The Monk of Mokha
in conversation with MOKHTAR ALKHANSHALI
Tickets on sale now (book included)
This event includes a book signing
February 14, 2018
(Doors at 6:00)
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
$29.75 (book included) - On Sale Now
Harvard Book Store and 826 Boston welcome award-winning writer, McSweeney's founder, and 826 National co-founder DAVE EGGERS—author of The Circle, What is the What, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, among many others—for a discussion of his latest book, The Monk of Mokha. He will be joined in conversation by MOKHTAR ALKHANSHALI, founder and CEO of Port of Mokha Coffee, and the subject of The Monk of Mokha.
About The Monk of Mokha
Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a chance encounter awakens his interest in coffee and its rich history in Yemen. Reinventing himself, he sets out to learn about coffee cultivation, roasting and importing. He travels to Yemen and visits farms in every corner of the country, collecting samples, eager to improve cultivation methods and help Yemeni farmers bring their coffee back to its former glory. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015. The U.S. embassy closes, Saudi bombs begin to rain down on the country and Mokhtar is trapped in Yemen.
"The immensely gifted and giving Eggers. . . portrays Yemeni American Mokhtar Alkhanshali, who, after an unruly childhood in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, a transformative stay in Yemen with his grandfather, and success as a car salesman, finally finds his calling, which proves to be quixotic and dangerous: he commits himself to restoring Yemen’s long-forgotten standing as the world’s first and best coffee producer. Eggers crisply recounts coffee’s delectably roguish history, into which Mokhtar’s Sisyphean struggles fit perfectly. . . Readers will never take coffee for granted or overlook the struggles of Yemen after ingesting Eggers’s phenomenally well-written, juggernaut tale of an intrepid and irresistible entrepreneur on a complex and meaningful mission, a highly caffeinated adventure story." —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
"A most improbable and uplifting success story. . . Eggers offers an appealing hybrid: a biography of a charming, industrious Muslim man who has more ambition than direction; a capsule history of coffee and its origins, growth, and development as a mass commodity and then as a niche product; the story of Blue Bottle, the elite coffee chain in San Francisco that some suspect (and some fear) could turn into the next Starbucks; an adventure story of civil war in a foreign country. . . It is hard to resist the derring-do of the Horatio Alger of Yemenite coffee." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The remarkable true story of a Yemeni coffee farmer. . . A vibrant depiction of courage and passion, interwoven with a detailed history of Yemeni coffee and a timely exploration of Muslim American identity." —David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly
"Surreal. . . Eggers tells the exciting true story of a Yemeni-American man’s attempts to promote his ancestral country’s heritage, giving both a timely gloss on the traditional American dream and a window into the nightmare of contemporary political instability. . . [The Monk of Mokha] works as both a heartwarming success story with a winning central character and an account of real-life adventures that read with the vividness of fiction." —Publishers Weekly
Tickets will also be available at Harvard Book Store and over the phone at 617-661-1515. Unless the event is sold out, any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door of the venue when doors open. Books bundled with e-tickets may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
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.
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826 Boston is a nonprofit youth writing and publishing organization that empowers traditionally underserved students ages 6-18 to find their voices, tell their stories, and gain communication skills to succeed in school and in life. For more info visit www.826boston.org
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