Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough


Objects of Affection

with an introduction by MEGAN MARSHALL

This event includes a book signing


March 21, 2018
7:00 PM


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed essayist and Polish translator EWA HRYNIEWICZ-YARBROUGH for a discussion of her debut book, Objects of Affection. She will be introduced by MEGAN MARSHALL, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and The Peabody Sisters.

Weather Update

Tonight's event is scheduled to proceed as planned, unaffected by the winter weather. Any changes or updates will be noted here. (Updated 3/21)

About Objects of Affection

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough arrived in the United States from Poland in 1984, bringing memories of life under a totalitarian regime, where the personal was always political. In essay after essay in Objects of Affection, her remarkable debut, Hryniewicz-Yarbrough shows the immigrant's double perspective, exploring a bi-polar world of displacement and rootlessness, geography and memory, individual and family history, always with an acute awareness of losses and gains that accompany adaptation to a new language and culture and the creation of a new identity.


''This book is a wonderful contribution to a debate that we hear these days, a conversation concerning joys and curses of living in a multilingual world. Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough discusses her life between Polish and English, between her childhood in a town in Poland and her mature years in California and New England, between two literatures . . . But there's also a third language here, her own way of speaking, her quiet, modest, intelligent, convincing voice.'' —Adam Zagajewski, author of Slight Exaggeration: An Essay

'''We live much more in a language than in a country,' Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough, essayist and translator, writes in her stunning first collection, Objects of Affection. 'Places are both physical and metaphysical,' and 'only things that vanish stay forever the same' in memory. There is wisdom and sweet pathos in these nineteen exquisitely wrought meditations, but above all, I felt happy reading them, guided by a sure-handed writer through the 'messy materiality' of existence, first in her early years on the 'wrong side' of the Iron Curtain, then in a new equally compelling life in an America not yet 'choked by politics.' I longed to stay with her words and in her worlds.'' —Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

''Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough uses the phrase 'alien intonations' to describe one way that cultures and castes recognize outsiders. She is as astute about these markers as she is about all facets of the immigrant experience. These essays view Poland, her first world, with an unillusioned nostalgia, while viewing America here is another oxymoron as a vast material vale of soul-making. Objects of Affection is smart and deeply heartfelt, which is mercifully not an oxymoron.'' —Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough
Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough is a native of Poland. Her essays were published in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. One of her pieces, Objects of Affection, was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2012; five others were listed among Notable Essays for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. She divides her time between Boston and Kraków.

Megan Marshall
Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall is the author of Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, The Peabody Sisters, and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, which received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. She is the Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor at Emerson College.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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