After a Sad Week in Boston, FOSEL Resumes its Author Series Tuesday, April 30, with Barbara Shapiro (The Art Forger), Followed by Dennis Lehane (Live by Night), May 14 and Other Speakers

Barbara Shapiro
Barbara Shapiro

Nothing will be as it was before April 15's disastrous events, although it may seem that way: The gardens in front of the library are in bloom as they were last year; so are the trees in Library Park. The Hubway bikes have been reinstalled at the corner of West Newton Street and the trash bins on the block still overflow from time to time, just as always.

FOSEL is preparing for next Tuesday's reading and is looking for a date to have Doug Bauer return, the author who was scheduled to read on April 16 from What Happens Next?: Matters of Life and Death. It is a title that could not have been more appropriate for the occasion. But we needed to pause.

We resume the The South End Writes series on Tuesday, April 30 with a reading by Barbara Shapiro from her suspense novel, The Art Forger. She will be followed on May 14 by Dennis Lehane (Live by Night) and Alice Hoffman (The Dovekeepers) on May 21.  Shapiro, a South End resident, based her book on the theft twenty-five years ago at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when it (and the world) was robbed of thirteen works of art. They included four by Rembrandt:  Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633), a Lady and Gentleman in Black (1633), a self portrait (1634), and an etching on paper; Vermeer’sThe Concert (1658–1660);  Govaert Flinck’s Landscape with an Obelisk (1638);  an ancient Chinese vase; five works on paper by Edgar Degas; a finial from the top of a pole support for a Napoleonic silk flag; and Manet’s painting, Chez Tortoni (1878–1880).

Shapiro is intimately familiar with these works, and virtually every other aspect of this unsolved art heist, as a result of the research she did to transform the givens of the case into the literary thriller that was published last year. She wrote five previous suspense novels, including The Safe RoomBlind SpotSee No EvilBlameless and Shattered Echoes, and four screenplays, Blind SpotThe Lost CovenBorderline and Shattered Echoes. She teaches Creative Writing at Northeastern University. The author will be introduced by local filmmaker Alice Stone, who is scheduled to talk about her work-in-progress, the documentary, Angelo Unwritten, on June 11.

Tuesday's event starts at 6:30 PM. Books will be available for borrowing and sale at the reading. Shapiro's five favorite books are listed under The South End Reads, with the selections of this season's previous authors.


Next readings:


Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 p.m.

Dennis Lehane,

the spectacularly successful author who grew up in Dorchester and is ALSO a BPL trustee, published his latest novel, Live by Night, in 2012. Set in Boston in the 1920s, the New York Times’ reviewer called the book a “sentence-by-sentence pleasure.” Previous novels include, among others, Gone Baby Gone,Shutter Islandand Mystic River, all made into fabulous movies.


Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 p.m.

Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepersa historical novel describing the AD70 massacre at Masada from the point of view of four women at the fortress before it fell during the Jewish-Roman war, is the most recent of the nearly two dozen novels by Hoffman and just came out in paperback. To be introduced by Sue Miller.


Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 p.m.

Alice Stone,

the local filmmaker whose mesmerizing documentary, Angelo Unwritten, has followed the life of a teenager adopted out of foster care when he was twelve, will return with an update of new material gathered since December 2011.


Tuesday, June 18, 6:30 p.m.

Philip Gambone

will return to read from his current work-in-progress, retracing the steps of his father who, as a soldier, was sent to Europe during the Second World War.