The upcoming fall season of the South End Writes author series features a dynamic group of speakers, starting on Tuesday, September 13, with a political gabfest by Callie Crossley, the Emmy-award-winning, Oscar-nominated film producer, and current WGBH radio and TV commentator. FOSEL is finalizing dates for additional speakers, but at this point here is the line-up:
Saturday, September 17, noon: Colin W. Sargent, novelist, playwright, poet and the founding publisher of the award-winning Portland (ME) Magazine, will present his latest work, Boston Castrato, a historical novel set in the early 20th-Century Boston of Brahmins and mobsters. It follows the perils of Rafaele Peach, castrated as a child by an Italian priest to preserve the boy's beautiful voice, but exiled to the US because the gruesome practice, despite its musical adherents, had fallen out of favor. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a relation of Impressionist painter John Singer Sargent, the author received the Maine individual artist fellowship in literature. Sargent's screenplay, Montebello Ice, is under option at Gideon Films, and his first novel, Museum of Human Beings, is the story of the son of Sacagawea, the Native American guide for Lewis and Clark.
Tuesday, September 27, 6:30 PM: Joseph Finder, a New York Times bestseller-list regular with a dozen acclaimed suspense novels and three movies (Zero Hour, High Crimes and Paranoia) to his name, wanted to be a spy --and was recruited to be one-- but settled on writing crime fiction instead. Growing up in different parts of the world and learning Farsi before he knew English, he now lives in Boston where some of his books are set, including the sharply drawn The Fixer and his 2016 thriller, Guilty Minds. Finder won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Buried Secrets (2011); the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for Killer Instinct (2006) and the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for Company Man (2005). His 2009 Vanished introduced private spy Nick Heller, whose subsequent adventures Finder chronicled in Buried Secrets, Guilty Minds and..perhaps will again in the next book he's working on. You can ask.
Tuesday, October 25: Louise Miller, a Boston-based writer and pastry chef who won a scholarship to GrubStreet's Novel Incubator program, will read from her debut work of fiction, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, published this summer by Viking's Pamela Dorman Books imprint.
Tuesday, November 22: Just in time to get advice about Thanksgiving's feast, the beloved and greatly missed South End culinary luminary, Gordon Hamersley, will talk about his life as a prize-winning chef, current food writer for the Boston Globe and long-time neighborhood fixture.
Tuesday, December 6: Dina Vargo, a local tour guide for Boston By Foot, will tell you about her amazing discoveries of Boston's "secret" history which she compiled in her debut work of non-fiction, Wild Women of Boston.
A fantastic group of speakers for the 2017-18 spring season is scheduled, as well, including the Pulitzer-prize and National Book Critics Circle award-winning author Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her), who has agreed to come sometime in January (final date not yet set). We hope his colleague, Pablo Medina, whose poetry reading FOSEL hosted two years ago, will introduce him.
Tuesday, February 7: Attorney-turned-author Wendy Walker will talk about her third novel, the psychological thriller All Is Not Forgotten. Set in the picture-perfect Connecticut town of Fairfield, the story of the rape of a 15-year-old whose parents decide to give her a drug that is supposed to wipe out her memory of the event, explores the broader implications of the crime that can't be whitewashed by a drug. People called it "twisty and spellbinding." Publisher's Weekly described the psychological thriller as "exceptional."
Tuesday, March 14: The award-winning foreign correspondent, former New York Times bureau chief and current Boston Globe Op-Ed writer Stephen Kinzer will return to the South End library to talk about his new book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire. The erudite South End resident's previous books include The Dulles Brothers and All the Shah's Men, of which Secretary of State John Kerry owns a personal copy: The US/Iran nuclear deal may have germinated right here, off Tremont Street...
Tuesday, April 4: New York Times bestselling author Jenna Blum (Those Who Save Us) has been rescheduled to read from The Lucky One, part of an anthology of women authors who wrote about one day at Grand Central Station, called Grand Central. Jenna Blum had to cancel her booking with us this spring.
Tuesday, April 18: The very popular Harvard professor of education, award-winning sociologist and acclaimed author and researcher, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, has generously agreed to return to the library to discuss her about-to-be-published work, Growing Each Other Up When Our Children Become Our Teachers, fulfilling a promise she made when she spoke at the South End branch last year about her compelling last book, Exits: The Endings That Set Us Free.
Several other authors have agreed to come, their schedules willing, as soon as their forthcoming books are on the shelf, including the highly acclaimed local authors Gish Jen (Tiger Writing) and Allegra Goodman (Kaaterskill Falls). Stay tuned...