One work of art—a Chaim Soutine painting—will connect the lives and fates of two different women. Harvard Book Store and GrubStreet welcome writer ELLEN UMANSKY and A Fortunate Age and My Salinger Year author JOANNA RAKOFF for a discussion of Umansky’s debut novel, The Fortunate Ones.
It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer’s parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England. Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished. Umansky’s novel tells the story of rebuilding from turmoil and powerful female friendships.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.