Upcoming Event

Anna Noyes at Harvard Book Store

presenting

The Blue Maiden: A Novel

in conversation with NINA MACLAUGHLIN

Date

May
30
Thursday
May 30, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

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

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ANNA NOYES—author of Goodnight, Beautiful Women—for a discussion of her debut novel The Blue Maiden. She will be joined in conversation by NINA MACLAUGHLIN—author of Wake, Siren and Winter Solstice

About The Blue Maiden

It’s 1825, four generations after Berggrund Island’s women stood accused of witchcraft under the eye of their priest, now long dead. In his place is Pastor Silas, a widower with two wild young daughters, Beata and Ulrika. The sisters are outcasts: imaginative, oppositional, increasingly obsessed with the lore and legend of the island’s dark past and their absent mother, whom their father refuses to speak of.

As the girls come of age, and the strictures of the community shift but never wane, their rebellions twist and sharpen. Ever capable Ulrika shoulders the burden of keeping house, while Bea, alone with unsettling visions and impulses, hungers for companionship and attention. When an enigmatic outsider arrives at their door, his presence threatens their family bond and unearths – piece by piece – a buried history to shocking ends. All the while Berggrund’s neighboring island The Blue Maiden beckons, storied home of the Witches’ Sabbath and Satan’s realm, its misted shore veiling truths the sisters have spent their lives searching for.

A Nordic Gothic laced with the horrors of life in a patriarchy both hostile to and reliant on its women, The Blue Maiden is a starkly beautiful depiction of lost lineage and resilience.

Praise for The Blue Maiden

"This perfect book stands all on its own. It is so finely crafted, every word is essential, incantatory. Terrifying, but real. I loved it so much.” —Jenny Slate, author of Little Weirds

"Anna Noyes writes like a witch. The Blue Maiden is a shimmering spell of a novel: mesmerizing, beautiful, and alive with pain, wonder, rage and love. The misty island followed me into my dreams and the sisters stayed with me long after I closed the cover. Simply stunning." —Emma Törzs, author of Ink Blood Sister Scribe

“A breathtaking story of sisterhood and secrets that gripped me from page one. Beata and Ulrika are magnetic, and their coming-of-age on wild Berggrund Island is a tale unlike any other, full of astonishing twists. The Blue Maiden is a knockout by a writer at the height of her exquisite powers.” —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Anna Noyes
Anna Noyes

Anna Noyes

Anna Noyes’s debut collection, Goodnight, Beautiful Women, was a finalist for the Story Prize and the New England Book Award, as well as a New York Times Editors' Choice, Indie Next Pick, Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and Amazon Best Book of the Month. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Vice, A Public Space, and Guernica, among others. She has received the Lotos Foundation Prize and the Henfield Prize, as well as residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Lighthouse Works, the James Merrill House, and Aspen Words. She lives in New York, on Fishers Island.

Photo Credit: Nate Malinowski

Nina MacLaughlin
Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, as well as the book-length essays Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice. Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter, a finalist for the New England Book Award. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared on or in The Paris Review Daily, The Virginia Quarterly Review, n+1, The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Agni, American Short Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Meatpaper, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Kelly Davidson

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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