William Nicholson

reads from

Amherst:
A Novel

Co-sponsored by Mass Humanities

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
11
Wednesday
March 11, 2015
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 Mass Humanities welcome Oscar-nominated screenwriter WILLIAM NICHOLSON for a reading from his latest book, Amherst, a novel about two love affairs set in Amherst—one in the present, one in the past, and both presided over by Emily Dickinson.

Alice Dickinson, a young advertising executive in London, decides to take time off work to research her idea for a screenplay: the true story of the scandalous, adulterous love affair that took place between a young, Amherst college faculty wife, Mabel Loomis Todd, and the college’s treasurer, Austin Dickinson, in the 1880s. Austin, twenty-four years Mabel’s senior and married, was the brother of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, whose house provided the setting for Austin and Mabel’s trysts.

Alice travels to Amherst, staying in the house of Nick Crocker, a married English academic in his fifties. As Alice researches Austin and Mabel’s story and Emily’s role in their affair, she embarks on her own affair with Nick, an affair that, of course, they both know echoes the affair that she’s writing about in her screenplay.

Interspersed with Alice’s complicated love story is the story of Austin and Mabel, historically accurate and meticulously recreated from their voluminous letters and diaries. Using the poems of Emily Dickinson throughout, Amherst is an exploration of the nature of passionate love, its delusions, and its glories. This novel is playful and scholarly, sexy and smart, and reminds us that the games we play when we fall in love have not changed that much over the years. 

William Nicholson
William Nicholson

William Nicholson

William Nicholson is a screenwriter, playwright, television writer, and novelist. In addition to his Academy Award–nominated screenplays for Shadowlands and Gladiator, he is the author of Motherland; several young adult and fantasy novels; and a sequence of contemporary adult novels set in England. Nicholson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year Honors for services to drama and literature. He lives in Sussex, England. 

Photo Credit: Jerry Bauer

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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Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Mass Humanities: http://masshumanities.org/

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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