March 9 @ 6:00 pm
With Orbit, prize-winning author Cynthia Zarin confirms her place as an indispensable American poet of our time.
In this, her fifth collection, Zarin turns her lyric lens on the worlds within worlds we inhabit and how we navigate our shared predicament—the tables of our lives on which the news of the day is strewn: the president speaking to parishioners in Charleston, the ricochet of violence, near and far. Whether writing about hairpin turns in the stair of childhood, the cat’s claw of anxiety, on the impending loss of a young friend, or how “love endures, give or take,” here is the poet who, in the title poem, “bartered forty summers for black pearls” and whose work is full of such wagers, embodied in playing cards, treble notes, snow globes, and balancing acts. Zarin reminds us that the atmosphere created by our experiences shapes and defines the orbit we move through. Along the way, she is both witness and, often indirectly, subject—“I do not know how to hold the beauty and sorrow of my life,” she writes. This book is an attempt at an answer.
March 15 @ 6:00 pm
An engaging, funny, and tender memoir from a man of ninety years: of growing up poor in a Brooklyn and Ireland that now exist only in memory, and of serving in the China/Burma/India theater during World War II as a member of an elite U.S. Navy commando unit
John Freely’s voice is still astonishingly youthful, full of wonder, humor, and gratitude, as he remembers his fully lived life. Born in Brooklyn to Irish immigrants, he went to Ireland with his mother when he was five, where he spent his young childhood on his grandfather’s farm. Western Ireland was impoverished by the times, but rich in beauty and intriguing people, and it opened in him a lifelong desire to see the world and its inhabitants. When he was seven, he returned to Brooklyn, and the antics of a coming-of-age boy played out on streets filled with character and characters. He took whatever jobs he could when times got tough, always shaking off his losses and moving on, hungry to see and experience what was next. He joined the U.S. Navy at seventeen to “see the world,” and did just that. In wartime, while bringing supplies and ammunition over the Stilwell-Burma Road to Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese guerrilla forces, Freely served alongside them during the last weeks of World War II in the Tibetan borderlands of China, a Shangri-la that war had turned into hell on earth.
March 21 @ 6:00 pm
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Man and Eyes on You comes a harrowing new psychological thriller about a successful self-help author who suddenly finds her life spiraling dangerously out of control.
What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences?
Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning. In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered. As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer. With unexpected, riveting twists, The Secrets You Keep is an utterly compelling psychological thriller that once again showcases Kate White’s extraordinary storytelling talent.
April 4 @ 6:00 pm
April 6 @ 6:00 pm
This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Frances Fitzgerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.
The evangelical movement began in the revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known in America as the Great Awakenings. A populist rebellion against the established churches, it became the dominant religious force in the country. During the nineteenth century white evangelicals split apart dramatically, first North versus South, and then at the end of the century, modernist versus fundamentalist. After World War II, Billy Graham, the revivalist preacher, attracted enormous crowds and tried to gather all Protestants under his big tent, but the civil rights movement and the social revolution of the sixties drove them apart again. By the 1980s Jerry Falwell and other southern televangelists, such as Pat Robertson, had formed the Christian right. Protesting abortion and gay rights, they led the South into the Republican Party, and for thirty-five years they were the sole voice of evangelicals to be heard nationally. Eventually a younger generation of leaders protested the Christian right’s close ties with the Republican Party and proposed a broader agenda of issues, such as climate change, gender equality, and immigration reform.
Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances Fitzgerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time. Evangelicals now constitute twenty-five percent of the American population, but they are no longer monolithic in their politics. They range from Tea Party supporters to social reformers. Still, with the decline of religious faith generally, Fitzgerald suggests that evangelical churches must embrace ethnic minorities if they are to survive.
April 12 @ 6:00 pm
Short, elegant, sexy, and provocative, Bethany Ball’s debut What to Do About the Solomons weaves contemporary Jewish history through a distinctly modern, propulsive, and savvy tale of family life.
Meet Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-navy commando now living in L.A., who is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons’ Santa Monica home is raided, Marc’s American wife, Carolyn—concealing her own dark past—makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. But news of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley. There we encounter various members of the family and the community—from Marc’s self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira, and her forgotten son, Joseph; to his rich and powerful construction magnate father, Yakov; to his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law, Guy Gever, a local ranger turned “artist.” As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together and those that tear them apart.
April 13 @ 6:00 pm
Beatrix Ost’s memoir of her artistic awakening and early marriage opens on the heels of Germany’s recovery from the self-imposed disasters of World War II. She is part of the new generation that dances disobediently in the bombed-out villas and underground jazz caverns of Munich. Beatrix rides the dynamic decade up through the world of art, fashion, and cinema into the revolution of politics and consciousness.
Marriage to the self-made prodigy and archaeologist, Ferdinand, impresario of the Hot Club, draws her into the mystical realm of the ancient Mexican gods. Soon, two sons are born. They make an odyssey through Mexico where, under the wing of the artistic elite, their homes full of Riveras and Kahlos, the initial impression is intoxicating. But the further they press inland, the more Ferdinand loses himself in his obsession and addictions.
Ost draws us into the vortex of human craving to portray the complexities of her early marriage to a man scarred by the war, climbing the magical mountain of his own desires.
Style icon Beatrix Ost arrived in New York in 1975 and was swiftly discovered by the New York Times as one of the city’s most elegant fusions of art and fashion. She is featured in two volumes of the book Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen.
April 17 @ 6:00 pm
April 25 @ 6:00 pm
Great With Child tells the story of ambitious, driven Abigail Thomas. Up for partnership at a prestigious law firm, she is thrown by an accidental pregnancy that threatens to upend her life. Witty, warm, and wise, this novel confronts the true meanings of love, morality, and duty.
April 27 @ 6:00 pm
What will 21st-century fiction look like?
Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch examines some of our most beloved writers, including Haruki Murakami, Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolaño, and Margaret Atwood, to better understand literature in the age of globalization.
The global novel, he finds, is not so much a genre as a way of imagining the world, one that allows the novel to address both urgent contemporary concerns—climate change, genetic engineering, and immigration—along with timeless themes, such as morality, society, and human relationships. Whether its stories take place on the scale of the species or the small town, the global novel situates its characters against the widest background of the imagination. The way we live now demands nothing less than the global perspective our best novelists have to offer.