JOYCE MAYNARD, Author of The Best of Us: A Memoir, in conversation with ROLAND MERULLO
Newtonville Books presents JOYCE MAYNARD and ROLAND MERULLO on October 11, 2017! This event is free to attend.
In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist JOYCE MAYNARD met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn’t mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of.
Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, JOYCE resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple–to be a true partner and to have one.
This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and JOYCE’s return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.
JOYCE MAYNARD is the author of sixteen books including the novels To Die For and Labor Day (both adapted for film) and the bestselling memoir At Home in the World. Her essays and columns have appeared in dozens of publications and numerous collections. She is a frequent performer with The Moth, a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and founder of the Lake Atitlan Writers’ Workshop. She is the mother of three grown children, and makes her home in Lafayette, California.
ROLAND MERULLO is a bestselling author, most recently of The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama.
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN Presents – Logical Family: A Memoir
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning novelist ARMISTEAD MAUPIN—author of the nine-volume Tales of the City series—for a reading from his debut memoir, Logical Family.
Tickets only are $5 + $1.27 fee
Tickets (bundled with book) are $27.95 + $2.57 fee
Doors close at 5:30pm! — This event includes a book signing.
About Logical Family: A Memoir
In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.
Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, ARMISTEAD MAUPIN lost his virginity to another man “on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.” Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.
Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, MAUPIN shares his candid search for his “logical family,” the people he could call his own. “Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us,” he writes. “We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives.” From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who MAUPIN insisted was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, MAUPIN tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.
MAUPIN recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion—and inspired millions to claim their own lives.
TOVA MIRVIS: The Book of Separation
Brookline Booksmith is pleased to welcome TOVA MIRVIS, author of the new memoir, The Book of Separation.
Born and raised in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish family, TOVA MIRVIS committed herself to observing the rules and rituals prescribed by this way of life. After all, to observe was to be accepted and to be accepted was to be loved. She married a man from within the fold and quickly began a family. But over the years, her doubts became noisier than her faith, and at age forty she could no longer breathe in what had become a suffocating existence.
The Book of Separation is the story of a woman who leaves her faith and her marriage and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a newly mapless world.
This event, co-sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Archive, is free and open to the public.
DANIEL MENDELSOHN, “An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic”
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning memoirist and critic DANIEL MENDELSOHN (The Lost) for a discussion of his latest book, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic.
When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician’s unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his “one last chance” to learn the great literature he’d neglected in his youth—and, even more, a final opportunity to more fully understand his son, a writer and classicist. But through the sometimes uncomfortable months that the two men explore Homer’s great work together, it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too…
This event is free and open to the public.
An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic will be on sale at the event 20% off.
Local author event with novelist MICHELLE HOOVER, memoirist PATRICIA HORVATH, and poet SAM WITT
Join Porter Square Books for a night with Grubstreet’s MICHELLE HOOVER (Bottomland), award-winning memoirist PATRICIA HORVATH (All the Difference), and English poet/journalist SAM WITT (Everlasting Quail).
At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland follows the Hess family in the years after World War I, as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.
HORVATH’s transformation from a visibly disabled young woman to someone who, abruptly, “passes” for able-bodied, reveals cultural and personal tensions surrounding disability and creates an arc that connects imprisonment to freedom. What transpires is both suffocating and liberating. HORVATH’s confinement keeps her from being seen, but also cocoons a deeply personal sense of self-hood and relationship.
In Everlasting Quail, WITT combines diverse conventions such as the confession and the sexual love poem, with structures and language to invent a psycho-political landscape in which the physical world is transformed and the energy of human relationships celebrated. What holds these poems together is not the act of confession, description, or memory. Rather, they draw their vocabulary from a perpetually transformative relationship with the physical world, and with human beings, which, when merged, approaches transfiguration.
This event is free and open to the public.
Folk/Rock legend ART GARFUNKEL on his memoir
Harvard Book Store welcomes folk rock legend ART GARFUNKEL for a discussion of his memoir, What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man. This event, taking place at First Parish Church, is co-sponsored by Harvard Square’s Club Passim. GARFUNKEL will be joined in conversation by JARED BOWEN, WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts.
GARFUNKEL writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel…about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by their path-breaking sound. He writes about growing up in the 1940s and ’50s (son of a traveling salesman), a middle class Jewish boy, living in a red brick semi-attached house in Kew Gardens, Queens, a kid who was different—from the age of five feeling his vocal cords “vibrating with the love of sound”…
This event is ticketed. You may purchase tickets here, and all tickets come with a presigned copy of GARFUNKEL’s memoir.
This event is co-sponsored with Club Passim.
How does addiction impact family? A conversation between Granta publisher/editor SIGRID RAUSING and GISH JEN
Harvard Book Store welcomes Granta magazine editor SIGRID RAUSING—author of History, Memory, and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia and Everything is Wonderful—and bestselling author GISH JEN for a discussion of Mayhem, Rausing’s memoir of the impact of addiction on family.
In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint, Hans’ sister, the editor and publisher SIGRID RAUSING, tries to make sense of what happened.
This event is not ticketed.
Mayhem will be on sale at the event for 20% off.
Why Thoreau Still Matters: Lessons on Environmentalism & Civil Disobedience
200 years after Henry David Thoreau’s birth in Concord, Massachusetts, a distinguished panel will consider Thoreau’s lessons for today’s world. Explore how Thoreau’s ideas have informed 21st-century civil disobedience and contemporary conversations about humans’ relationships with the natural world.
Panelists will include artist and filmmaker PAUL TURANO (Wander, Wonder, Wilderness), LAURA DASSOW WALLS, author of the new biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, acclaimed memoirist HOWARD AXELROD (The Point of Vanishing), MARIA MADISON, president of The Robbins House: Concord’s African American History historic site, and the Rev. FRED SMALL, Minister for Climate Justice at Arlington Street Church.
This event is part of the series “Boston is Thoreau Country: A Multimedia Series Celebrating Thoreau’s Legacy in the Hub,” Co-Presented by Old South Meeting House, The Thoreau Society, and the Boston Literary District and co-sponsored by The Walden Woods Project. CHRISTOPHER LYDON (WBUR Radio host, “Open Source with Christopher Lydon”) will moderate the event.
This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute. Free and open to the public, registration is requested here.
Before I Had the Words: A Reading with Trans Memoirist SKYLAR KERGIL
Brookline Booksmith welcomes Youtuber Skylar “skylarkeleven” Kergil for a reading of his memoir Before I Had The Words. KERGIL is a transgender activist, artist, and writer living in Boston.
Before I Had the Words is the story of what came before the videos and what happened behind the scenes. From early childhood memories to the changes and confusion brought by adolescence, KERGIL reflects on coming of age while struggling to understand his gender. As humorous as it is heartbreaking and as informative as it is entertaining, this memoir provides an intimate look at the experience of transitioning from one gender to another. KERGIL opens up about the long path to gaining his family’s acceptance and to accepting himself, sharing stories along the way about smaller challenges like choosing a new name and learning to shave without eyebrow mishaps.
This event is free and open to the public.
EILEEN MYLES on “Afterglow: a Dog Memoir”
Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned author and poet EILEEN MYLES for a discussion of their latest book, Afterglow (a dog memoir).
In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer’s life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog’s wellbeing, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles’s experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.
This event is not ticketed.
The book will be on sale at the event for 20% off.