Tessa Hadley

presents

The Past:
A Novel

in conversation with LILY KING

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jan
27
Wednesday
January 27, 2016
8:00 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 author TESSA HADLEY and bestselling author of Euphoria LILY KING for a discussion on Hadley's novel The Past.

About The Past

In her most accessible, commercial novel yet, the “supremely perceptive writer of formidable skill and intelligence" (New York Times Book Review) turns her astute eye to a dramatic family reunion, where simmering tensions and secrets come to a head over three long, hot summer weeks.

With five novels and two collections of stories, Tessa Hadley has earned a reputation as a fiction writer of remarkable gifts. She brings all of her considerable skill and an irresistible setup to The Past, a novel in which three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house.

These three weeks may be their last time there; the upkeep is prohibitive, and they may be forced to sell this beloved house filled with memories of their shared past (their mother took them there to live when she left their father). Yet beneath the idyllic pastoral surface, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them.

Sophisticated and sleek, Roland’s new wife (his third) arouses his sisters’ jealousies and insecurities. Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice’s ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Roland’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Fran’s young children make an unsettling discovery in a dilapidated cottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where it’s least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister.

Over the course of this summer holiday, the family’s stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life—bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican—winds down to its inevitable end.

With subtle precision and deep compassion, Tessa Hadley brilliantly evokes a brewing storm of lust and envy, the indelible connections of memory and affection, the fierce, nostalgic beauty of the natural world, and the shifting currents of history running beneath the surface of these seemingly steady lives. The result is a novel of breathtaking skill and scope that showcases this major writer’s extraordinary talents.

Praise

“I find Tessa Hadley’s work genuinely helpful, especially when it comes to the big subjects: love and marriage, the political versus the personal, children, friendship. And then there are the sentences themselves, so precise and beautiful, often sly, sometimes devastating, always expertly paced. Few writers give me such consistent pleasure.” —Zadie Smith, author of NW

“Tessa Hadley recruits admirers with each book. She writes with authority, and with delicacy: she explores nuance, but speaks plainly; she is one of those writers a reader trusts.” —Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

Lily King
Lily King

Lily King

Lily King is the author of the novels Euphoria, The Pleasing HourThe English Teacher, and Father of the Rain, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction. Lily is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Writer's Award. Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and several anthologies. Lily's latest novel, Euphoria, won the Kirkus Award for Fiction 2014, the New England Book Award for Fiction 2014 and was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Awards. Euphoria was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review

Tessa Hadley
Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of five highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award; Everything Will Be All RightThe Master BedroomThe London Train, which was a New York Times Notable Book; and Clever Girl. She is also the author of two short story collections, Sunstroke and Married Love, which were New York Times Notable Books as well. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker. She lives in London.

Photo Credit: Mark Vessey

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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