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Sep 22nd
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Booked: Brookline's Carol Dine

Booked: Brookline's Carol Dine

September 16, 2014: Great art often moves us beyond words. But for Brookline-based poet, essayist, college teacher, and cancer survivor Carol Dine, art inspires her verse. In her new collection Orange Night Dine has written poems to accompany paintings by Lithuanian-born artist Samuel Bak. According to the jacket copy, the book is “a unique dialogue on the subject of the Holocaust.”

Carol Dine will be reading from Orange Night at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street, on Sunday, 9/21, at 6PM. I met with Carol to talk about how she became acquainted with Bak’s work and how writing about the Holocaust while also undergoing treatment for breast cancer actually helped her in her healing process.


Booked: Steve Almond

September 12, 2014: You've seen the headlines: Miami Dolphins' starting left tackle Jonathan Martin quits the team and goes for psychological treatment, partially as the result of "persistent bullying" including racist texts sent by fellow Dolphins' player Richie Incognito. Then there's Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and the video showing Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé out of an Atlantic City elevator—after he had punched and knocked her out. And there’s the damning PBS Frontline special “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” which opens with the story of Pittsburgh Steelers’s “Iron Mike” Webster, who died at just 50 years old, eleven years after retiring from the NFL. Autopsy results revealed the brutal toll football had taken on both his body and brain. Questions followed about how football destroys the brains of players (high-paid NFL stars as well as school athletes) and how much the NFL knew and when they knew it.

One football fan who could not remain in denial about the controversies swirling around his favorite sport is writer Steve Almond. In his fierce new book Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto, he addresses the problems of racism, misogyny, greed, and grievous injuries that the NFL and NCAA would rather sweep under the rug. Instead of picking up your remote this Sunday to watch the Miami Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills, you might pick up a copy of Almond’s book at the Brookline Booksmith. Almond will be reading from Against Football at the Coolidge Corner Theatre this Thursday, September 18 at 7PM. I emailed with Almond to find out how a diehard football fan came to write such an outspoken manifesto.


Booked: Annie Weatherwax

August 5, 2014: Boston-based artist and writer Annie Weatherwax is on a roll. She’s written a vivid, funny, and heartbreaking first novel of a single mother and her daughter searching desperately for a soft place to land. Pulitzer-prize winning author Robert Olen Butler called All We Had “Smart and unflinchingly honest and brilliantly voiced.” Now Entertainment Weekly has announced actress Katie Holmes has optioned the movie rights—will a Hollywood premiere be far behind?

Annie will be appearing at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street, this Wednesday, August 6, at 7PM to talk about All We Had. I emailed with Annie to discuss her new novel and the complicated relationship between Rita and her teenage daughter Ruthie.


Booked: Joanna Rakoff


July 24 at 7PM, Joanna Rakoff—along with Edan Lapucki (author of California: A Novel)—will be reading at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street. I spoke by phone with Joanna about her latest book, a memoir about working at a literary agency with a very famous client…J.D. Salinger.


Booked: Celeste Ng

July 20, 2014: Come out this Wednesday, July 23 at 7PM to see two great local authors at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street: Jennifer De Leon (my interview with Jenn is here), editor of Wise Latinas, and Celeste Ng. Ms. Ng, who lives in Cambridge, is the author of Everything I Never Told You, a haunting, beautiful novel about family ties and the secrets we keep...even (and especially) from those we love the most.  I emailed with Celeste about her new book and her upcoming readings (she's doing two events: one at the Booksmith and another at Newtonville Books on July 29!)

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