Upcoming Event

Caster Semenya at First Parish Church


The Race to Be Myself:
A Memoir 

in conversation with KIM MCLARIN


November 1, 2023
7:00 PM ET
(Doors at 6:30)


First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


$38.00 (book included) $15.00 (admission + 20% coupon)

Harvard Book Store welcomes CASTER SEMENYA—two-time Olympic Games gold medalist—for a discussion of her new memoir The Race to Be Myself. She will be joined in conversation by KIM MCLARIN—acclaimed author and Professor of Creative Writing and Graduate Program Director of the MFA in Popular Fiction at Emerson College.


There are two ticket options available for this event. Caster will sign copies of The Race to Be Myself after the presentation. Additional copies of the book will be for sale at the event.

Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one paperback copy of The Race to Be Myself.

Admission + 20% Coupon Ticket: Includes admission for one, plus a coupon which can be used for 20% off the purchase of Caster Semenya's The Race to Be Myself exclusively onsite at the First Parish Church event on November 1.


About The Race to Be Myself

Olympian and World Champion Caster Semenya is finally ready to share the vivid and heartbreaking story of how the world came to know her name. Thrust into the spotlight at just eighteen years old after winning the Berlin World Championships in 2009, Semenya’s win was quickly overshadowed by criticism and speculation about her body, and she became the center of a still-raging firestorm about how gender plays out in sports, our expectations of female athletes, and the right to compete as you are.

Told with captivating speed and candor, The Race to Be Myself is the journey of Semenya’s years as an athlete in the public eye, and her life behind closed doors. From her rural beginnings running free in the dust, to crushing her opponents in record time on the track, to the accusations and falsehoods spread about her in the press, the legal trial she went through in order to compete, and the humiliation she has been forced to endure publicly and privately. This book is a searing testimony for anyone who has been forced to stop doing what they love.

Praise for The Race to Be Myself

"Caster’s story isn’t just a tale of perseverance and poise, it’s a story that makes us all interrogate our humanity and the world we build with our actions every day. An essential read." —Trevor Noah

Mask Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya is a professional runner from South Africa. She’s a two-time Olympic Games gold medalist and a three-time World Athletics Championships gold medalist. She lives in Pretoria, South Africa with her family.

Photo credit: Nadia Bezuidenhout

Kim McLarin
Kim McLarin

Kim McLarin

Kim McLarin is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, several essay collections and the bibilomemoir James Baldwin’s Another Country: Bookmarked. Her last essay collection, Womanish, was called “blisteringly honest, funny and vulnerable” by The New York Times, and was excerpted in The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in the New England Review, the Sewanee Review, The Sun Magazine, The Root, Slate, The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other publications. She is a former staff writer for The Associated Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. She appears regularly on Basic Black, the longest running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color, produced at WGBH. She holds a BA from Duke University and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy. Kim is Professor of Creative Writing and Graduate Program Director of the MFA in Popular Fiction at Emerson College.


First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.

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.
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  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
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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.

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I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
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