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.


Actor/author KARL GEARY reads his first novel: Montpelier Parade

Brookline Booksmith hosts novelist KARL GEARY for his first-time novel, Montpelier Parade.

The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world.  Working on the garden with his father one Saturday in Dublin, Sonny is full of curiosity.  Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera.

Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new, intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn’t telling him?

This event is free and open to the public.


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.


Darkansas: A Novel with debut author JARRET MIDDLETON

Trident Booksellers is pleased to host author JARRET MIDDLETON for a reading of his debut novel, Darkansas.

Jordan is a country musician living in the shadow of his father, bluegrass legend Walker Bayne. A man who has made a lifetime of poor decisions, Jordan bounces between dive bars, accruing women and drinking himself to the brink of disaster.

When he returns home to the Ozarks for his twin brother’s wedding, Jordan uncovers a dark vein in the Bayne family history: going back to the end of the Civil War, every generation of Bayne men have been twins―and one twin has always murdered their father.

This event 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.

 


Poets KERRI FRENCH, JENNIFER MILITELLO, and SARAH SWEENEY at Trident Booksellers

Trident Booksellers is pleased to host a reading to celebrate the release of KERRI FRENCH’s poetry collection Every Room in the Body, winner of the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award.  The reading will also feature two other writers with recent releases: poet JENNIFER MILITELLO (reading from A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments), and nonfiction writer and poet SARAH SWEENEY (reading from her essay collection Tell Me If You’re Lying).

This event is free and open to the public.

Trident Booksellers has all three of these poetry collections.  You can purchase your copies in-store or online for FRENCH, MILITELLO, and/or SWEENEY’s collections.


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.


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.


FRED DEVECCA Shares his Mystery Novel, The Nutting Girl

Trident Booksellers hosts longtime screenwriter, photographer, director, actor, and free-lance writer/author FRED DEVECCA for a reading of his novel The Nutting Girl.

Middle-aged Frank Raven used to be a lot of things–a blind monk, a cop, a private detective, and a hard drinker. Now he doesn’t do much except run a funky old movie theater in bucolic Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, dance and sing with the local troupe of Morris Dancers, and record bird songs on his phone.  A lanky young wunderkind director, Nick Mooney, brings his Hollywood film crew to town and hires the “retired” Raven to protect his star: the wild, unpredictable, gorgeous, and prodigiously talented twenty-one-year-old Juliana Velvet Norcross, aka VelCro.  Reluctant at first, Raven takes on the job and slowly sees that there is more to VelCro than the troubled rebel she appears to be.  On the eve of filming, storms ravage the small village, and the river that runs through the center of town floods its banks.  The storm passes, VelCro recovers from illness that Raven’s girlfriend’s daughter, Sarah, helped nurse, and filming begins.  But during the first shot, she is swept away into the river, leaving no trace.

This event is free and open to the public.