Upcoming Event

Jana Casale


The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky:
A Novel

This event includes a book signing


April 25, 2018
7:00 PM


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


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and GrubStreet welcome Oxford-educated writer JANA CASALE for a discussion of her debut novel The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky.

About The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky

We first meet Leda in a coffee shop on an average afternoon, notable only for the fact that it’s the single occasion in her life when she will eat two scones in one day. And for the cute boy reading American Power and the New Mandarins.  Leda hopes that, by engaging him, their banter will lead to romance. Their fleeting, awkward exchange stalls before flirtation blooms. But Leda’s left with one imperative thought: she decides she wants to read Noam Chomsky. So she promptly buys a book and never—ever—reads it.

As the days, years, and decades of the rest of her life unfold, we see all of the things Leda does instead, from eating leftover spaghetti in her college apartment to fumbling through the first days home with her newborn daughter to attempting (and nearly failing) to garden in her old age. In a collage of these small moments, we see the work—both visible and invisible—of a woman trying to carve out a life of meaning. Over the course of her experiences, Leda comes to the universal revelation that the best-laid-plans are not always the path to utter fulfillment and contentment, and in reality, there might be no such thing. Lively and disarmingly honest, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is a remarkable literary feat—bracingly funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and truly feminist in its insistence that the story it tells is an essential one.


"How do you account for a life? In Jana Casale's poignant debut, the answer has as much to do with the things her protagonist, Leda—college student, wife, writer, temporary Orca expert, mother—wanted to do and didn't, as what she actually lives. A funny, tender and touching illumination of the extraordinary beauty contained in a seemingly everyday life. I can't stop thinking about this book." —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

"As the perfect title suggests, the books we don't read can shape us just as much as the ones we do. However, unlike our titular heroine and her copy of Problems of Knowledge and Freedom, I guarantee you'll fly through this one. It's a rare gem of a debut—funny, heartbreaking, and genuinely profound." —Ed Park, author of Personal Days

The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is bright with life, emotionally honest and powerfully observant. Jana Casale is a wise and exciting new voice.” —Julia Pierpont, New York Times bestselling author of Among the Ten Thousand Things

Jana Casale
Jana Casale

Jana Casale

Jana Casale has a BFA in fiction from Emerson College and an MSt in creative writing from Oxford. Originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, she currently resides in San Francisco with her husband. The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is her first novel.

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.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.


Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Event Series: New Voices in Fiction

Harvard Book Store's New Voices in Fiction series, presented with GrubStreet, highlights debut novelists discussing their work and the writing process.

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515

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(617) 661-1424 x6

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