Upcoming Event

Jess Row

presents

White Flights:
Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination

in conversation with GISH JEN

This event includes a book signing

Date

Aug
15
Thursday
August 15, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

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

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer JESS ROW—author of Your Face in Mine—for a discussion of his new book, White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination. He will be joined in conversation by award-winning local writer GISH JEN.

About White Flights

White Flights is a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. At the heart of the book, Jess Row ties “white flight”―the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns―to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes, from the mountains of Idaho in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping to the claustrophobic households in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Row uses brilliant close readings of work from well-known writers such as Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford, and David Foster Wallace to examine the ways these and other writers have sought imaginative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race.

White Flights aims to move fiction to a more inclusive place, and Row looks beyond criticism to consider writing as a reparative act. What would it mean, he asks, if writers used fiction “to approach each other again”? Row turns to the work of James Baldwin, Dorothy Allison, and James Alan McPherson to discuss interracial love in fiction, while also examining his own family heritage as a way to interrogate his position. A moving and provocative book that includes music, film, and literature in its arguments, White Flights is an essential work of cultural and literary criticism.

Praise for White Flights

“These are brilliant, sweeping, intimate delights―and afterward, you may never read the same way again.” ―Alexander Chee

“A major literary and intellectual intervention, clarifying the real stakes in what we too complacently call ‘identity politics.’” ―Pankaj Mishra

“We need this book, now and yesterday.” ―Kiese Laymon

Gish Jen
Gish Jen

Gish Jen

Gish Jen is the author of the novels Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife, and World and Town, as well as a collection of stories, Who’s Irish?,  and a book of nonfiction, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self,  based on the Massey lectures she gave at Harvard. Her latest book is The Girl at the Baggage Claim: A Tale of Two Selves. Her honors include the Lannan Award for Fiction and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Photo Credit: Romana Vysatova

Jess Row
Jess Row

Jess Row

Jess Row is the author of the novel Your Face in Mine and the story collections The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2007, he lives in New York and teaches at the College of New Jersey.

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.
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FAQ:

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.

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