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Salon with Nina MacLaughlin presenting WAKE, SIREN

December 10, 2019 | 6:30 pm


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Location given to RSVPed guests

Nina MacLaughin presents her “vital, vivid” (Kirkus) new book, Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, hosted at the home of author Whitney Scharer! Doors open at 6:30pm, with the program beginning at 7pm.

In Wake, Siren, the women of Ovid’s Metamorphoses claim their stories and challenge the power of myth in fierce, textured voices. I am the home of this story. After thousands of years of other people’s tellings, of all these different bridges, of words gotten wrong, I’ll tell it myself.

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 DailyThe Believer, the Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Wall Street JournalBookslutThe Daily BeastCosmopolitan, andThe Huffington Post. She was also recognized in Refinery29‘s list of “21 New Authors You Need to Know.” She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Whitney Scharer earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and other journals. She’s received an Emerging Artist Award in Literature from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, a Somerville Arts Council Artists grant, and been awarded a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her first novel is The Age of Light.

Porter Square Books’ Salon reading series is a new endeavour aiming to revive the salons of old–events where people would invite artists, writers, musicians, and other intellectuals into their homes and then invite their friends or their community in for an evening of performance, discussion, and conversation. In many places, the salons were the intellectual and cultural centers of their communities. As booksellers, we often have the opportunity to spend time with authors and just a handful of other dinner guests, sparking all manner of interesting discussions, and we wanted to bring this experience to you, our customers! (Interested to host a salon? Reach out to leila@portersquarebooks.com for more information!)


December 10, 2019
6:30 pm
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Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.