Sophie Chen Keller

presents

The Luster of Lost Things:
A Novel

This event includes a book signing

Date

Aug
9
Wednesday
August 9, 2017
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 and GrubStreet welcome debut author SOPHIE CHEN KELLER for a discussion of her book, The Luster of Lost Things: A Novel—a fablelike tale for readers of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove, in which a boy with an uncanny ability to find lost objects must embark on his most important search yet.

About The Luster of Lost Things

There's only one place in the world that lonely twelve-year-old Walter Lavender, Jr. feels at home: The Lavenders, his mother's unusual West Village dessert shop where meringues scud through displays like clouds, marzipan dragons breathe actual fire, and the airy angel food cake can make customers pounds lighter.

When the mysterious and magical Book at the heart of the shop vanishes and a landlord threatens closure, it's up to Walter to find the Book and save the shop. Despite—or because of—a communication disorder that renders him speechless and friendless, Walter has a special ability to find lost things. In fact, the only thing he's failed to find is his father, a pilot lost in a presumed plane crash at sea before Walter was born.

 Accompanied by Milton, his best friend and overweight golden retriever, Walter's quest will take him around and under New York City, into subway tunnels and soaring over Central Park, from bottle collecting in Chinatown to racing through the Met, and introduce him to the extraordinary and forgotten people of this fantastical city. Along the way he will discover his voice, and learn what it means to truly be found.

Praise

"A buoyant, surprising, deeply human novel that underscores how easy it is to become lost in this great big world, and how affecting it is to be found. It's no small bit of irony that I completely lost myself in these pages. The Luster of Lost Things is every bit as delicious as the magical treats from the family bakery at the heart of this charming debut." —Steven Rowley, author of Lily and the Octopus

"Sophie Chen Keller’s enchanting debut melts kindness and action together into a tale of wonder and magic. I savored each tasty morsel as Walter and his valiant dog, Milton, began their extraordinary quest—where the seeking became more important than the finding. Keller’s writing reminded me of Adriana Trigiani—the words are so perfectly chosen that missing even one would lessen the enjoyment." —Amy Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake 

"The Luster of Lost Things is about opening your heart to others and allowing yourself to believe in the wonder and magic of life. Young hero, Walter Lavender, uses his extraordinary talents to track down what he holds dearest to himself, and his family, assisted by a myriad of compelling, curious characters, usually hidden away from the public eye. In doing so, he shows us how to be brave and open-hearted, and to never give up trying. Unique and unforgettable, this is storytelling at its finest." —Phaedra Patrick, author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Sophie Chen Keller
Sophie Chen Keller

Sophie Chen Keller

Sophie Chen Keller was born in Beijing, China, and was raised in Ohio and California. Her fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to New York City, where she currently resides with her husband and a not-so-secret cabinet of sweets.

Photo credit: Kai Keller

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.

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.

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
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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