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Fiction [clear filter]
Saturday, October 19
 

10:00am EDT

L'Averti
Debut novelist Vanessa Léger will present her new book, L’Averti. Until his death in 1870, Auguste Roussel never ceased to believe in a glorious destiny for his newspaper. Three generations later, L’Averti still remains a family story, that of the Roussels, and is the eyewitness to their singular destiny in a changing world. L’Averti—La naissance d’une dynastie is the first volume of a rich family saga that will be told in a trilogy. Léger will be interviewed by French Cultural Center librarian Ingrid Marquardt, and there will be an opportunity for audience Q&A.

Moderators
avatar for Ingrid Marquardt

Ingrid Marquardt

Ingrid Marquardt leads the second largest private French library in the country, at the French Cultural Center in the heart of historical Back Bay. This position marries her love of French language and literature. Marquardt began her passion for French through the immersion program... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Vanessa Léger

Vanessa Léger

Vanessa Léger has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Information (Journalism) from Moncton University. Her debut novel is L’Averti: The Birth of a Dynasty, the first in an original family saga trilogy.

Sponsors

Saturday October 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:30am EDT
French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough St, Boston, MA, 02116

10:30am EDT

Readings: Coming of Age
The journey from (relative) innocence to (hard-won) experience has been a favorite theme for storytellers throughout millennia and across media. Hear how three debut novelists have tackled this theme in this session of readings. Susan Bernhard’s haunting Winter Loon centers on a teenage boy coming of age while grappling with grief. Set in the early 1990s, Dana Czapnik’s The Falconer focuses on a heroine defining herself against expectations about sports, art, and gender. And in Cambria Brockman’s literary thriller Tell Me Everything, a young woman with a troubled past considers whether and how to reinvent herself at college. Our host for this session is Laura Szaro Kopinski of the Bookish Home review website and podcast.

Moderators
avatar for Laura Szaro Kopinski

Laura Szaro Kopinski

Laura Szaro Kopinski is a local elementary school librarian and the founder of A Bookish Home, a website that celebrates all things literary. Now, in addition, she hosts the A Bookish Home podcast where she talks books with authors, illustrators, booksellers, librarians and more professionals... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Cambria Brockman

Cambria Brockman

Cambria Brockman is a writer and owner of an award-winning wedding and portrait photography company, Cambria Grace. She grew up in Houston, London, and Scotland and earned a degree in English literature from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Her chilling first novel is entitled Tell... Read More →
avatar for Dana Czapnik

Dana Czapnik

Dana Czapnik is a novelist and sports editor, having worked for ESPN The Magazine, the United States Tennis Association, and the Arena Football League. Recipient of an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Center for Fiction, she holds an MFA from Hunter College, where she was recognized... Read More →
avatar for Susan Bernhard

Susan Bernhard

Susan Bernhard is a writer, a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship recipient, and a graduate of the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program. Her haunting debut novel, Winter Loon, which tells the story of a fifteen-year-old boy who is determined to become a man but struggles with... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 10:30am - 11:15am EDT
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

10:45am EDT

BBF Unbound: Writing Beyond Binaries
With transgender and non-binary visibility on the rise, more writers are finally being recognized for their work. But how far have we come and how far do we have left to go? Join Alex Marzano-Lesnevich (The Fact of a Body), Gabe Cole Novoa (writing as Ava Jae; Beyond the Red Trilogy), Cameron Awkward-Rich (Transit, Sympathetic Little Monster), Alex Myers (Revolutionary, Continental Divide), Lisa Bunker (Zenobia July, Felix Yz), L. Nichols (Flocks), and Kay Ulanday Barrett (When the Chant Comes) as they discuss their experiences in publishing, writing beyond cisgender expectations, and their hopes for the next generation of trans and NB writers. This rich and timely conversation will be hosted by writer and teacher Milo Todd.
Please note that this is a low-scent/scent-free session. We ask that attendees be mindful of not wearing heavy perfumes, colognes, or other products that create strong scents, as well as not smoking cigarettes or marijuana immediately prior to the session.

Moderators
avatar for Milo Todd

Milo Todd

Milo Todd writes trans historical fiction based on people and events that have often been distorted, erased, or cis-washed. He’s presented at Muse and the Marketplace and the Boston Book Festival and is an instructor at GrubStreet and an alum of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator Program... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a 2018 Lambda Literary Award, the 2018 Chautauqua Prize, the 2019 Elle Grand Prix des Lectrices for Nonfiction, and the 2019 Prix France Inter-JDD, a prize for one book of any genre in... Read More →
avatar for Alex Myers

Alex Myers

Alex Myers is a teacher, speaker, writer, and advocate for transgender rights. Since coming out as transgender in 1995, he has worked with schools across the country, helping them create gender-inclusive policies, practices, and facilities. Myers is also an author; his essays have... Read More →
avatar for Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich is a black, trans writer and educator, currently living in Northampton. His first collection of poetry, Sympathetic Little Monster, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His second collection, Dispatch, was the winner of the 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s... Read More →
avatar for Gabe Cole Novoa

Gabe Cole Novoa

Gabe Cole Novoa is a Latinx trans masculine author who writes speculative fiction featuring marginalized characters grappling with identity. When he isn't working on his next book, completing freelance editorial work, or buried under his TBR pile, you’ll likely find him making heart-eyes... Read More →
avatar for Kay Ulanday Barrett

Kay Ulanday Barrett

Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. Barrett has been featured at the U.N., Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Princeton University, the Tucson Poetry Festival, the New York Poetry Festival, The Poetry Project, the Dodge Poetry Foundation, the Hemispheric... Read More →
avatar for L Nichols

L Nichols

L. Nichols is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, sign painter, educator, and sometime blacksmith. Nichols's work has appeared in the Village Voice, Gilt Taste, the Atlantic, the Zinester’s Guide to NYC, SMITH Magazine, the Nib, and the anthologies QU33R and We’re Still... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Bunker

Lisa Bunker

Lisa Bunker has written stories all her life. Her first novel, Felix Yz, about a boy fused with an alien, was published in 2017. Her second novel, Zenobia July, about a trans girl getting to live as a girl for the first time in a new family and school (and solving cyber crimes), was... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
BAC Beehive 951 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02115

11:00am EDT

BBF Unbound: Mystery Making
In this interactive workshop, five mystery authors representing different sub-genres—including cozy/traditional, thriller/suspense, and police procedural—will be led by moderator Connie Johnson Hambley to brainstorm on their feet and create a brand-new mystery using suggestions provided by the audience. Fun, fast-paced, and fascinating, this improv game offers important insights into mystery writers’ minds and the conventions of the different genres. A cozy mystery author may view a name, setting, or motive differently than a thriller or police procedural author. Sisters in Crime authors Frankie Bailey, Hallie Ephron, Kate Flora, Edith Maxwell, and Joanna Schaffhausen will engage the audience in a fun and lively session on how genre plays into plot and craft. They will show how variations on themes and relationships between victims and murderers can drive today’s crime fiction in unexpected ways.

Moderators
avatar for Connie Johnson Hambley

Connie Johnson Hambley

Connie Johnson Hambley horrified her parents by using her law degree to write high-concept thrillers rather than pursue gainful employment. Two novels in Connie’s Jessica Trilogy–where family secrets link a world-class equestrian to a Boston-based terrorist cell–won the Best... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Edith Maxwell

Edith Maxwell

Agatha and Macavity Award finalist Edith Maxwell writes the Amesbury-based historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day, she pens the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, set on Cape Cod, and the Country Store Mysteries. Maxwell lives north... Read More →
avatar for Frankie Y Bailey

Frankie Y Bailey

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany. Nominated for Edgar, Agatha, and Anthony awards for nonfiction, she has won a Macavity. Her amateur sleuth series features crime historian Lizzie Stuart. Her police procedural novels feature... Read More →
avatar for Hallie Ephron

Hallie Ephron

Hallie Ephron is a New York Times–bestselling author of eleven suspense novels reviewers have called “deliciously creepy.” Her newest, Careful What You Wish For, is about a professional organizer married to a man who can’t pass a yard sale without stopping. In a starred review... Read More →
avatar for Joanna Schaffhausen

Joanna Schaffhausen

Joanna Schaffhausen has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. No Mercy is her second novel featuring police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI agent Reed Markham. Her debut, The Vanishing... Read More →
avatar for Kate Flora

Kate Flora

Kate Flora’s fascination with people’s criminal tendencies began in the Maine attorney general’s office dealing with deadbeat dads, abused kids, and employers’ discrimination. The author of twenty-one books, Flora has been a finalist for the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Derringer... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
BPL Orientation Room 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

11:00am EDT

Fiction: Writing the Writers
“Write what you know,” goes the old adage for beginning writers. The three renowned novelists who join us for this session certainly no longer need to follow this advice; nevertheless, in their recent work, all three creatively imagine their way into the lives of real-life characters with whom they share a vocation: writing and publishing. Christopher Castellani’s Leading Men explores the legacy of a pivotal summer in the lives and careers of playwright Tennessee Williams, his lover Frank Merlo, and actress Anja Bloom. The title character in Steven Rowley’s The Editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was a book editor late in her life and who, in Rowley’s novel, develops a friendship and mentorship with a debut novelist. In her exquisitely researched new novel Dawson’s Fall, Roxana Robinson finds inspiration in the letters and diaries of her own great-grandparents as she traces the career of a newspaper publisher struggling to navigate the thorny moral landscape of post–Civil War Charleston. Robin Kall, host of the podcast Reading with Robin and the Cardigan Connection reading series, will lead a discussion about the divide between public figures and private lives and about how fiction writers can use their craft to imagine and elucidate the lives of real-life figures both like and unlike themselves. Sponsored by Greenough Brand Storytellers

Moderators
avatar for Robin Kall

Robin Kall

Robin Kall has always been an avid reader. From sneaking copies of Judy Blume from her childhood librarian to developing her own radio program, Reading with Robin, in 2002, Kall is a literary influencer and book pusher in her own right. Over the past fifteen years Kall has built a... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Christopher Castellani

Christopher Castellani

Christopher Castellani is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels All This Talk of Love, which was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award, The Saint of Lost Things, and A Kiss from Maddalena, which received a Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. His book of essays on... Read More →
avatar for Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson is the award-winning author of ten books: six novels, three short-story collections, and a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Her fiction has been widely anthologized and broadcast on NPR and can be found in numerous literary journals and websites including the New Yorker... Read More →
avatar for Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus. A starred review in Publishers Weekly called his new book, The Editor, “a winning dissection of family, forgiveness, and fame.” His books have been published in nineteen languages and are both set to be adapted for... Read More →

Sponsors

Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
BPL Abbey Room 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

11:00am EDT

Reconsidering Appalachia
If you’ve read Hillbilly Elegy and think you know everything you need to know about Appalachia, come to this session for a very different perspective. We are joined by Chelsea Jack and Meredith McCarroll, both contributors to the anthology Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, which is critical of Hillbilly Elegy for being “anti-intellectual, overly anecdotal, and attempting to revitalize widely discredited ‘culture of poverty’ explanations for persistent inequities.” Our third panelist is Madeline ffitch, author of Stay and Fight, a powerful novel set in Appalachia in which a yuppie from Seattle becomes an unlikely homesteader with an unconventional family of choice. Publishers Weekly, in its starred review, called Stay and Fight a “remarkable, gripping debut novel.” Our moderator is author and poet Rusty Barnes, whose recent books include Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia and Ridgerunner.

Moderators
avatar for Rusty Barnes

Rusty Barnes

Rusty Barnes, poet and crime writer, grew up in rural northern Appalachia. He received his BA from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Emerson College. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies like Best Small Fictions 2015... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Chelsea Jack

Chelsea Jack

Chelsea Jack is a PhD student in anthropology at Yale. Her fields of interest are anthropology of medicine, environmental history and humanities, agrarian studies, American literature, nature writing, and history. Jack has contributed to Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to... Read More →
avatar for Madeline ffitch

Madeline ffitch

Madeline ffitch is a writer with work in Tin House, Guernica, Granta, VICE, Electric Literature, and other publications. She co-founded the punk theater company Missoula Oblongata and is part of the direct-action collective Appalachia Resist! ffitch is the author of the short story... Read More →
avatar for Meredith McCarroll

Meredith McCarroll

Meredith McCarroll is the writer of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film and Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, a book that a starred Kirkus Reviews review called a “a welcome and valuable resource for anyone studying or writing about this much-maligned... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
BPL Commonwealth Salon 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

11:30am EDT

Readings: Debut Novels
Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel? These three first-time novelists—all of whom have led distinguished careers in other fields before turning to fiction—are here to tell you it’s not too late! In this session of readings, we’ll hear from composer and Berklee professor Bill Banfield, whose novel Cedric’s Truth follows a protagonist navigating the intersections of artistic production and political activism. Playwright, poet, and journalist Mark Guerin turns his pen to fiction in You Can See More from Up Here, about a middle-aged man whose present-day experience of loss prompts him to revisit the rifts of the past. And, in The Last Book Party, journalist and speechwriter Karen Dukess pens a coming-of-age story set amid the Cape Cod summer homes of New York literati. Our host for this session is Jessica A. Kent, founder and editor-in-chief of the popular Boston Book Blog.

Moderators
avatar for Jessica A. Kent

Jessica A. Kent

Jessica A. Kent is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boston Book Blog, a website that covers the local literary community. Previous publications include The Emerson Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Boston Thought, and Relevant Magazine, as well as being a recipient of the Lea... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield is a composer, recording artist, and author of multiple books. The Director of Africana Studies and a professor at Berklee College of Music, Banfield is the author of Cultural Codes, about the incorporation of the artist’s values into cultural aesthetic; Black Notes... Read More →
avatar for Karen Dukess

Karen Dukess

Before Karen Dukess became an author, she was a tour guide in the former Soviet Union, a newspaper reporter in Florida, a magazine publisher in Russia, and a speechwriter on gender equality for the United Nations Development Programme. She has also blogged for the Huffington Post... Read More →
avatar for Mark Guerin

Mark Guerin

Mark Guerin is an author, playwright, copywriter, and journalist from Boston. He won an Illinois Arts Council Grant, the Mimi Steinberg Award for Playwriting, and Sigma Tau Delta’s Eleanor B. North Poetry Award, and is a graduate of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program. You Can... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:30am - 12:15pm EDT
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

11:30am EDT

BBF Unbound: Long Time Gone
We may leave our childhood homes behind, but for some writers, our minds still dwell there, and our work stays rooted in the fertile soil of places left behind. We leave for reasons of economics, education, violence, or love, among others, but these places where we came of age leave their imprint on us--sometimes as a sweetness, sometimes as a scar, often both. Who are we to write about a place we have left behind? In this multi-genre session, Boston-based authors Desmond Hall, Marjan Kamali, and Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne will explore what it is about exile from our homelands (whether voluntary or not) that keeps us tethered to these places, how we wrestle with legacies, the benefits and burdens of writing about a place you only inhabit in your mind, how to access the small details of a place that make for great fiction and nonfiction, and when (or if) it’s time to move on. Our tour guide for this session is Kelly J. Ford, author of the novel Cottonmouths.

Moderators
avatar for Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford is the author of Cottonmouths, one of Los Angeles Review’s best books of 2017 for “its ability to go beneath the surface, striking impressive depths of character and setting.” Her shorter work can be found in Black Heart Magazine, Post Road Magazine, and others... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Desmond Hall

Desmond Hall

Writer Desmond Hall was born in Jamaica. His debut YA novel, Your Corner Dark, is set on the unforgiving streets and majestic mountains surrounding Kingston and tells the story of Frankie, an ambitious high school student who has just earned a ticket out with a full ride scholarship... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne is a novelist, essayist, and journalist whose reports on public health have appeared in the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Boston Globe Magazine, and GlobalPost. A former editor at the Atlantic, she is a graduate of both Amherst College and GrubStreet’s... Read More →
avatar for Marjan Kamali

Marjan Kamali

Marjan Kamali is a novelist and teacher whose work has been both anthologized and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A graduate of UC Berkeley with an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from New York University, Kamali is a teacher of writing at GrubStreet and former adjunct business... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Emmanuel Parish Hall 15 Newbury St, Boston, MA, 02116

12:00pm EDT

Crime Fiction: For You My Love Forever
Born in Balmoral and living in Moncton, New-Brunswick in Eastern Canada, Suzan Payne has a degree in literature and has worked in media for over twenty years. Her book Annabelle is the first volume of a trilogy of critically acclaimed crime novels called Pour toi mon amour pour toujours (For you my love forever). The second title, Valérie, was launched in May, with the final installation, Joëlle, forthcoming in October. Her first two books have been both critically acclaimed and popular successes. Payne will be interviewed by French Cultural Center librarian Ingrid Marquardt, and there will be an opportunity for audience Q&A.

Moderators
avatar for Ingrid Marquardt

Ingrid Marquardt

Ingrid Marquardt leads the second largest private French library in the country, at the French Cultural Center in the heart of historical Back Bay. This position marries her love of French language and literature. Marquardt began her passion for French through the immersion program... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Suzan Payne

Suzan Payne

Suzan Payne has worked in the media for over twenty years. She is the author of a trilogy of critically acclaimed crime novels titled Pour toi mon amour pour toujours (For you my love forever): Annabelle, Valérie, and Joëlle.

Sponsors

Saturday October 19, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm EDT
French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough St, Boston, MA, 02116

12:15pm EDT

Reading Like a Writer: Experimentation
Have you ever wondered how an author chose details to bring a place to life, why she chose her narrative’s point(s) of view, or how and why he pushes the boundaries of genre and form? In these three sessions, writers will open up about the nuts and bolts of their craft. Our host for each session will lead an audience discussion of a very short excerpt from each author’s work before bringing the author into the conversation to contextualize the excerpt, discuss her or his choices, and answer questions from the audience. A unique alternative to traditional readings, these sessions will appeal not only to aspiring fiction writers but also to readers looking to enrich their reading experience. This session will consist of three twenty-minute guided explorations of the work of authors whose recent fiction is experimental in nature, offering both challenges and rewards for readers: Christopher Boucher (Big Giant Floating Head), Sarah Rose Etter (The Book of X), and Ron MacLean (We Might As Well Light Something on Fire). Our host is novelist Michelle Hoover, author most recently of Bottomland.

Moderators
avatar for Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover is an award-winning author and innovative writing professor and educator. She is the head and cofounder of the Novel Incubator program at GrubStreet and has been teaching creative writing in different capacities for years. A writing professor at Boston University for... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Christopher Boucher

Christopher Boucher

Christopher Boucher is a novelist, editor, and professor. He is author of the novels How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, about a man grieving the losses of his father and ‘60s Volkswagen Beetle, and Golden Delicious, about a Massachusetts town torn apart by economic strife. Also... Read More →
avatar for Ron MacLean

Ron MacLean

Ron MacLean is the author of Headlong, winner of the 2013 Indie Book Award for Best Mystery, and two previous books: Blue Winnetka Skies and Why the Long Face?. His short fiction has appeared in GQ, Narrative, Fiction International, Best Online Fiction 2010, and elsewhere. He is a... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Rose Etter

Sarah Rose Etter

Sarah Rose Etter is the author of Tongue Party, her debut collection of short stories that was selected by Deb Olin Unferth as the winner of the Caketrain Press award. Her first novel, The Book of X, was described as "a relentlessly original look at what it means to exist in a female... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm EDT
BAC Beehive 951 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02115

12:15pm EDT

Reading Like a Writer: Perspective
Have you ever wondered how an author chose details to bring a place to life, why she chose her narrative’s point(s) of view, or how and why he pushes the boundaries of genre and form? In these three sessions, writers will open up about the nuts and bolts of their craft. Our host for each session will lead an audience discussion of a very short excerpt from each author’s work before bringing the author into the conversation to contextualize the excerpt, discuss her or his choices, and answer questions from the audience. A unique alternative to traditional readings, these sessions will appeal not only to aspiring fiction writers but also to readers looking to enrich their reading experience. This session will consist of three twenty-minute guided explorations of the work of authors whose recent novels offer innovative and sometimes surprising narrative perspectives: Susan Choi (Trust Exercise), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Sandra Newman (The Heavens). Our host is novelist Dawn Tripp, author most recently of Georgia.

Moderators
avatar for Dawn Tripp

Dawn Tripp

Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for fiction, Dawn Tripp is the author of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, which was awarded the 2017 Mary Lynn Kotz Award for Art in Literature, and three previous novels: Moon Tide, The Season of Open Water, and Game of Secrets, a Boston... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Sandra Newman

Sandra Newman

Sandra Newman is a nonfiction writer, memoirist, and author of The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, The Country of Ice Cream Star, Changeling, and The Western Lit Survival Kit. Her most recent novel, The Heavens, was called “a strange and beautiful hybrid” by the New York... Read More →
avatar for Susan Choi

Susan Choi

Susan Choi is a novelist and recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is the author of The Foreign Student (1998), which won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction; American Woman, which was a finalist for the 2004... Read More →
avatar for Daphne Kalotay

Daphne Kalotay

Daphne Kalotay is a novelist, short story writer, educator, and reviewer. Her work has appeared in the Florida Review, the Paris Review, Poets & Writers, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, and Consequence, and she has contributed book reviews... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm EDT
BPL McKim Exhibition Hall 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

12:30pm EDT

BBF Unbound: The Novelist’s Feast: Four Authors on Food in Fiction
No matter what genre a novel falls under—be it a mystery starring a hard-boiled detective, a sweeping literary romance, or a comedy-horror about freshly-made zombies, the characters all have something in common—they have to eat! What a character eats (or doesn’t eat), when she eats, and why can reveal so much about her. The making and consuming of food can create setting, serve as a plot device, or act as a metaphor for deeper desires. Join this delicious discussion with novelists Jenna Blum (The Lost Family), Ramin Ganeshram (The General’s Cook), Crystal L. King (The Chef’s Secret), and Louise Miller (The Late Bloomers’ Club) and as they talk with our host, food writer Christina Koliander, about their approaches to using food in fiction.

Moderators
avatar for Christina Koliander

Christina Koliander

Christina Koliander has more than twenty years of experience as a cook and writer. She lives in Vermont and is working on a cookbook of healthy cooking for one that she hopes to finish in her lifetime.

Presenters
avatar for Crystal L King

Crystal L King

Crystal King is the author of The Chef's Secret and Feast of Sorrow, which was long-listed for the Center of Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity... Read More →
avatar for Jenna Blum

Jenna Blum

Jenna Blum writes moving novels of heart and tragedy. She moved Oprah Winfrey enough to be included on the list of Oprah’s Top Thirty Authors. Her first novel, Those Who Save Us, chronicles Trudy Schlemmer’s journey to uncover the truth of her and her mother’s past in Germany... Read More →
avatar for Louise Miller

Louise Miller

Louise Miller is an author and pastry chef living in Boston. Her debut novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, was an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next pick and on the 2017 shortlist for the best women’s fiction of the America Library Association’s Reading... Read More →
avatar for Ramin Ganeshram

Ramin Ganeshram

Ramin Ganeshram is a veteran, award-winning journalist and writer for the New York Times and Newsday. She is also a professionally trained chef, an author of cookbooks with numerous accolades, and a food columnist whose work has appeared in Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, National Geographic... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT
BPL Orientation Room 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

12:30pm EDT

Emerald Noir
If your visions of Ireland are all green fields, castles, Guinness, and sheep, two authors who have traveled to the Boston Book Festival from Northern Ireland are here to show you a different--and darker--side of the Emerald Isle. Kelly Creighton’s short fiction collection, Bank Holiday Hurricane, uses recurring characters and a defined geographic setting to create stories that the Irish Times calls “gritty and moving, with writing that can be both lyrical and stark.” And in Little Bird, Sharon Dempsey investigates what happens when a Welsh police detective lands in Belfast in order to forget her past--but winds up confronting a perplexing and threatening serial killer case. Leading this journey into the deepest, darkest corners of Éire is Boston Public Library president David Leonard, who also hails from the Land of Saints and Scholars.

Moderators
avatar for David Leonard

David Leonard

David Leonard is the president of the Boston Public Library. He first came to the the organization in 2009 as the chief technology officer. Before taking over as president, Leonard was the director of administration and technology; he also served as the acting director of administration... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Kelly Creighton

Kelly Creighton

Kelly Creighton is a Belfast-born writer who teaches creative writing, facilitates arts projects for community groups, and mentors new writers. Creighton is the founding editor of the Incubator Journal, which showcases the contemporary Irish story. She writes mostly crime and literary... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Dempsey

Sharon Dempsey

Sharon Dempsey is a journalist, creative writing facilitator, and crime fiction and nonfiction writer. She lives in Northern Ireland and currently teaches creative writing at Stranmillis College and Queen's University. She is the author of the crime novel Little Bird, as well as My... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT
BPL Commonwealth Salon 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

1:00pm EDT

City of Jasmine
When Hammoudi, a young surgeon based in Paris, returns to Syria to renew his passport, he only expects to stay there a few days. But the authorities refuse to let him leave, and Hammoudi finds himself caught up in the fight against the regime. Meanwhile, budding actress Amal has also joined the protests against the government and her own father, by whom she feels betrayed. Realizing that they will never again be safe in their homeland, Amal and her boyfriend Youssef decide to flee to Europe in a desperate bid to survive. The two protagonists’ stories eventually come together when they meet in Berlin, where Amal and Youssef have started a new life together. City of Jasmine is an intimate and striking novel that offers real insight into the horrors and inhumanity of war, whilst also focusing on the humanity of the protagonists, marking Olga Grjasnowa as one of the most talented and admired young authors working in Germany today. Grajasnowa will be in conversation with Katy Derbyshire, who translated the novel into English.

Moderators
avatar for Katy Derbyshire

Katy Derbyshire

Katy Derbyshire is a British-born, Berlin-based translator and writer. She translates contemporary German writers including Clemens Meyer, Christa Wolf, Helene Hegemann, and Inka Parei. Her translation of Bricks and Mortar by Clemens Meyer was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Olga Grjasnowa

Olga Grjasnowa

Olga Grjasnowa was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, moved to Germany at the age of twelve, and spent extended periods in Poland, Russia, and Israel. Grjasnowa is a graduate of the German Institute for Literature/Creative Writing in Leipzig. In 2010, her debut play, Mitfühlende Deutsche... Read More →

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Saturday October 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
199 Commonwealth Ave 199 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, 02116

1:00pm EDT

Fiction: Motherhood
All stories may be about relationships, but the connections--nourishing, fraught, or lacking--between mothers and their children offer especially rich fodder for fiction writers. In this session, we’ll explore how three accomplished writers portray the maternal bond. The twelve stories in National Book Award finalist Kate Walbert’s new short story collection, She Was Like That, combine to depict the vast complexities of women’s lives as daughters, wives, and mothers, showing, according to Kirkus Reviews, how “love and loneliness can occupy a heart together.” Helen Phillips’s literary thriller The Need, recently longlisted for the National Book Award, uses tropes of horror and suspense fiction to interrogate one young mother’s complicated and at times frightening feelings about motherhood, as she (not to mention readers) questions her grip on reality. And in Welcome to America, Linda Boström Knausgård turns the tables, utilizing the perspective of a young girl whose father has suddenly died to explore how this traumatic loss redefines everything, including her relationship with her mother. Novelist and parenting expert Lynne Griffin is the perfect host for this session on mothers and children in fiction.

Moderators
avatar for Lynne Griffin

Lynne Griffin

Lynne Griffin is the author of family-focused novels like Girl Sent Away, Sea Escape, and Life Without Summer, and parenting guides like Let’s Talk About it: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation. Her articles have appeared in Parenting magazine, Boston Globe, Huffington... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips is a novelist, children’s book author, and professor at Brooklyn College. A graduate of Yale and Brooklyn College’s MFA program. Phillips has had work appear in the Atlantic, the New York Times, and Tin House. She is the author of five books: Some Possible Solutions... Read More →
avatar for Kate Walbert

Kate Walbert

Kate Walbert is the author of seven novels, including a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a National Book Award finalist, and a New York Times Book Review ten best books of the year title. Her work can be found in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, The Best American Short... Read More →
avatar for Linda Boström Knausgård

Linda Boström Knausgård

Linda Boström Knausgård is a Swedish author and poet, as well as a producer of documentaries for national radio. Her first novel, The Helios Disaster, was awarded the Mare Kandre Prize and shortlisted for the Swedish Radio Novel Award 2014. Welcome to America, her second novel... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
BAC Cascieri Hall 320 Newbury St, Boston, MA, 02115

1:45pm EDT

Readings: Great New (England) Reads
If you’re looking for your book club’s next pick, your next vacation read, or just a stellar page-turner, the three novelists reading in this session will gladly help fill up your TBR list with some terrific reads that have New England settings, to boot. In Rival’s Break by bestselling author Carla Neggers, two FBI investigators head off on what should be a relaxing weekend on the Maine coast—but crime never takes a holiday. Lisa Duffy’s This Is Home focuses on an unlikely friendship arising among residents of a triple-decker in a fictional North Shore town. And you won’t want to miss Waisted, the latest novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers; this darkly comic novel finds a pair of women seeking revenge when their Vermont weight-loss retreat and reality series goes horribly awry. Grab a coffee, a pastry, and a good friend for what’s sure to be a lively session of readings hosted by Robin Kall, host of the podcast Reading with Robin and the Cardigan Connection reading series.

Moderators
avatar for Robin Kall

Robin Kall

Robin Kall has always been an avid reader. From sneaking copies of Judy Blume from her childhood librarian to developing her own radio program, Reading with Robin, in 2002, Kall is a literary influencer and book pusher in her own right. Over the past fifteen years Kall has built a... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Carla Neggers

Carla Neggers

Carla Neggers is a New York Times–bestselling romance author of the Sharpe & Donovan and Swift River Valley series. With more than 75 novels to her name, Neggers is a founder of the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America, former vice president of International Thriller... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Duffy

Lisa Duffy

Lisa Duffy is the author of The Salt House, a book club favorite which author Therese Walsh describes as “one of the best human portraits I’ve read in a novel.” A novel about a young family in the aftermath of tragedy, The Salt House was named a Best Book of the Month by Real... Read More →
avatar for Randy Susan Meyers

Randy Susan Meyers

Randy Susan Meyers is the author of the novels The Murderer’s Daughters and Accidents of Marriage, both of which were finalists for the Massachusetts Book Awards, as well as the The Widow of Wall Street, which was named a “Must Read Book” by the New York Post. Meyers currently... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 1:45pm - 2:30pm EDT
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

1:45pm EDT

Death Among Friends: Crime Gets Personal
Four mystery authors—Brendan DuBois, Elisabeth Elo, Chris Knopf, and Frances McNamara—explore the emotional and professional turmoil that results when family members, friends, and loved ones are threatened with harm, enmeshed in murder, or targeted by impersonal and amoral forces. Forced into action to save those
close to them, the central characters of their novels must also confront difficult truths about trust, loyalty, and the sacrifices they are willing to make. Mo Walsh, president of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America, will host this fascinating discussion. Sponsored by Mystery Writers of America–New England.

Moderators
avatar for Mo Walsh

Mo Walsh

Mo Walsh is a Massachusetts-based short story writer whose work has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Woman’s World, Windchill, Still Waters, and Deadfall. She also writes weekly newspaper features and is a former coordinator of the South Shore Writers Club.

Presenters
avatar for Brendan DuBois

Brendan DuBois

Brendan DuBois is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels and 150 short stories. His short fiction has appeared in Playboy, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Asimov's SF Magazine, The Strand... Read More →
avatar for Chris Knopf

Chris Knopf

Chris Knopf is the author of Dead Anyway, Cries of the Lost, and the Sam Acquillo mystery series. He worked as a copywriter in advertising and was the creative director at Mintz & Hoke Advertising and PR, a company that Knopf and his wife took over in 2000. His latest Sam Acquillo... Read More →
avatar for Elisabeth Elo

Elisabeth Elo

Elisabeth Elo attended Brown University and later earned a PhD in American literature at Brandeis University. She has published scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as Walt Whitman and Cinderella, and her essays and Pushcart-nominated short stories can be found in a variety of... Read More →
avatar for Frances McNamara

Frances McNamara

Frances McNamara is the historical and mystery author of the Emily Cabot mysteries. Her work, which often combines fictional mysteries with the historical settings and icons of the period, includes the Emily Cabot mysteries—Death at the Fair, Death at Hull House, Death at Pullman... Read More →

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Saturday October 19, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm EDT
BPL McKim Exhibition Hall 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

2:00pm EDT

Shape Shifting the Story: Fiction in Its Long and Short Forms
Writing (or reading) the great American novel and wondering about the fate of the short story
are much discussed topics. But as storytelling now runs from the intensely personal spoken word to the sweeping look at current, or past, times, authors seem less content with one form for fiction. This panel looks at the many ways stories come to authors, considering fictions in their long and short forms. Mira T. Lee, Brendan Mathews, and Steve Yarbrough will consider the creative and productive tensions that inspire writing (and reading) both novels and short stories. Moderated by Jessica Keener, herself a novelist and story writer and sponsored by Massachusetts Center for the Book, the Commonwealth affiliate of the Library of Congress and administrator of the Massachusetts Book Awards.

Moderators
avatar for Jessica Keener

Jessica Keener

Jessica Keener is the author of the national bestselling debut novel Night Swim and a collection of award-winning stories, Women In Bed. Her newest novel, Strangers In Budapest, was a 2017 and 2018 Indie Next pick and a Southern Independent Bestseller. It was selected as a “Best... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Brendan Mathews

Brendan Mathews

Brendan Mathews is the author of This Is Not a Love Song and The World of Tomorrow. The World of Tomorrow was named an Honor Book by the Massachusetts Book Awards and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It was also named an Indie Next Great Read and an Editors... Read More →
avatar for Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee's debut novel, Everything Here Is Beautiful, was selected as a Top 10 Debut by the American Booksellers Association and named a Best Fiction title of 2018 by Amazon, O Magazine, Real Simple, and the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards. Her stories and essays have appeared... Read More →
avatar for Steve Yarbrough

Steve Yarbrough

Steve Yarbrough is the author of eleven books, most recently the novel The Unmade World. His other books are the nonfiction title Bookmarked: Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, the novels The Realm of Last Chances, Safe from the Neighbors, The End of California, Prisoners of... Read More →

Sponsors

Saturday October 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
BPL Commonwealth Salon 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

2:00pm EDT

Is There Still Sex in the City?
Candace Bushnell’s novel Sex and the City was spun into a TV series megahit about a group of women friends who were NOT focused on finding husbands. It was a revolutionary idea. Now, almost a quarter century later, Bushnell is back with the semi-autobiographical Is There Still Sex in the City?, a novel with a new cast of female characters, newly single, over fifty, and trying to make sense of an altered dating landscape. For another view of women in midlife, Ada Calhoun will discuss her forthcoming Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, an expansion of her viral story about GenX women on Oprah.com. Calhoun interviewed hundreds of women across the country about what they are experiencing and offers advice that is a little more nuanced than “lean in.” We promise you will be both challenged and entertained in this no-holds-barred conversation moderated by Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR. The first 500 attendees will receive a complimentary teaser of Ada Calhoun’s new book!

Moderators
avatar for Robin Young

Robin Young

Robin Young is the co-host of Here & Now. Formerly, she has reported for NBC, CBS, ABC, as a substitute host and correspondent for The Today Show, as a second director on Boston Bruins and Red Sox telecasts, and even as the host of a cooking show. She is also a Peabody Award–winning... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell is the New York Times–bestselling novelist and essayist of the blockbuster Sex and the City series. Her young adult novel, The Carrie Diaries, and her fictional Lipstick Jungle were adapted for popular television shows on the CW and NBC, respectively. Her latest... Read More →
avatar for Ada Calhoun

Ada Calhoun

Ada Calhoun is an essayist, memoirist, and critic for the New York Times Book Review. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Billboard, Oprah.com, the New Yorker, and Cosmopolitan, and she has worked as an A-list ghostwriter on fourteen books since 2009, many of which were New... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

2:00pm EDT

Reading Like a Writer: Setting
Have you ever wondered how an author chose details to bring a place to life, why she chose her narrative’s point(s) of view, or how and why he pushes the boundaries of genre and form? In these three sessions, writers will open up about the nuts and bolts of their craft. Our host for each session will lead an audience discussion of a very short excerpt from each author’s work before bringing the author into the conversation to contextualize the excerpt, discuss her or his choices, and answer questions from the audience. A unique alternative to traditional readings, these sessions will appeal not only to aspiring fiction writers but also to readers looking to enrich their reading experience. This session will consist of three twenty-minute guided explorations of the work of authors whose recent novels offer vivid portraits of places--from Havana to Nairobi: Lauren Acampora (The Paper Wasp), Jennifer Acker (The Limits of the World), and Pablo Medina (The Cuban Comedy). Our host is novelist Michelle Hoover, author most recently of Bottomland.

Moderators
avatar for Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover is an award-winning author and innovative writing professor and educator. She is the head and cofounder of the Novel Incubator program at GrubStreet and has been teaching creative writing in different capacities for years. A writing professor at Boston University for... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Jennifer Acker

Jennifer Acker

Jennifer Acker teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship, organizes LitFest, and is the founder and editor in chief of their literary review, The Common. Her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews can be found in... Read More →
avatar for Lauren Acampora

Lauren Acampora

Lauren Acampora is a novelist and short fiction writer whose work has appeared in the Paris Review, Guernica, New England Review, Missouri Review, Antioch Review, and Prairie Schooner. A graduate of Brown University, she has contributed to the New York Times Book Review and LitHub... Read More →
avatar for Pablo Medina

Pablo Medina

Pablo Medina is a Cuban American poet and novelist. He has written eighteen books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation. Medina was born in Havana, Cuba and emigrated to New York City at the age of twelve. His new novel is The Cuban Comedy, called “compulsively readable... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
BPL Orientation Room 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

2:30pm EDT

Fiction: Art and Artists
The two novelists whose work we’ll explore in this session craft amazing stories of visual artists who had to fight to pursue their art. In a unique hybrid of biography and fiction, Catherine Cusset tells the Life of David Hockney, daring to imagine the psyche of the groundbreaking gay artist. The result, according to the New York Times, is “an affirming vision of a restless talent propelled by optimism and chance.” In The Age of Light, debut novelist Whitney Scharer illuminates the life of Vogue model turned photographer Lee Miller, who had to struggle to achieve respect as an artist in her own right--including from her lover, Man Ray. These two beautifully wrought novels—both works of art in their own right—offer insights into the artistic drive of their subjects. Moderating their conversation is Dawn Tripp, whose most recent novel is Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe. Sponsored by Other Press.

Moderators
avatar for Dawn Tripp

Dawn Tripp

Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for fiction, Dawn Tripp is the author of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, which was awarded the 2017 Mary Lynn Kotz Award for Art in Literature, and three previous novels: Moon Tide, The Season of Open Water, and Game of Secrets, a Boston... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Catherine Cusset

Catherine Cusset

Frenchwoman Catherine Cusset is the author of thirteen award-winning novels, of which Life of David Hockney is the latest, a book that Kirkus Reviews labels “a perfect short exposé of Hockney’s life.” Cusset taught eighteenth-century French literature at Yale from 1991 to... Read More →
avatar for Whitney Scharer

Whitney Scharer

Whitney Scharer holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, New Flash Fiction Review, and other journals. She is the recipient of an Emerging Artist Award in Literature from... Read More →

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Saturday October 19, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT
BAC Cascieri Hall 320 Newbury St, Boston, MA, 02115

2:45pm EDT

Readings: Family
The three novelists whose work we’ll hear in this session all tackle issues of family, in all its warmth, messiness, and imperfections. Leah Hager Cohen, in Strangers and Cousins, explores family tribalism in the context of a wedding. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, praised Cohen’s novel for “exploring the psychic depths of a seemingly ordinary event.” Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s Appalachian-set debut novel, Holding on to Nothing, also starts with a wedding—but in this case it’s a shotgun wedding between high-achieving Lucy and bad boy Jephtha. Can they form and maintain a family with few role models to draw on? And in The Forgotten Hours, praised by Kirkus as “a page-turner that also speaks to broader questions of sexual abuse, family loyalty, and the mutability of memory,” debut novelist Katrin Schumann raises profound questions about friendship and family loyalty, when a teenager’s father is accused of rape by her best friend. Our host for this session of readings is writer, editor, and book reviewer Bradley Babendir.

Moderators
avatar for Bradley Babendir

Bradley Babendir

Bradley Babendir is a writer and editor based in Boston. He writes about books, culture, and politics and has been published in the Paris Review, Literary Hub, Electric Literature, Rumpus, Washington Post, Kenyon Review, NPR, LA Review of Books, and other publications.

Presenters
avatar for Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne is a novelist, essayist, and journalist whose reports on public health have appeared in the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Boston Globe Magazine, and GlobalPost. A former editor at the Atlantic, she is a graduate of both Amherst College and GrubStreet’s... Read More →
avatar for Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann

Writer Katrin Schumann was born in Germany but grew up in Brooklyn and London—as a consequence, most of her writing explores our search for a sense of belonging, and the struggle to define ourselves in the context of our circumstances. Her work has been featured in the London Times... Read More →
avatar for Leah Hager Cohen

Leah Hager Cohen

Leah Hager Cohen is the author of six novels and five nonfiction works. Her work has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Cohen is the Barrett Professor of Creative Writing at the College... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 2:45pm - 3:30pm EDT
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

3:15pm EDT

Fiction: Campus Novels
From Harvard, MIT, and Lesley to Emerson, BC, and BU, the Boston Book Festival’s author lineup has always been enriched by our proximity to so many world-class colleges and universities. It’s about time that we put together a session of novels set on campus, too! Debut novelist Elizabeth Ames lives with her family on Harvard’s campus, so she knows of what she writes; her novel The Other’s Gold explores the moral crises of four dorm suitemates both during and after college. In Around Harvard Square, CJ Farley, former editor of the Harvard Lampoon, pens a satirical novel that touches on issues of race, class, and privilege. Mona Awad’s darkly comedic Bunny might make any aspiring MFA students think twice about their choices, as an outsider desperate for acceptance gets invited to an exclusive workshop--and drawn into a nightmarish world. And Jeanne Blasberg’s The Nine is set on the campus of an exclusive New Hampshire boarding school whose ivy-clad walls hide some sinister secrets. Pull on your favorite college sweatshirt and join us for a master class in storytelling, hosted by novelist Lisa Borders, author most recently of The Fifty-First State.

Moderators
avatar for Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders is the author of two novels, The Fifty-First State and Cloud Cuckoo Land, which was chosen by Pat Conroy as the winner of River City Publishing’s Fred Bonnie Award in 2002. Cloud Cuckoo Land received fiction honors in the 2003 Massachusetts Book Awards and was a finalist... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for CJ Farley

CJ Farley

CJ Farley is an author, journalist, and columnist. He is the author of novels and biographies, including Kingston by Starlight, a fact-based novel about an Irish immigrant in the Caribbean; Game World, a children’s book building off video game culture and Jamaican folklore; My Favorite... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Ames

Elizabeth Ames

Elizabeth Ames is a novelist and short story writer whose work has appeared in Ninth Letter and Third Coast. Winner of two Hopwood Awards, Ames holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. A part of the community at Quincy House, a residential dormitory at Harvard University, Ames... Read More →
avatar for Jeanne Blasberg

Jeanne Blasberg

Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg had a successful career in finance and in US Squash before embarking on a new career as an author. A graduate of Smith College, Blasberg spent much of her career on Wall Street and the management of Macy’s. She also rose to prominence as a nationally recognized... Read More →
avatar for Mona Awad

Mona Awad

Mona Awad’s debut novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, won the Amazon Best First Novel Award and the Colorado Book Book Award, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and longlisted for the International Dublin Award. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Electric Literature, McSweeney’s... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
BAC Beehive 951 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02115

3:30pm EDT

"The Butlah Did It": Mysteries with a Boston Accent
Keep both eyes open when you walk home this evening, because if the writers in this session are to be believed, Boston’s a hotbed for mystery, mayhem--even murder! In Adam Abramowitz’s A Town Called Malice, a bike messenger and aspiring standup comic gets drawn into an investigation of an attempted hit job at Nick’s Comedy Stop. Edwin Hill’s protagonist is a Harvard librarian with a knack for researching missing people; in his new novel The Missing Ones, a missing persons case strikes close to home. Investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is a Boston institution, and so are her novels; in her latest standalone, The Murder List, Harvard Law student Rachel is unprepared for her role in researching a homicide case, and even less so for the fact that her boss, the assistant district attorney, may have a vendetta against her. Novelist Kate Racculia might live in Pennsylvania now, but her new novel Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts sends readers on a spirited citywide scavenger hunt to find a dead millionaire’s fortune, in a story that’s a love letter to Boston and to one of Racculia’s favorite novels, The Westing Game. Get ready to explore Boston’s mean streets with these four authors and host Callum Borchers, a reporter for WBUR’s BostonomiX.

Moderators
avatar for Callum Borchers

Callum Borchers

Callum Borchers is a reporter who covers the Greater Boston business community for WBUR's BostonomiX. Before joining WBUR in 2018, he reported on the intersection of politics and media at the Washington Post and covered politics, business and sports at the Boston Globe. He was also... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Adam Abramowitz

Adam Abramowitz

Adam Abramowitz is the author of the Bosstown Novels, a series of suspense novels following a bike messenger as he fights to learn of his family’s criminal history. Bosstown, the first volume of the series, introduces Abramowitz’s protagonist, Zesty Meyers, with a local flair... Read More →
avatar for Edwin Hill

Edwin Hill

Edwin Hill is the author of the Hester Thursby mystery series. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he earned an MFA from Emerson College, working in Boston in educational publishing. His Hester Thursby series chronicles a four-foot-ten Harvard librarian who searches for missing people... Read More →
avatar for Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan is a bestselling, award-winning mystery writer and on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. Winner of thirty-four Emmys, she has also earned five Agatha Awards, being the only author to receive an Agatha in four different categories. She is the author... Read More →
avatar for Kate Racculia

Kate Racculia

Kate Racculia has been a cartoonist, a planetarium operator, a movie and music reviewer, a coffee jerk, a bookseller, a designer, a finance marketing proposal writer, and a fundraising prospect researcher. Currently, she teaches online for GrubStreet, works at Pennsylvania’s Bethlehem... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT
Old South Mary Norton 645 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

3:30pm EDT

One City One Story
What do Walkmans, A–Z Storage, and nursing homes have in common? To Celeste, the answer she so long sought becomes far more harrowing than she could have imagined. Author Ciera Burch takes readers along on this journey with Celeste, as the protagonist yearns for answers about her past from her enigmatic, aging grandmother. "Yvonne," this year's One City One Story Selection, mixes themes of family, loss, and connection with complex portraits of the titular character and her granddaughter as they reunite decades after the latter's adoption. Grab your copy at the BBF info tent, and join us for a discussion with Burch and Harvard University Office for the Arts’ Alicia Anstead, facilitator extraordinaire. Be sure to tweet your questions and thoughts beforehand at @1city1story! Sponsored by Bookbub.

Moderators
avatar for Alicia Anstead

Alicia Anstead

Alicia Anstead is a journalist, editor, and educator. She is currently the associate director for programming at the Office for the Arts at Harvard University and is the editor-in-chief of Inside Arts Magazine, produced by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. Anstead... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Ciera Burch

Ciera Burch

Ciera Burch is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston and a bookseller at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. Her fiction has appeared in American Literary Magazine, American University's literary magazine, Underground, the art and literary journal of Georgia State University... Read More →

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Saturday October 19, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT
BPL Commonwealth Salon 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

3:45pm EDT

Readings: Past and Present
Today’s final readings session features three novels that engage with the past in ways that remain relevant today. Rachel Barenbaum’s debut novel, A Bend in the Stars, is set in 1914 Russia, and explores the intersections of science and medicine with the struggles of Russia’s Jews. Kris Frieswick’s debut, The Ghost Manuscript, is set in the present day but features a rare-book authenticator drawn into a mystery surrounding a sixth-century Welsh manuscript. And Marjan Kamali’s new novel, The Stationery Shop, bridges the present and the recent past. Sixty years after losing her first love, a political activist she met when both were young in Tehran, Roya has the opportunity to reconnect with him—and discover what went wrong. Appropriately enough, the host for this session is Kit Haggard, director of Boston’s first-in-the-nation Literary District, which celebrates Boston’s literary past and supports its present.

Moderators
avatar for Kit Haggard

Kit Haggard

Kit Haggard is an award-winning writer currently based in Boston. She is known for a number of critical essays on LGBTQ literature and the composition class she teaches at Emerson College focuses on the intersection of language and identity. Haggard’s fiction can be found in the... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Kris Frieswick

Kris Frieswick

Kris Frieswick is an award-winning editor, journalist, humorist, and author. She is the current deputy editor of the Mansion section of the Wall Street Journal, and her work can be found in the Economist, the Boston Globe Magazine, Departures, Medium, and other publications. The... Read More →
avatar for Marjan Kamali

Marjan Kamali

Marjan Kamali is a novelist and teacher whose work has been both anthologized and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A graduate of UC Berkeley with an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from New York University, Kamali is a teacher of writing at GrubStreet and former adjunct business... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Barenbaum

Rachel Barenbaum

Rachel Barenbaum is a novelist and book reviewer for the LA Review of Books and DeadDarlings. With degrees in business and literature and philosophy from Harvard University, she is also a graduate of the Novel Incubator program at GrubStreet. She has interviewed authors such as Madeline... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 3:45pm - 4:30pm EDT
BPL Newsfeed Cafe 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

3:45pm EDT

Fiction Keynote
We are delighted to present, for the first time at BBF, Elizabeth Strout, who has created some of the most memorable female characters in recent memory. Her 2009 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Olive Kitteridge was praised by the Pulitzer committee for its “cumulative emotional wallop” and for the title character, Olive, “blunt, flawed, and fascinating.” Now, in a similarly structured volume of thirteen interconnected stories, Strout brings the irascible Olive back in Olive, Again, with all of the poignancy and emotional acuity of the first book. Come hear Elizabeth Strout in conversation with hometown favorite Andre Dubus III, author of Gone So Long, for a memorable fiction keynote session. Sponsored by Bookforum. Buy your copy of Olive, Again on-site before the session and get priority seating in the front of the venue!

Moderators
avatar for Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III is a novelist with a long and celebrated career. He is the author of the memoir Townie, which is about his troubled childhood in and around Haverhill, Massachusetts, and his difficult relationship with his famous writer father. He is also the author of several novels... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is a New York Times–bestselling novelist and short story writer whose work has earned her the Pulitzer Prize, the Taobuk Award for Literary Excellence, and the O. Henry Prize. Her books include Olive Kitteridge, which the Pulitzer Prize committee described as “blunt... Read More →

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Saturday October 19, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm EDT
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116

4:00pm EDT

Fiction: The Complexities of War
Wars have always been tragic, messy, and complicated to understand; novelists are perhaps uniquely equipped to help readers comprehend not only the scope of war but also its complex personal toll. Tim Murphy’s novel Correspondents spans nearly a century, but focuses largely on the Iraq War after 9/11, as a Boston-born journalist and her Iraqi translator navigate their complicated cultural heritages as they struggle to make sense of a senseless conflict. Ethiopian-born novelist Maaza Mengiste narrates the story of a young servant girl turned soldier during the 1935 Italian invasion that devastated her home country. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly praises The Shadow King’s “evocative, mesmerizing account of the role of women during wartime.” Abbigail Rosewood’s If I Had Two Lives intimately explores the personal legacy of war, as a young woman who spent much of her childhood in a Vietnamese military camp finds echoes of that past in her present-day relationships. Their conversation will be moderated by Catherine Parnell, senior associate editor of Consequence Magazine, which focuses on the culture and consequences of war.

Moderators
avatar for Catherine Parnell

Catherine Parnell

Catherine Parnell teaches creative writing at GrubStreet in Boston. She is the senior associate editor for Consequence Magazine, and her work has appeared in Post Road, Slush Pile, Baltimore Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Fiction Daily, Dos Passos Review, and other publications... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Abbigail N. Rosewood

Abbigail N. Rosewood

Abbigail N. Rosewood is a fiction writer whose work has been published in literary journals including The Adirondack Review, Columbia Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and The Missing Slate. Rosewood earned her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. In 2012, she was the recipient... Read More →
avatar for Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste is an award-winning novelist and essayist. She was born in Addis Ababa but spent her childhood in Nigeria, Kenya, and the United States after her family fled the Ethiopian Revolution. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was named one of the ten best contemporary... Read More →
avatar for Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy is a novelist and journalist whose work, which focuses mostly on HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues, has appeared in publications including the New York Times, New York Magazine, Out magazine, the Nation, POZ magazine, and the magazines of the ACLU and Lambda Legal. He is the author... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Emmanuel Parish Hall 15 Newbury St, Boston, MA, 02116

4:45pm EDT

PEN Presents: Activism, Free Expression, and Dissent in Eurasia
With the crackdown on dissent and the subsequent chilling effect on free expression, artists and writers around the world continue to take a stand against repression. In countries with authoritarian regimes across Eurasia, their activism has had terrifying consequences: Akram Aylisli has experienced continuous harassment by Azeri authorities since 2012; Oleg Sentsov spent 5 years in the most severe Russian prison for a crime he did not commit; and dozens of citizen journalists continue to be arrested in Crimea. Polina Kovaleva (Project Director Eurasia, PEN America), Lev Golinkin (A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka), and Katherine Young (Farewell, Aylis: A Non-Traditional Novel in Three Works) come together to talk about the cases of Eurasian artists and writers who have been persecuted for their views, as well as to give their perspective on the intersection of political activism, art, and literature. Sponsored by PEN America.

Moderators
avatar for Polina Kovaleva

Polina Kovaleva

Polina Kovaleva joined the PEN America team in 2016 as the first Free Expression Programs coordinator for Eurasia. She came to New York from Paris, where she was with UNESCO’s Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development. She is an active supporter of women’s and youth’s... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Katherine E. Young

Katherine E. Young

Katherine E. Young served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Arlington, Virginia from 2016–2018. She was a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow for her work on a trio of novellas by Akram Aylisli from Azerbaijan titled Farewell Aylis: A Non-Traditional Novel in... Read More →
avatar for Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon’s Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the United... Read More →

Sponsors

Saturday October 19, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm EDT
BAC Beehive 951 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02115
 
Sunday, October 20
 

12:30pm EDT

Readings: Short Stories
Maybe you eagerly await each week’s New Yorker to peruse the fiction selection there; or perhaps you haven’t picked up a short story since high school. Either way, you’ll find something new to appreciate in this session showcasing the work of three exciting practitioners of the form. Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s collection White Dancing Elephants focuses largely on the experiences of immigrant women of color in stories that are both visceral and, at times, harrowing; NPR’s review says, “Yes, reading this will be painful, but you will enjoy every page.” Mandeliene Smith’s Rutting Season presents characters on the cusp of sometimes surprising decisions; in a starred Kirkus Review, the collection is praised as “at once powerful and delicate, compassionate and cleareyed.” And Dariel Suarez sets the eleven stories in A Kind of Solitude in his native Cuba after the Soviet revolution; Kenyon Review praises the stories as “full-bodied and confident, and read like the work of a seasoned master.” Hosting this session of short fiction readings is Nakia Hill, educator, facilitator, and author of the poetry collection Water Carrier. Sponsored by Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Moderators
avatar for Nakia Hill

Nakia Hill

Nakia Hill is the author of two books: Water Carrier (2018) and I Still Did It (2019). She was named one of seven 2018 artists-in-residence for the City of Boston. The author, educator, and journalist specializes in launching creative writing and publishing programs for students who... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician, poet, and fiction writer whose work explores sexual violence alongside Hindu myth and history. Her prose has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Electric Lit, The Millions, Joyland, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and her poetry in Indolent... Read More →
avatar for Dariel Suarez

Dariel Suarez

Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer and an inaugural City of Boston Artist Fellow. He received his MFA in fiction from Boston University and is currently the Director of Core Programs and Faculty at GrubStreet. He is the author of the poetry chapbook In the Land of Tropical Martyrs... Read More →
avatar for Mandeliene Smith

Mandeliene Smith

Mandeliene Smith is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in Guernica, The Sun, New England Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, her short story "Mercy" was also selected by author Stephen King for the list of “100 Other Distinguished Stories... Read More →

Sponsors

Sunday October 20, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT
Dewitt Center Classroom 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120

3:00pm EDT

Blues Men
Join two accomplished authors and jazz aficionados for a wide-ranging conversation about life, music, and singing the blues. Berklee College of Music professor Bill Banfield’s distinguished career as a composer, jazz guitarist, and recording artist has earned him numerous honors in the music world. His latest work is a novel, Cedric’s Truth, about a musician who bucks the creative constraints of corporate culture, only to end up disillusioned. Clifford Thompson is an award-winning author, memoirist, essayist, and jazz critic whose latest, What It Is: Race, Family and One Thinking Man’s Blues, questions the disparity between his long-held beliefs and the reality with which he is confronted today. Join us for a blend of culture, politics, and jazz with two renaissance men, moderated by José Massó, host of WBUR's ¡Con Salsa!

Moderators
avatar for José Massó

José Massó

For more than forty years, José Massó has been the host of WBUR's ¡Con Salsa!, described as "part music show, part party, part community center." In 2010, Massó became the first Puerto Rican/Latino to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Beyond his on-air... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield

Bill Banfield is a composer, recording artist, and author of multiple books. The Director of Africana Studies and a professor at Berklee College of Music, Banfield is the author of Cultural Codes, about the incorporation of the artist’s values into cultural aesthetic; Black Notes... Read More →
avatar for Clifford Thompson

Clifford Thompson

Clifford Thompson is a writer whose work has appeared in Best American Essays, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Iowa Review, Film Quarterly, and other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award for nonfiction and teaches at New York University, Sarah... Read More →


Sunday October 20, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Roxbury Innovation Center Multipurpose Room 2300 Washington St, Boston, MA, 02119

3:30pm EDT

Fiction: Immigration
Behind the rhetoric and the policy, the story of American immigration is made up of countless tales of individuals and families. Few of their journeys here were easy; neither, in many cases, was the process of adjusting to a new culture. But all of these stories are fascinating, important, and worthy of being told. In this session, we’ll hear from two writers who craft immigration narratives in their recent fiction. Inspired in part by her own family history, Juliet Grames’s novel The Seven or Eight Lives of Stella Fortuna follows the twentieth-century journey of its title character from her native Calabria to Hartford, Connecticut, in a story that, according to the Washington Post, “brings to life a woman that time and history would have ignored.” In The Water Diviner and Other Stories, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer follows the varied experiences of Sri Lankan immigrants to the United States, confronting prejudice, bullying, suspicion, and changing self-perceptions in the wake of shifting economic class and changing professional identities. Our host for what’s sure to be a perceptive and timely conversation is Danielle Legros Georges, director of Lesley University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

Moderators
avatar for Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros Georges is a writer, poet, professor of creative writing, and the interim director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Lesley University. Her books of poems include Maroon (2001), The Dear Remote Nearness of You (2016), and Letters from Congo (2017). She is also... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames is a book editor, novelist, and publisher and curator of the Soho Press Crime imprint. Grames has had work appear in Publishers Weekly, Words Without Borders, CrimeReads, Anderbo, and Electric Lit. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Grames grew up in a tight-knit Italian... Read More →
avatar for Ruvanee Vilhauer

Ruvanee Vilhauer

Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer is a psychologist by profession with a PhD from the University of Chicago. Prior to her current position at New York University, she worked as a science writer for NASA, a biology researcher, and a prison therapist. Vilhaeur won the Commonwealth Short Story... Read More →


Sunday October 20, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT
Dewitt Center Classroom 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120

4:30pm EDT

One City One Story
What do Walkmans, A–Z Storage, and nursing homes have in common? To Celeste, the answer she so long sought becomes far more harrowing than she could have imagined. Author Ciera Burch takes readers along on this journey with Celeste, as the protagonist yearns for answers about her past from her enigmatic, aging grandmother. "Yvonne," this year's One City One Story Selection, mixes themes of family, loss, and connection with complex portraits of the titular character and her granddaughter as they reunite decades after the latter's adoption. Grab your copy at the BBF info table in the Bolling Building, and join us for a discussion with Burch and Harvard University Office for the Arts’ Alicia Anstead, facilitator extraordinaire. Be sure to tweet your questions and thoughts beforehand at @1city1story! Sponsored by Bookbub.

Moderators
avatar for Alicia Anstead

Alicia Anstead

Alicia Anstead is a journalist, editor, and educator. She is currently the associate director for programming at the Office for the Arts at Harvard University and is the editor-in-chief of Inside Arts Magazine, produced by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. Anstead... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Ciera Burch

Ciera Burch

Ciera Burch is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston and a bookseller at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. Her fiction has appeared in American Literary Magazine, American University's literary magazine, Underground, the art and literary journal of Georgia State University... Read More →

Sponsors

Sunday October 20, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm EDT
Roxbury Innovation Center Multipurpose Room 2300 Washington St, Boston, MA, 02119

4:30pm EDT

Romance Keynote: Jasmine Guillory
Novelist (and Wellesley alumna) Jasmine Guillory has rightfully received acclaim for her heartwarming and inclusive approach to writing romance fiction. In novels from The Wedding Guest to The Proposal to The Wedding Party, Guillory has written charming, sexy novels set in a diverse, funny, and supportive friend group any of us would love to be part of. Now, in Royal Holiday, Guillory has expanded her sights, as Maddie (heroine of The Wedding Party) and her straight-talking fifty-something mom Vivian head to England, where Maddie’s on assignment. There Vivian embarks on a courtship with none other than the Queen’s private secretary, Malcolm. Guillory will be interviewed by the Boston Globe’s Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein, whose novel The Singles also focused on friends at a wedding. If you’re an Anglophile, adore Hallmark Christmas movies, or are just in search of a touching romance between mature characters, you won’t want to miss hearing from the fabulous Jasmine Guillory or picking up her book (here’s a hint—it would make a great holiday gift!).

Moderators
avatar for Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for the Boston Globe. Her advice column, Love Letters, is a daily dispatch of wisdom for the lovelorn that has been running online and in the paper since 2009. Readers ask questions, get answers from Goldstein, and... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory is a New York Times–bestselling romance novelist and essayist whose work has appeared in Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and Shondaland. Her debut novel, The Wedding Date, was lauded by author Roxane Gay as “a charming, warm, sexy gem” and was a New... Read More →


Sunday October 20, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm EDT
Dewitt Center Gym 122 Dewitt Dr, Boston, MA, 02120