This Halloween, Harvard Book Store invites you to spend the graveyard shift at your favorite boo-store—if you dare!—with a very special late night, limited entry, 21+ event. Costumes are encouraged: the best will be rewarded with a $25 gift card, and there’ll also be prizes for the runners-up!
We’re thrilled (and chilled) to welcome JAC JEMC—the award-winning author of The Grip of It—for a candlelit reading from her new collection of short stories, False Bingo. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed local author NINA MACLAUGHLIN.
Ticket holders will get exclusive access to the bookstore after we close at 11pm on Saturday, November 3rd. We’ll lock the doors, turn down the lights, and settle down for our reading. Afterwards, we’ll open up the darkened store for adult beverages, spooky snacks, browsing by flashlight, and 20% off all purchases until the clock strikes one. And no need to BYOF (“bring your own flashlight”): a small flashlight will be included in each ticket.
Tickets are $18 and go on sale Thursday, October 23 at 9am. The 20% off promotion does not compound the discount on already discounted items. Gift cards, self-publishing services, and event tickets are not included in the sale.
In Jac Jemc’s dislocating second story collection, False Bingo, we watch as sinister forces―some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not―work their ways into the mundanity of everyday life.
In “Strange Loop,” an outcast attempting to escape an unnamed mistake spends his days taxiderming animals, while in “Delivery,” a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. “Don’t Let’s” finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the sadistic narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
“20 electrifying short stories, some no longer than a few pages, but every one odd and memorable for wildly different reasons. . . A writer compared to Shirley Jackson and Henry James, Jemc continues to solidify her standing as a talented writer of the uncanny, the horrifying, and the hilarious.” —Booklist
“[A] wide-ranging, zany collection that somehow combines the otherworldliness of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, the menacing irony of Shirley Jackson and the cold feminist fury of Margaret Atwood.” —Siobhan Jones, The New York Times Book Review
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.