Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, theater, music, dance, visual arts, and author events for the coming week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
One Cut, One Life
Opens Friday, May 15
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
When Ed Pincus, who is considered the father of first person non-fiction film, was diagnosed with a terminal illness he decided to collaborate with Lucia Small to make one last film that challenges the form of the first person documentary. Ed and Lucia’s approach is vulnerable and intimate. The film is an intense, raw, and sometimes humorous exploration of the human condition which invites viewers to contemplate for themselves what is important — not only at the end of life, but also during.
Pincus explained the title this way: “There is this notion in Japanese swordsmanship called ‘one cut, one life’… Everything could be the last time. Everything counts. Everything has meaning. When you’ve trained a long time, your mind disappears. There’s something dissociative and it gets in your body. I have lost a lot of that because of my illness, but there’s still the notion of extension, of having all your meaning in your movements.”
The film screening will feature three panel discussions:
Saturday, May 16: Q&A with Lucia Small — Time TBA
Erin Trahan will host a discussion with filmmaker
Sunday, May 17: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Ed Pincus
Following the 2 p.m. screening local documentarians Steven Ascher (Troublesome Creek), Michal Goldman, and Robb Moss will be part of a discussion about pushing boundaries — up close and personal
Wednesday, May 20 :The Reality of Being Mortal
Following the 7 p.m. screening there will be a discussion about end of life issues, with an emphasis on navigating options regarding quality of life. The talk will feature Peter Davis (Hearts and Minds), Goldie Eder, and Dr. Robert Soiffer.
May 15 – 19
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
This is Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut. About the film he says: “”I wanted to make this film because it’s a movie that I would want to see. Like many children who grew up in the 1980s, I first approached the cinema through mainstream films. I was excited to shoot this kind of story, but with the language of a filmmaker that I’ve acquired through the years.” The verdict is out on this (apparently) gonzo film. According to IndeWire: “An array of striking images are compiled here, opening a window into the story of Billy, a single mother of two, who is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town.” The cast includes Christina Hendricks, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Saoirse Ronan and Matt Smith.
Boston International Children’s Film Festival
May 16 – 24
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
A festival featuring some of the best in recent animation — ostensibly for kids — returns to Boston. The gathering includes two short film programs and three feature-length animated films. You don’t have any children? So what? This is always a remarkable program
To Life! (Auf das Leben!)
May 17 at 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
The Goethe-Institut German Film presents a story of two very different lives that become intimately intertwined. Young drifter Jonas begins a friendship with aging and isolated Ruth, a lusty ex-cabaret Yiddish performer who is struggling with the challenges of moving into a retirement complex. Meanwhile, Jonas wanders throughout the city working menial jobs, trying to avoid being tied down. The two embark on an emotional journey in which each helps the other find the strength to embrace the next stage in life. The film features lovely Yiddish songs that are mixed into flashbacks of Ruth’s sultry Yiddish musical performances.
– Tim Jackson
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
May 15 at 7:30 p.m., May 16 at 8 p.m., May 17 at 3 p.m.
Citi Shubert Theater
Hailing from New York, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet brings its brand of innovative choreography to Boston. The company boasts an impressive corps of 16 dancers, who are part of an effort to find new ways to push ballet to its limits..
Tony Williams Ballet Launch
May 17 at 2 p.m.
Tony Williams Dance Center
Jamaica Plain, MA
The Tony Williams Dance Center is proudly announcing the launch of its new company: Tony Williams Ballet. Welcome the fledgling troupe by heading out to the center for a special reception and public performance.
May 15 & 16 at 8 p.m., May 17 at 6 p.m.
Performing Arts Center of MetroWest
Encore Dance Ensemble, PAC’s Moving West Dance Theatre, and Ariane Cyusa come together this weekend for a uniquely diverse artistic array. Uncommon Threads draws on music, dance, video, and spoken poetry as it showcases five new works and a medley of repertory favorites. Note: The show contains some mature content.
Boston Dance Alliance Gala
May 14 at 6:30 p.m.
The Sanctuary Theatre
Join the greater Boston dance community for this annual event, celebrating the local dance scene with performances, food, drink, and auctions. This year the Boston Dance Alliance honors distinguished tap teacher Thelma Larkin Goldberg with the prestigious Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award.
And farther afield…
May 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.
The Movement Exchange
Ordinary Differences proffers a range of material, from “absurdist theatre” to movement installations. The choreographic talents of Betsy Miller and Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp supply the inspiration.
– Merli V. Guerra
May 13, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Legendary experimental guitarist and producer David Torn last came to the Boston area in support of his ECM album prezens, with saxophonist Tim Berne, keyboardist Craig Taborn, and drummer Tom Rainey. It was one of the events of the season. Now he’s back – at the same venue, the Regattabar – supporting his ECM followup, only sky. It’s a solo record and a solo tour. But, with his mastery of effects, Torn has an orchestral concept of the guitar, so there should be no shortage of music.
Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas: Sound Prints
May 14, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Sound Prints came out of Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas’s work together in the SFJazz Collective, exploring the music of Wayne Shorter. Sound Prints, however, was intended to be more about Wayne than a tribute band per se, based on the co-leaders’ original compositions. But then Shorter actually provided two new pieces he’d been commissioned to write by the Monterey Jazz Festival, and a new Blue Note live album was the result. So, it’s still about Wayne, but even more so. The writing is sharp and shapely, and the playing is freewheeling all around – especially effervescent when Lovano and Douglas take off on extended dialogue. The rest of the band is also top-notch: pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Joey Baron.
Ingrid Jensen Berklee Quintet
May 14, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen combines a contents-under-pressure sense of deliberation with lyrical freedom. She makes every note count. The 1989 Berklee alum (known best these days for her work in the Maria Schneider and James Darcy Argue orchestras) is leading a band of accomplished Berklee students on a short tour. They include saxophonist Daniel Ko, pianist Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, bassist Max Salinger-Ridley, and drummer Peter Barnick.
Yoko Miwa Trio
May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Pianist Yoko Miwa’s prime inspirations are Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson. Her repertoire includes tapestry-like originals of rich color, texture, and narrative fantasy. And she’s given to appealing idiosyncrasy like covering Aerosmith (“Seasons of Wither”) and the Velvet Underground (“Here Comes the Sun”) in a medley. She’s joined by her long-time trio-mates, bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding.
Donal Fox Innovations Quartet
May 15, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Pianist-composer Fox likes to mix his Monk with Back and Scarlatti. Tonight, he convenes his Innovations Quartet — something like the Modern Jazz Quartet on steroids — with the talented vibraphonist Warren Wolfe.
Kurt Elling and Anat Cohen
May 15, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA.
Elling is one of the most formidable male vocalists on the scene – as at home improvising on the poetry of Robert Pinsky, singing his own lyrics to solos by Wayne Shorter, performing with out-there indie-jazz guy John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, or singing standards. He’s joined in this program, which he calls “Passion World,” by the ebullient Israeli-born multi-reed star Anat Cohen.
James Merenda-Jon Dreyer-Joe Hunt
May 17, 8 p.m.
Green Room, Somerville, MA.
Saxophonist James Merenda and bassist Jon Dreyer are regular collaborators in the adventurous band TickleJuice. Here they come together, with Merenda on piano, joined by the esteemed drummer Joe Hunt.
Avishai Cohen & Triveni
May 20, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Israeli-born trumpeter Avishai Cohen (a younger sibling of Anat) has become one of the bright lights of the New York scene, mixing a love of the tradition with an undeniable urge to stretch. (Mingus is an important touchstone.) He comes to Boston with his fascinating, longstanding trio, Triveni, with bassist Linda Oh and drummer Nasheet Waits.
– Jon Garelick
Nagasawa Rosetsu: Bamboo
May 13 – August 9
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Born into a samurai family, Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754-1799) studied in Kyoto with one of Japan’s leading painters. He quickly became a major artist of Japan’s Edo Period. This exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum contains just one of his works, a six-panel folding screen in monochrome ink on paper, titled Bamboo from the 1790s, a relatively serene work from a master known for color, bizarre figures, and striking brushwork.
Robert Motherwell: A Centennial Celebration
May 15 – May 31
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA
One of the youngest masters of the mid-century New York School (as he called it), Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) is also one of the last to reach his centennial year. To mark the passing of one its most famous members into art history, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, in conjunction with the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, is presenting two weeks of special exhibitions, lectures, and workshops.
Based on PAAM’s rich Motherwell holdings, supplemented with loans from the Dedalus Foundation, which manages the artist’s archives and estate, PAAM’s exhibition will focus on paintings and graphic art while the companion exhibition at the Fine Arts Work Center explores literary themes in Motherwell’s work, including his engagement with such 20th-century writers as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Octavio Paz.
Haystack Components: Metals and Jewelry
May 16 – November 1
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
Founded in 1950, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine organizes summer workshops in subjects such as glass, metals, and fibers, It has no permanent faculty and offers no degrees. This exhibition celebrates distinguished craftspeople associated with the school as faculty, students, staff, or board members. The show, devoted to metalwork and jewelry, complements a related show devoted to work in clay, on view through August 23.
– Peter Walsh
The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville. Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman. Staged by The American Repertory Theatre at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, through May 31.
Tony award-winner Mandy Patinkin and acclaimed actor/performance artist Taylor Mac star in the world premiere of a new musical that suggests we are well beyond singin’ in the rain: “It’s the end of the world, as we know it. A flood of biblical proportions leaves us with only two people on Earth who discover their common language is song and dance. Together they chronicle the rise and fall and hopeful rise again of humankind through music that runs the gamut from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim, and R.E.M. to Queen.”
The Maritime Project, developed by Meg Taintor and Tyler Monroe. At the Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown, MA, through May 16.
“Join us for the first part of this exploration of the sea, and our changing relationship to it. See this work in progress and stay for a conversation after each showing!”
The Submission by Jeff Talbott. Directed by David J. Miller. Staged by the Zeitgeist Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through May 30.
The New England premiere of what is touted as a “fierce and hilarious” drama: “Shaleeha G’ntamobi has written a gritty ghetto drama about an alcoholic African-American and her cardsharp son in the projects, and it’s been accepted by the prestigious Humana Festival. The problem is that Shaleeha is actually a pseudonym for Danny, a young gay white playwright, created in the hopes of increasing the play’s chances for success. Danny hires Emilie, an African American actress, to impersonate his nome de plume.”
Henry VI, Part 2, by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tina Packer. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington Street, Boston, MA, May 13 through June 7.
Why not start with Part 1 of this trilogy of early history plays? Perhaps because some critics think this script (believed to have been written in 1591) is the most accomplished of the three? Because it is the tale of weak (perhaps mentally challenged?) monarch who can’t control the forces around him? Interesting choice …
Letters From War, written, directed and designed by Nate Bertone. At the Salem Theatre, 90 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA, May 14 through 23.
The world premiere of “a musical tale of love, loss, and the strength of family.” The script was written “in response to the affects of Alzheimer’s Disease on his [Bertone's] grandmother and his family, utilizing images, memories, and stories from the past and present.”
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio. Staged by Bridge Repertory Theatre in Deane Hall at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through May 30.
This young company “takes on Shakespeare’s great political drama with a fresh, stripped-down, actor-driven production.” We are told the approach will be “rife with West–Wing-meets-Homeland type dialogue and suspense.”
Light Up the Sky, by Moss Hart. Directed by Scott Edmiston. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston at 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, May 15 through June 13.
Hart’s venerable backstage Broadway comedy in a production that features a dream cast of Boston actors — including Will LeBow, Will McGarrahan, Bob Mussett, Terrence O’Malley, Paula Plum, Alejandro Simones, Kathy St. George, Richard Snee, and Bobbie Steinbach.
Mothers & Sons by Terrence McNally. Directed by Paul Daigneault. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts, through June 6.
“A 2014 Tony Nominee for Best Play, Mothers & Sons is a timely and touching new play that explores our evolving understanding of what it means to be a family.” The cast includes Nancy E. Carroll and Michael Kaye.
The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham. Directed by Charles Towers. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, 50 E. Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, through May 17.
Charles Towers’s ends his tenure as MRT Artistic Director with this production — he took up the reins in 2001. Graham’s drama deals with a family in transition: “tormented by the menacing grip of an aging mind and with an uncertain future ahead, Gunner Concannon has a plan for his and his family’s future – but it is not what his wife Peg and son Jack had in mind.”
Mr g, adapted and directed by Wesley Savick from the book by Alan Lightman. Staged by Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theatre through May 24.
This world premiere production is part of the 10th Anniversary of Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, a science-theatre collaboration between Central Square Theater and MIT. Here is the lowdown: “Mr g creates time, space, matter, a few basic laws of physics. These give birth to stars, planets… but intelligent life? The Creator’s plans go awry when a mysterious rival questions the nature of free will. Together, we experience the birth and fate of Mr g’s favorite universe: ours.”
Scenes from an Adultery by Ronan Noone. Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary. Staged by New Repertory Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in the Charles Mosesian Theater, Watertown, MA, through May 17.
“Local playwright Ronan Noone takes the traditional British drawing room comedy of manners and turns it on its side in this hilariously bawdy new play.” Interesting to see what happens when you twist around a drawing room romp… Arts Fuse review
– Bill Marx
Presented by Guerilla Opera
May 15-17 and 21-23, at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. on May 17th)
Zach Box Theater, Boston, MA
Per Bloland’s new opera draws on Hugo von Hoffmanstahl, Norwegian author Pedr Solis, and Solis’s novel, Stillaset. Carrie Cheron, Brian Church, Aliana de la Guardia, and Douglas Dodson take the sung roles while the small instrumental ensemble includes some of Boston’s best new music players.
The New World
Presented by the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
May 16, 8 p.m.
The Center for the Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA
The CSO wraps up its regular concert season with Dvorak’s popular New World Symphony. Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the Overture to The Magic Flute round out a program that, as with all CSO concerts, showcases a local charity, on this occasion the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
South American Gems
Presented by Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
May 17, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Cambridge
Pro Arte music director emerita Gisèle Ben-Dor returns to lead a program of music by Astor Piazzolla and Alberto Ginastera. There will also be a special performance by the Conservatory Lab Charter School Dudamel Orchestra.
Sir John in Love
Presented by Odyssey Opera
May 17, 20, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. (3 p.m. on May 17th)
Boston University Theater, Boston, MA
Odyssey Opera returns to action with the first of its four programs through June. The theme this year is “The British Invasion,” beginning with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. The cast includes, among others, Oren Gradus as John Falstaff, Michael Chioldi as Ford, and Megan Pacchecano as Anne Page. Gil Rose conducts the Odyssey Orchestra and Chorus.
– Jonathan Blumhofer
May 10 at 8:30 p.m.
At the First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
Beneficia lucis (schola of men) performs a program that includes the Gregorian chant from the Liber Usualis; Carlo Gesualdo’s Five Sacred Motets (Igor Stravinsky completed the missing parts in two of the five), and a Tritone chant setting for compline by Daryl Bichel. James Busby directs.
Huntington String Quartet
May 12 at 8 p.m.
At NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
A performance by an NEC Honors Ensemble (violinists Daniel Koo and Hojean Yoo, violist Marthe Husum, and cellist Stella Ye Lin Cho) coached by Grammy Award-winning violist Kim Kashkashian. The group’s program includes a new work by fellow student Benjamin Park, who is in his first year of the doctoral program.
Pianist Sally Pinkas
May 14 at 7 p.m.
At the Brookline Music School, 25 Kennard Road, Brookline, MA
The acclaimed pianist performs an evening of solo works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Shostakovich.
What Is This Thing Called Love?
May 16 at 8 p.m
First Church Congregational, Cambridge, MA
The Spectrum Singers perform an evening of “torch songs, happy songs, sad songs of love found and lost from the Renaissance through The Great American Song Book.”
Chameleon Arts Ensemble
May 16 at 8 p.m.
At the First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St, Boston, MA
Same Program on May 17 at 4 p.m.
At the Goethe Institue, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.
The program for this concert of chamber music is entitled “words and phrases found.” The music will include Leoš Janáček’s Sonata for violin & piano, JW 7/7; Bernard Rands’s …sans voix parmi les voix… for flute, viola & harp, Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from Histoire du Soldat for clarinet, violin & piano; Clint Needham’s Axioms for flute, clarinet, string trio, piano & percussion, and Johannes Brahms’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87.
– Susan Miron
Faith No More
Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA
Even if the name of this band doesn’t ring a bell, you know “Epic,” their biggest hit. Which is funny, considering that most people who are more than a little familiar with the song “Epic” probably don’t know that the name of the song that has been drilled into their heads all these years is “Epic.” Wouldn’t it make more sense if the tune was titled “You Want It All (But You Can’t Have It)?” Either way, Faith No More reformed in 2009 and have a new album (Sol Invictus), out this month, so expect songs from that record as well as some old favorites. Like “Epic.”
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
I have a vivid memory of reading a review of Kaiser Chief’s 2005 debut album Employment that compared the group to the Kinks. Ten years later, that comparison seems to have missed the mark. Nonetheless, Kaiser Chiefs are still with us, and you’ll hear no complaints from me. If nothing else, “I Predict a Riot,” featured on Employment, is one of the great rock songs of this century. Not that the band members are resting on their laurels, as last year saw brought their fifth album, Education, Education, Education & War.
Royale, Boston, MA
There are many bands that have mixed dance music with rock, as Primal Scream did with their seminal 1991 album Screamadelica. But how many of those groups then turned around and released a straight-up rawk album, as the Primals did with their 1994 album Give Out But Don’t Give Up and its Stones-y single “Rocks?” Ever since, the Scottish legends have combined rock and dance; they released the classic XTRMNTR in 1999 and, more recently, the excellent More Light in 2013.
Great Scott, Boston, MA
No need to beat around the bush, I think Palma Violets are the greatest live band in the world. As I wrote two years ago, the English rockers’ 2013 set at Coachella was the best concert I’d ever seen, and no show I’ve attended in the past 24 months has caused me to reevaluate my opinion. In addition to their upcoming appearance at Great Scott, earlier this month the band released their sophomore album Danger in the Club, so if you’re a Palma Violets fanatic like me, there’s a lot to be excited about.
Upcoming and On Sale…
Boston Calling (featuring Beck, Pixies, My Morning Jacket) (5/22-24/2015, City Hall Plaza); The Who (5/24/2015, Mohegan Sun Arena); Conor Oberst (6/5/2015, House of Blues); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (6/6/2015, Boston Opera House); Lana del Rey (6/9/2015, Xfinity Center); Florence + the Machine (6/10/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Best Coast (6/12/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Paul Weller (6/13/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Spoon (6/18/2015, House of Blues); Rush (6/23/2015, TD Garden); Morrissey (6/24/2015, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts); Buffalo Tom (6/26 and 27/2015, The Sinclair); Huey Lewis and the News (6/27/2015, Indian Ranch); Melvins (6/27/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Brian Wilson (with Rodriguez) (7/2/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); U2 (7/10, 11, 14, 15/2015, TD Garden); Green River Fest (featuring Steve Earle, Punch Brothers, and tUnE-yArDs) (7/10-12/2015, Greenfield Community College); Mudhoney (7/11/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Billy Joel (7/16/2015, Fenway Park); Foo Fighters (7/18-19/2015, Fenway Park); Neil Young + Promise of the Real (7/22/2015, Xfinity Center); Modest Mouse (7/23/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Interpool (7/23-24/2015, House of Blues); Bombino (7/27/2015, The Sinclair); Veruca Salt (7/30/2015, Paradise Rock Club); (the) Thurson MoOre Baand (8/2/2015, The Sinclair); Brandon Flowers (8/3/2015, House of Blues); Jamie XX (8/9/2015, The Sinclair); Willie Nelson & Family (8/21/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); AC/DC (8/22/2015, Gillette Stadium); Counting Crows (8/23/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Social Distortion (8/23/2015, House of Blues); Death Cab For Cutie (9/11/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Bob Mould (9/23/2015, The Sinclair); Kraftwerk (10/3/2015, Wang Theatre); Ride (10/3/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Mark Knopfler (10/9/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Ringo Starr and His All Star Band (10/23/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)
– Adam Ellsworth
Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide
May 12 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline MA
The accomplished actor and playwright marks his debut as a historian with the largely unknown story of a select group of survivors of the Armenian Genocide who in 1921 set out to avenge the death of nearly a million of their countrymen via what they called ‘Operation Nemesis,” which was named after the Greek god of retribution.
Ellery Street Book Launch Party
May 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Cambridge MA
The acclaimed poet and translator of ancient Greek classsics lived, worked and raised a family in his house on Ellery Street in Cambridge. Ferry no longer lives there, but his latest book of poems encapsulates his reflections on thirty years in Cambridge seen through the lens of his graceful but pithy lyricism.
Meet The Agent(s)
May 13 from 7- 9 p.m.
Boston Public Library, Boston MA
Ever wondered what its like to be a literary agent, especially one in the notoriously male-dominated world of publishing? The Boston Chapters of the Woman’s National Book Association and the National Writer’s Union are hosting a visit from Katherine Flynn of Kneerim, Williams, and Bloom and Amaryah Orenstein of GO Literary.
The Green Road
May 13 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
The Booker Prize-winning novelist will read and sign copies of her latest novel, a family saga set in a small town on Ireland’s misty west coast. Rosaleen, the matriarch of the Madigan family, decides to sell off the family home and split the proceeds among her globe-trotting children, who each learn the various meanings of home.
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
May 14 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
In 2001 the Lee sisters welcomed Marja Mills, a Chicago-based journalist, into their lives. It was the start of a decades-long conversation and a profound friendship. Mills tells the story of the legendarily reclusive sisters, giving us a glimpse into their private post-Mockingbird world.
Mary Pinard and Moira Linehan
Portal and Incarnate Grace
May 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Andover Bookstore, Andover MA
Two poets read from their chronicles of loss, grief and emotional survival. David Ferry called Pinard’s book “a great elegiac poem” and Linehan re-imagines the luminous power of the everyday to heal and console in the wake of personal trauma.
Jim Shepard and Amy Hempel
The Book of Aron and The Collected Stories
May 16 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA
This highly respected pair of short story authors come to Newton to read from their latest work. Shepard’s novel tells the story of Aron, a Polish boy whose family is driven by the Nazis from the countryside to the ghettos of Warsaw, there forced to forage for survival until the possibility of escape arises. Hempel’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, and this collection of her short fiction was named one of 2006′s ten best books of the year by The New York Times.
Mark Z Danielewski
The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May
May 17 at 6 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
The author of the cryptic, innovative House of Leaves comes to Brookline to read from his latest tome, which kicks off a staggeringly ambitious 27-volume novel cycle that takes the reader on a surreal, dense, and heavily metafictional journey from Los Angeles to Mexico to Singapore and Texas.
The Wright Brothers
May 18 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
The two time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer comes to Cambridge to read, discuss, and sign his latest classic American story. This time around his subject is Wilbur and Orville Wright, whose technical innovations and determination were matched only by their courage as they constantly braved death in their new-fangled flying machines.
– Matt Hanson