Dina Vargo writes in her introduction to Wild Women of Boston that filling two or three volumes with the stories of Boston's female firebrands is "almost a no-brainer." A tour guide for the Boston By Foot, Vargo became interested in off-beat walking tours that revealed a hidden history of people and places which led her to the stories about women not so well known but revolutionary in their own right. An African-American abolitionist, Sarah Parker, refused to give up a seat in a play about a hundred years before Rosa Parks did. Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall handed the Audubon Society leadership to men so as to not cross prevailing boundaries of female comity, but at the same time brought the fashion industry to its knees when they led a boycott against plumage in ladies clothing. And then there was Rachel Wall, a pirate, and Ann Hibbing, who dared to take on a contractor who she felt charged her too much. Both Wall and Hibbing were hanged. Fargo will tell you all about it, and more. Her books will be available for sale and signing. The South End Writes is sponsored by the Friends of the South End Library. All the events are free. Books by the speakers will be available for borrowing, sale and signing by the author. The branch is fully handicapped accessible. We serve refreshments. Seating is limited.
This will be the final author talk of the 2016-17 season.
The 2017-18 South End Writes series begins on Tuesday, January 10 when the 2008 Pulitzer-prize and National Book Critics Circle award-winning author and MIT professor, Junot Diaz, will be at the South End library. Recipient of the MacArthur Genius Fellowship, among many other honors, Diaz is known for his fiery, exuberant prose and empathetic descriptions of his characters (in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Drown, and This Is How You Lose Her) that are rooted in his early childhood in, and memories of, the Dominican Republic, where he was born, and New Jersey, where he grew up. He will be introduced by his friend and colleague, author and poet Pablo Medina, who read at the South End library in May 2014 from his novel, CuBop City Blues.
Also booked for the 2017/18 season are the following exciting authors:
Suspense writer Wendy Walker (with the widely praised All Is Not Forgotten) on Tuesday, February 7;
The outstanding foreign-policy journalist Stephen Kinzer (with his new book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of American Empire) March 14;
The celebrated author of Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Independent Self, Gish Jen (her latest book coming out in February is The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap), March 28;
New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Saved Us, Jenna Blum (a collection of tales by well-known women writers, all set on one day in Grand Central Station, called Grand Central Station: Blum’s novella is called The Lucky One), April 4;
The acclaimed sociologist Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, another MacArthur Genius Fellow gracing the South End library, (with her recent Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers) April 18.