Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century

Harvard Book Store welcomes KATHRYN SIKKINK—the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—for a discussion of her latest book, Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century.

Evidence for Hope makes the case that, yes, human rights work.  Critics may counter that the movement is in serious jeopardy or even a questionable byproduct of Western imperialism.  They point out that Guantánamo is still open, the Arab Spring protests have been crushed, and governments are cracking down on NGOs everywhere.  But respected human rights expert SIKKINK draws on decades of research and fieldwork to provide a rigorous rebuttal to the pessimistic doubts about human rights laws and institutions.  She demonstrates that change comes slowly and as the result of struggle, but in the long term, human rights movements have been vastly effective.

This event is free and open to the public.

Evidence for Hope will be on sale at the event, 20% off.


PATTI SMITH on Devotion (Why I Write)

Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned performer and artist PATTI SMITH—author of the National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids and the New York Times best seller M Train—for a discussion of her latest book, Devotion (Why I Write).

A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic—its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met?  In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture’s beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.

This event is ticketed.  You may purchase tickets here.  Every ticket purchase includes a pre-signed copy of Devotion.


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 nonfiction author POPE BROCK presents Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon

Porter Square Books welcomes local nonfiction author POPE BROCK, who has published Indiana Gothic (about the murder of his great-grandfather), and now, Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon—a work of what might be called speculative nonfiction.

Now that we’ve pretty much ruined planet Earth—no big secret—science tells us the human race could be doomed. Well, not all science, but some of it, enough to have sparked a lively interest in setting up someplace else.

But where?

The answer is the moon of course, and that’s what this book explores: the many ways in which today’s scientists, entrepreneurs, architects and, yes, a few loonies are working to get colonies established there ASAP. Filled with research, interviews and expert projections, these pages reveal how a web of fantastic new technologies could give mankind a brand new start off-world.

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.


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.

 


ANDREA PITZER on One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

Harvard Book Store and the Nieman Foundation welcome Nieman Storyboard founder ANDREA PITZER—author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov—for a discussion of her latest book, One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.

In this harrowing work based on archival records and interviews during travel to four continents, PITZER reveals for the first time the chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps.  Beginning with 1890’s Cuba, she pinpoints concentration camps around the world and across decades.  Often justified as a measure to protect a nation, or even the interned groups themselves, camps have instead served as brutal and dehumanizing sites that have claimed the lives of millions.

This event is not ticketed.

One Long Night will be on sale at the event for 20% off.


NYT best-selling author ELIAS WEISS FRIEDMAN returns with The Dogist: Puppies

Attention all dog and animal lovers!  Brookline Booksmith and MSPCA-Angell Boston host The Dogist author, ELIAS WEISS FRIEDMAN as he returns with his next book on puppies.

The Dogist: Puppies is a follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Dogist.  Presented documentary-style, every portrait tells a story and explores each puppy’s distinct character and spirit. The book presents a gallery of puppy portraits arranged into themes including Ears, Big Paws, Cones of Shame, Learning to Walk, and Fancy Outfits, giving every dog lover something to enjoy.

This event is free event is co-sponsored by MSPCA-Angell Boston, whose mission is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.


Neuroscientist TALI SHAROT on “The Influential Mind”

Harvard Book Store welcomes cognitive neuroscientist TALI SHAROT—founder and director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London—and Harvard Law School’s CASS R. SUNSTEIN for a discussion of Sharot’s latest book, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others.

In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist TALI SHAROT takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence.  We all have a duty to affect others―from the classroom to the boardroom to social media.  But how skilled are we at this role, and can we become better?  It turns out that many of our instincts are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate.  SHAROT shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain.

This event is not ticketed.

The Influential Mind will be on sale at the event for 20% off.