Please note: All readings start at 6:30 PM. Space is limited so if you don't want to miss having a seat, come early. The South End library is fully handicapped accessible, thanks to your donations. Refreshments are served.
JACK BEATTY, who you may know as the erudite news analyst on WBUR and other radio shows, will visit the South End library on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30 PM to talk about his latest book, The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began. The New Yorker described it as a "counterfactual history;" David Shribman, in his review of the it in the Boston Globe called it found history, in light of the vulnerability of the continent to war that year, uncovered by Beatty. A former senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly for many years, Beatty also also helped write (or, as some have suggested, wrote) former mayor Tom Menino's memoir, Mayor for a New America, which appeared in October 14. Did he talk with the former mayor about his failed attempt to close up to a third of the BPL branches in 2009? You can ask Beatty about that, after the talk... Other titles by Beatty, who won numerous awards and prestigious fellowships, are The Rascall King (a biography of former Boston mayor James Michael Curly), The World According to Peter Drucker, The Age of Betrayal: the Triumph of Money in America, and Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 6:30 PM
JOE STEINFIELD, a longtime South End resident, will read from his memoir, Claremont Boy, based on a collection of essays he wrote for the local newspaper, The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript of Peterborough, New Hampshire. The author who, according to one interviewer, seems to have a knack for meeting famous people, is a litigator who specializes in media law. (He is also the husband of renowned concert pianist, Virginia Eskin, a devoted South End library supporter: she suggested getting the branch’s check-out counter re-upholstered, which FOSEL agreed to do and paid for). Steinfield grew up in a Jewish community in Claremont, NH, and tells us about the diverse characters he came to know there, including influential school teachers; public figures like Julia Child; a Hebrew-speaking Muslim from the Northern Caucasus Republic of Adygeya; and a P.L.O. leader from Jericho, among many others.
Tuesday, January 27, 6:30 PM
Alison Barnet, co-founder of the South End News in the 1980s, chronicler of the South End as the neighborhood's reputation changed from "dangerous" to "dandy," and most recently a short-story writer, has come out with her first crime novel, Sitting Ducks. It, too, plays in the South End, but with made-up characters who, considering Barnet's observant eye, most likely are based on true ones she'd come to know. Set in the 1970s, the subject of the fiction is a series of assaults on elderly women living in the South End, which did occur at the time. Barnet is a columnist at the South End News, the author of the essay collection, South End Character, Speaking Out on Neighborhood Change, and of Extravaganza King: Robert Barnet and Boston Musical Theater, a biography of her grandfather, a 19th-century playwright who lived in…yes, you guessed it, the South End. Copies of Barnet's latest book are available for sale at the South End library and other locations.
Tuesday, February 10, 6:30 PM
JAMAICA KINCAID is an award-winning Antiguan-American writer who, until not too long ago, was married to Allen Shawn, a composer of classical music, and the son of the famous New Yorker editor, William Shawn. Kincaid’s latest novel, See Now Then, centers on a nasty divorce after the husband finds a younger wife, one of the many details in this book of fiction that appear to echo Kincaid’s life. The book recently won a 2014 American Book Award, a prize created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement in America’s diverse literary community. Kincaid is the acclaimed author of five novels, including The Autobiography of my Mother, and a moving memoir of her brother’s struggles with AIDS and death, called My Brother. In addition, she has written or edited numerous other excellent books and articles on, among other subjects, the ennobling subject of gardening.
Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 PM
JENNIFER HAIGH, a winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and other prestigious literary prizes, is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, (The Condition and Baker Towers). Recognized as an outstanding short-story writer, Haigh grew up as a coal miner’s daughter in central Pennsylvania. Her most recent collection of short stories, News from Heaven, the Bakerton Stories, was called “an uplifting and radiant book” by Janet Maslin, the reviewer for the New York Times. The Boston Globe's reviewer called the linked stories in this collection "a distinct, shining example of Haigh’s remarkable gifts for lyricism, psychological insight, and stealth humor."
Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 PM
ANJALI DUVA, an Indian-American Bostonian who grew up in France, just published her first novel, Faint Promise of Rain. The historical novel is the coming-of-age story of Adhira, a girl born into a family of temple dancers, and draws on the author's father’s childhood in India and her personal interest in kathak dance, as described in an interview with the writers' web site Dead Darlings.