Virtual Event: Stephanie Danler
in conversation with LISA TADDEO
May 28, 2020
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes STEPHANIE DANLER—author of the New York Times bestselling novel Sweetbitter—for a discussion of her memoir, Stray. She will be joined in conversation by author Lisa Taddeo. Her celebrated debut, Three Women, is available for purchase here.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Stray from our affiliate Bookshop page, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
After selling her first novel—a dream she'd worked long and hard for—Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she'd left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism, further handicapped by a tragic brain aneurysm; a father who abandoned the family when she was three, now a meth addict in and out of recovery. After years in New York City she's pulled home to Southern California by forces she doesn't totally understand, haunted by questions of legacy and trauma. Here, she works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it's possible to change the course of her history.
Lucid and honest, heart-breaking and full of hope, Stray is an examination of what we inherit and what we don't have to, of what we have to face in ourselves to move forward, and what it's like to let go of one's parents in order to find peace—and a family—of one's own.
Praise for Stray
"A great memoir is brazen, unflinchingly honest, and raw; the writer lays herself bare and exquisitely exposed so readers can compare scars. That is what Stephanie Danler has done. Stray is filled with uniquely southern California verisimilitude: light, canyons, flora, fauna, human failings, and the tacit understanding that danger lurks in nature as well as nurture. I knew and know the ghosts that Ms. Danler writes about. Stray dragged me through the mud and mire of my memories as well as hers, and then washed us both clean to emerge anew. This is a brave and beautiful book that fortifies our own survival skills." —Jamie Lee Curtis
“I read Stray on the edge of my seat. This is a story of triumph: the triumph of grit, talent, grace, and beauty over the dark pull of inner demons. I’ll be thinking about the courage it took to write this book for a long time to come.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance
“In Stray, Stephanie Danler has created a compulsive, neck-breaking masterpiece. It is pleasurable and full-throatedly sensual beyond words. The abounding pain is unsentimentally rendered but mind-blowingly felt. It's a dark and hot book, a violently provocative one. But it is also quiet, tender. Ultimately this is a kind writer and on every page there is hope.” —Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women
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