day, when the sky grows dark and full of smoke, Soe-In volunteers to travel into the tall mountains to investigate. She’s surprised to find a spirit tiger there and learn he has swallowed the sun by mistake! To help the spirit tiger and her village, Soe-In must come up with a clever idea to solve this gigantic problem. And while she’s at it, she just may prove that the smallest people often have the biggest, bravest hearts.

Hanna Cha is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She spent her childhood in both Korea and America, and currently lives in Boston where she loves crinkling her nose in the early morning breeze and snuggling her tiger-like cat, Hobac. Tiny Feet Between the Mountains is her first book.

Brookline Booksmith Book Club

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

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

Discussing Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University Law School. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

Translating Silvina Ocampo with Suzanne Jill Levine, Jessica Powell, and Katie Lateef-Jan

Forgotten Journey

The Promise

Three translators of Silvina Ocampo’s work come together to discuss their recent translations of her fiction: Ocampo’s first work of fiction, a collection of short stories, and her last, a novella Ocampo spent twenty-five years perfecting.

With Forgotten Journey, Silvina Ocampo’s first book of stories and her fiction debut, the poet initiated a personal, idiosyncratic exploration of the politics of memory, a theme to which she would return again and again over the course of her unconventional life and productive career. Forgotten Journey takes its title from the story of a girl who struggles to recall the events of her birth in order to remember her identity. Another story follows a friendship between two girls, one poor and one wealthy, who grow up to appear identical to one another, enabling them to trade lives and families. In “The Enmity of Things,” a young man begins to suspect that his mundane possessions are conspiring against him. When he flees to his rural childhood home, the silent countryside proves only more sinister and mysterious.

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The Promise showcases Silvina Ocampo at her most feminist, idiosyncratic and subversive. Ocampo worked quietly to perfect this novella over the course of twenty-five years, nearly up until the time of her death in 1993. The narrator’s conflicted memory, as well as the intrusion of memories that are not her own, illustrate Ocampo’s struggle with dementia in the last years of her life, and much like the author herself, here we find a narrator writing “against a world of conventional ideas.”

“Of all the words that could define her, the most accurate is, I think, ingenious.“—Jorge Luis Borges

“I don’t know of another writer who better captures the magic inside everyday rituals, the forbidden or hidden face that our mirrors don’t show us.“—Italo Calvino

“Silvina Ocampo’s prose is made of elegant pleasures and delicate terrors. Her stories take place in a liquid, viscous reality, where innocence quietly bleeds into cruelty, and the mundane seeps, unnoticed, into the bizarre. Revered by some of the masters of fantastic literature, such as Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, Ocampo is beyond great—she is necessary.“—Hernan Diaz, author of In the Distance and Associate Director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University

“Like William Blake, Ocampo’s first voice was that of a visual artist; in her writing she retains the will to unveil immaterial so that we might at least look at it if not touch it.“—Helen Oyeyemi, author of Gingerbread

About the translators:

Suzanne Jill Levine is General Editor of Penguin’s paperback classics of Jorge Luis Borges’ poetry and essays, and a noted translator of Latin American prose and poetry by distinguished writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Jose Donoso, Manuel Puig, Severo Sarduy and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Director of Translation Studies at UCSB, Levine is author of several books including The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction, Manuel Puig and the Spiderwoman: His Life and Fictions. Her most recent published translation is Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Taiga Syndrome (The Dorothy Project, 2018).

Jessica Powell has published dozens of translations of literary works by a wide variety of Latin American writers. She was the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship in support of her translation of Antonio Benítez Rojo’s novel, Woman in Battle Dress(City Lights, 2015), which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. Her translation of Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya (Mandel Vilar Press, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award and made the longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award. Her translation of Pablo Neruda’s book-length poem, venture of the infinite man, was published by City Lights Books in October 2017. Her most recent translation, of Edna Iturralde’s award-winning book, Green Was My Forest, was published by Mandel Vilar Press in September, 2018.

Katie Lateef-Jan is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Comparative Literature with a doctoral emphasis in Translation Studies. Her research focuses on twentieth-century Latin American literature, specifically Argentine fantastic fiction. She is the co-editor with Suzanne Jill Levine of Untranslatability Goes Global: The Translator’s Dilemma (2018). Her translations from the Spanish have appeared in Granta; Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas; and ZYZZYVA.

John Freeman in conversation with Krysten Hill

Dictionary of the Undoing

This event is co-sponsored by GrubStreet, one of the nation’s leading non-profit creative writing centers.

For John Freeman—literary critic, essayist, editor, poet, “one of the preeminent book people of our time” (Dave Eggers)—it is the rare moment when words are not enough. But in the wake of the election of 2016, words felt useless, even indulgent. Action was the only reasonable response. He took to the streets in protest, and the sense of community and collective conviction felt right. But the assaults continued—on citizens’ rights and long-held compacts, on the core principles of our culture and civilization, and on our language itself. Words seemed to be losing the meanings they once had and Freeman was compelled to return to their defense. The result is his Dictionary of the Undoing.

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From A to Z, “Agitate” to “Zygote,” Freeman assembled the words that felt most essential, most potent, and began to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last. The message that emerged was not to retreat behind books, but to emphatically engage in the public sphere, to redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.

With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, Dictionary of the Undoing is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world.

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s, a literary annual of new writing. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology of new writing about inequality in the U.S. today. Maps, his debut collection of poems, was published in 2017. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, andThe New York Times. The former editor of Granta and one-time president of the National Book Critics Circle, he is currently Artist-in-Residence at New York University.

Krysten Hill received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currently teaches. Her work can be found in apt, B O D Y, Boiler Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Word Riot, Muzzle, PANK, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Winter Tangerine Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award. Her chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out, received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize.

Saeed Jones

How We Fight for Our Lives

Haunted and haunting, Jones’s memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.

Saeed Jones is the author of Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The collection was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as awards from Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle in 2015. Jones is a co-host of BuzzFeed’s morning show, AM to DM, and previously served as BuzzFeed’s LGBT editor and Culture editor. He lives in New York City and tweets @TheFerocity.

Tommy Pico and Carmen Giménez Smith in conversation with Stephanie Burt

Be Recorder

Feed

Tommy Pico’s Feed is the fourth book in the Teebs tetralogy. It’s an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York’s High Line park, with the lines, stanzas, paragraphs, dialogue, and registers approximating the park’s cultivated gardens of wildness.

Carmen Giménez Smith’s Be Recorder offers readers a blazing way forward into an as yet unmade world. The many times and tongues in these poems investigate the precariousness of personhood in lines that excoriate and sanctify.

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Tommy Pico is author of the books IRL, Nature Poem, and Junk. He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural Fellow, Lambda Literary Fellow in poetry, and NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he’s the winner of a Whiting Award and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Literature Prize.

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of six books, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, and Bring Down the Little Birds, winner of the American Book Award. She teaches at Virginia Tech University.

Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. Burt grew up around Washington, DC and earned a BA from Harvard and PhD from Yale. She has published four collections of poems: Advice from the Lights (2017), Belmont (2013), Parallel Play (2006), and Popular Music (1999). Her most recent book is Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems.

Storytime with Union Square Donuts

If You Give a Dog a Donut

Grab a treat and take a seat! This Sunday’s storytime, we’ll be reading books that are all about DONUTS–and sampling some delicious goodies from our neighbors at Union Square Donuts. All are welcome and no sign-up is required. Please note that this event is not gluten free!

Tonya Mezrich and Ben Mezrich

Charlie Numbers and the Woolly Mammoth

Charlie and the Whiz Kids discover a prehistoric mammoth tusk and stumble right into the nefarious clutches of an eccentric billionaire in this hilarious third novel of the Charlie Numbers series.  »

When Tonya Mezrich was little, she preferred art to reading. But then she learned reading could be just as cool, and so could writing books. She attended Tufts University where she studied French Literature, art history and dentistry. She later became a jewelry designer, a fashion designer and produced and co-hosted the TV show Style Boston. She recently launched Boston’s Red Carpet with Tonya Mezrich on NESN, featuring philanthropy and fashion as a follow-up to her role as resident fashion expert at NBC Boston. She is co-author of Charlie Numbers and the Man in the Moon, which was chosen as the required summer reading for all 4th graders in Boston Public Schools, and is slated to be developed into a TV series with Ellen Pompeo of Gray’s Anatomy. She and Ben live in Boston with their two kids and a pug. You can follow her at @tonyamezrich.

Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. Since then he has published 20 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than two million copies in 15 languages and became the basis for the #1 Box Office Hit movie 21. He has also published the national bestsellers The 37th Parallel, Once Upon a Time in Russia,Woolly, and Bitcoin Billionaires. He travels the world speaking to audiences of all ages about writing books and the adventures he has experienced from each of his stories.

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra in conversation with Laetitia Zecchini

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

A one-of-a-kind collection of work by one of India’s best contemporary poets.

Gathering the work of a lifetime, spanning four books of poetry and including thirty-four new poems, this is the first comprehensive collection to be published in the United States and the United Kingdom of the work of one of India’s most influential English-language poets. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s poetry has long been known for its mixing of the commonplace and the strange, the autobiographical and the fabulous, in which the insignificant details of everyday life—whether contemporary or historical—bring larger patterns into focus. His celebrated translations from Indian languages (Prakrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali) take up a third of Collected Poems. Selections from The Absent Traveller and Songs of Kabir are followed by those of Nirala, Vinod Kumar Shukla, Mangalesh Dabral, Pavankumar Jain, and Shakti Chattopadhyay. Together they tell the story of Indian poetry over two millennia.

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Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of several books of poetry, the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets and Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar, and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry and Songs of Kabir. He lives in Dehradun.

Laetitia Zecchini is a research fellow at the CNRS in Paris, currently visiting scholar at BU. She is the author of a monograph on the poet Arun Kolatkar whom she has also translated into French, and writes on the « Bombay poets », on modernisms and the politics of literature. She is currently working on a book around issues of cultural / literary freedom and the poetics & politics of modernism in Cold War India and is part of the project writers and free expression.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer

From the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me comes a debut novel that brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Ta-Nehisi lives in New York City with his wife and son.

Astro Poets: Alex Dimitrov & Dorothea Lasky

Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac

Full of insight, advice and humor for every sign in the zodiac, the Astro Poets’ unique brand of astrological flavor has made them Twitter sensations. Their long-awaited first book is in the grand tradition of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, but made for the world we live in today.

Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky are the duo behind the beloved Twitter account @poetastrologers, better known as Astro Poets. Dimitrov’s poetry has been previously published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Times, and has received a Pushcart Prize and Stanley Kunitz Prize from American Poetry Review. Lasky is the author of five poetry collections and has been published in The New Yorker, Boston Review, and The Paris Review.

Earfull: Marianne Leone and Laura Zigman

Ma Speaks Up

Writers reading, songwriters singing; it’s the return of Earfull, Fall 2019 Edition hosted by the Mosesian Center for the Arts! Join us for another series of authors and musicians coming together for intimate performances at the MCA Black Box Theatre. Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm. Please note this is a ticketed event.

Our November 19th event will feature authors Marianne Leone and Laura Zigman as well as musical acts Jen Trynin and Laurie Sargent.

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Earfull is a writers readings & songwriters singing event. The Fall 2019 Earfull events are hosted by the Mosesian Center for the Arts (MCA), a nonprofit arts center in Watertown, Massachusetts. All proceeds from tickets sales go towards the MCA.

Janaka Stucky, Julia Guez and Paige Ackerson-Kiely

Dolefully, A Rampart Stands

In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame

Ascend Ascend

Written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church, Janaka Stucky’s Ascend Ascend is equal parts Walt Whitman and Maggot Brain, documenting the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.

A close look at the rigors of our current cultural moment, Julia Guez’s debut poetry collection In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame offers readers a way to navigate vital questions: what does it mean to be “secure”? How do we make art amid complexity?

The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s third collection, Dolefully, A Rampart Stands, explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish. Ranging from free verse to a long noir prose poem, they examine who her, or our, “captors” might be.

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Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press, Black Ocean. In 2015 Jack White’s Third Man Records launched Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. Other books include Your Name Is The Only Freedom, and The World Will Deny It For You. He has performed in over 60 cities around the world and his poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review; his articles have been published by the Huffington Post and the Poetry Foundation.

Julia Guez’s poetry, essays, interviews and translations have appeared in Poetry, the Guardian, PEN Poetry Series, the Kenyon Review, BOMB and the Brooklyn Rail. She has been awarded the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship and the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize in Translation. Guez holds degrees from Rice and Columbia. She’s currently a managing director of programming for Teach for America and teaches creative writing at Rutgers in addition to writing poetry reviews for Publishers Weekly.

Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of two poetry collections, In No One’s Land and My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer. She is a generalist and lives in Peekskill, New York.

“Ackerson-Kiely’s talent for the uncanny is extraordinary. Her ability to create entire atmospheres through single lines elevates her poems to something approaching the oracular, while never straying from the colloquial and the quotidian … a brilliantly disquieting collection.” Rain Taxi Review

Suzanne McConnell

Pity the Reader: On Writing With Style

Author, editor and writing teacher Suzanne McConnell was a student of Kurt Vonnegut’s at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop during its heyday, the period from 1965-67, when Vonnegut, along with Nelson Algren and other notable authors were in residence. This was also the period when Vonnegut was writing his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five, and had a lot to say about the writing process. Vonnegut and McConnell became friends, and stayed in touch over the years. She has published short memoirs of him in The Brooklyn Rail and The Writer’s Digest, and led a panel at the 2014 AWP conference titled “Vonnegut’s Legacy: Writing about War and Other Debacles of the Human Condition.”

Wee The People: Innosanto Nagara

M is for Movement

This event will take place at The Puppet Showplace Theatre, located at 32 Station St., Brookline. It is presented by Wee the People.

Join us for a very special storytime with children’s author Innosanto Nagara. He will read his new book, M Is for Movement; the reading will be followed a puppet show preview based on his book My Night in the Planetarium!

M is for Movement is the story of a child born at the dawn of a social movement.
At first the protests were in small villages and at universities. But then they spread. People drew sustenance from other social movements in other countries. And then the unthinkable happened. The protagonist in this fictionalized children’s memoir is a witness and a participant, fearful sometimes, brave sometimes too, and when things change, this child who is now an adult is as surprised as anyone.

Suzanne Morris

A Trapezoid Is Not A Dinosaur!

Shape up, shapes! Triangle is hosting auditions for all the best shapes to be in his play. Circle, Square, and Star each get a part. But Trapezoid just doesn’t “fit in.” Is he even a shape? The others think he sounds like a type of dinosaur. Determined to show off his usefulness, Trapezoid tries to act like the other shapes, to no avail. Eventually, though, Trapezoid celebrates his own distinct shape properties in order to become part of the performance.

Suzanne Morris is an author, illustrator, and designer with a BFA from Parsons School of Design. She loves words, art, and the magic of a page turn. Suzanne makes her marks by hand, using pencils, ink, watercolor, and collage with digital retouching. She believes the power of the imagination is the gateway to freedom.

December

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Reimagining the Epics with Karthika Nair and Nina MacLaughlin

Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

In Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, Karthika Naïr retells the Mahabharata through the embodied voices of women and marginal characters, so often conquered and destroyed throughout history. Through shifting poetic forms, ranging from pantoums to Petrarchan sonnets, Naïr choreographs the cadences of stray voices. And with a passionate empathy through a chorus of bold voices, she tells of nameless soldiers, their despairing spouses and lovers, a canny empress, an all-powerful god, and a gender-shifting outcast warrior. Until the Lions reveals the most intimate threads of desire, greed, and sacrifice in this foundational epic.  »

French-Indian, poet-dance producer/curator, Karthika Naïr is the author of several books, including The Honey Hunter, illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet and published in English, French, German and Bangla. Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata won the 2015 Tata Literature Live! Award for Book of the Year (Fiction). Her latest book is the collaborative Over and Under Ground in Mumbai & Paris, a travelogue in verse, written with Mumbai-based poet Sampurna Chattarji, and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet and Roshni Vyam.


Seductresses and she-monsters, nymphs and demi-goddesses, populate the famous myths of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. But what happens when the story of the chase comes in the voice of the woman fleeing her rape? When the beloved coolly returns the seducer’s gaze? When tales of monstrous transfiguration are sung by those transformed? In voices both mythic and modern, Wake, Siren revisits each account of love, loss, rape, revenge, and change. It lays bare the violence that undergirds and lurks in the heart of Ovid’s narratives, stories that helped build and perpetuate the distorted portrayal of women across centuries of art and literature.

Drawing on the rhythms of epic poetry and alt rock, of everyday speech and folk song, of fireside whisperings and therapy sessions, Nina MacLaughlin, the acclaimed author of Hammer Head, recovers what is lost when the stories of women are told and translated by men. She breathes new life into these fraught and well-loved myths.

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. Formerly an editor at The Boston Phoenix, she is a books columnist for The Boston Globe and has written for publications including The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, Bookslut, The Daily Beast, Cosmopolitan, and The Huffington Post. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Brookline Booksmith Book Club

Celestial Bodies

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

Discussing Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi.

In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool beautifully against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society into its complex present.

Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani woman to have a novel translated into English, and Celestial Bodies is the first book translated from the Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize. Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in classical Arabic poetry in Edinburgh and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She has been short-listed for the Sheikh Zayed Award for Young Authors and her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and Serbian.

Calvin Hennick in conversation with Adrian Walker

Once More to the Rodeo: A Memoir

Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. How can he teach his son to be a man, when his own father figures abandoned him? As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today, when society’s expectations of men seem to change from moment to moment?

In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin Hennick holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.

Calvin Hennick is a business and technology writer based in Boston. He wrote for many years for The Boston Globe and his prize-winning work has appeared in over 50 publications.

Adrian Walker is a columnist for the Metro section of The Boston Globe. He provides commentary and opinion on local and regional news as well as society and culture. Walker started as a Metro columnist in 1998. His column appears Mondays and Fridays.

Alex Myers and Jackson Bird

Continental Divide

Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place

Newly out as transgender, Ron finds himself adrift: kicked out by his family, jilted by his girlfriend, unable to afford to return to college in the fall. So begins Alex Myers’ debut novel Continenental Divide. From there Ron heads out to Wyoming for a new start, a chance to prove that - even though he was raised as a girl, even though everyone in Boston thinks of him as transgender - he can live as a man.

Sorted is an unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how, through a childhood of gender mishaps and an awkward adolescence, he sorted his identity and came out as a transgender man in his mid-twenties.

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Alex Myers was born and raised in western Maine. Since high school, Alex has campaigned for transgender rights. As a female-to-male transgender person, Alex began his transition at Phillips Exeter Academy (returning his senior year as a man after attending for three years as a woman) and was the first transgender student in that academy’s history. Alex was also the first openly transgender student at Harvard, and worked to change the university’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity.

Jackson Bird is a YouTube creator and LGBTQ+ advocate dedicated to demystifying the transgender experience. His TED Talk “How to talk (and listen) to transgender people” has been viewed over a million times. Jackson is a recipient of the GLAAD Rising Star Digital Innovator Award and lives in New York City. You can follow him online @JackIsNotABird.

Meredith Atwood

The Year of No Nonsense: How to Get Over Yourself an On With Your Life

In The Year of No Nonsense, Atwood shares what she learned, tackling struggles with work, family, and body image, and also willpower and time management. Ultimately, she’s the tough-as-nails coach /slash/ best friend who shares a practical plan for identifying and getting rid of your own nonsense in order to move forward and live an authentic, healthy life.

Meredith Atwood is a recovering attorney, wife, mother of two, four-time IRONMAN triathlete who had never run a mile in her life until she tackled the sport of triathlon. In 2010 she started writing and created her Swim Bike Mom blog. Over 2.5 million words later, she has built a cult following of women (and men) who desired a change in their lives–but not at the expense of their health, family or sanity.

David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott

Fanocracy

David Meerman Scott and his daughter Reiko are very different - one is a baby boomer business strategist, the other a millennial medical student. But both noticed that the kind of enthusiasm they once reserved for pleasures like the Grateful Dead (David) and Harry Potter (Reiko) now extends to all sorts of companies and organizations. So they teamed up to explore a big question: Why do some brands, even in supposedly boring categories like car insurance and enterprise software, attract not just customers but raving fans?  »

David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed business strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, and public speaker. He is the author of ten previous books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in its 6th edition and in 29 languages) and Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. In his spare time he surfs and travels around the world for great live music.

Reiko Scott earned a neuroscience degree from Columbia University and is now a medical student at Boston University. In her spare time she writes and publishes fanfiction based on her favorite fantasy worlds and loves to cosplay at Comic Con.

February

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Helen Fremont

The Escape Artist

In the tradition of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on a penchant for keeping their lives neatly–even obsessively–compartmentalized, as well as a zealous determination to protect themselves from the dangers of the outside world.

Helen Fremont is the author of the national bestseller After Long Silence. Her works of fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, Ploughshares, and The Harvard Review. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she has been a teaching fellow at Bread Loaf and a teaching fellow at the Radcliffe Institute. From 1999–2008 she was a Scholar in the Women’s Studies Research Center Scholars Program at Brandeis University. She works as a public defender and lives with her wife in Boston.

Ben Gundersheimer

Lilah Tov Good Night

As the moon rises, a family steps into the night on a journey toward a new beginning. Along the way their little girl delights in the wonders of nature, saying good night–lilah tov–to the creatures and landscapes they pass. Wherever she looks–on land, in the sky above and even, eventually, in the water below her boat–there are marvels to behold. “Lilah tov to the birds in the trees, lilah tov to the fish in the sea.” When their travels are finally over, her parents tuck her in tight, safe and ready for dreams in their new home.

A former teacher with a Masters of Education, Ben Gundersheimer (aka Mister G) is a Latin GRAMMY Award winner for Best Children’s Album, and has been called “a bilingual rock star” by the Washington Post and “irresistible” by People magazine. His dynamic, original music has won praise from the Boston Globe, Chicago Sun Times, New York Post, and Parents magazine. He tours internationally headlining major venues in cities including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Orleans. He also wrote the picture book Señorita Mariposa. He lives in Whately, Massachusetts.

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.