Elizabeth Earley


Like Wings, Your Hands:
A Novel

with opening performances by ZENAIDA PETERSON and COLE RODRIGUEZ

This event includes a book signing


October 22, 2019
7:00 PM


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


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and editor ELIZABETH EARLEY for a discussion of her new novel, Like Wings, Your Hands. Her reading will feature opening performances by acclaimed Boston-based poets and activists ZENAIDA PETERSON and COLE RODRIGUEZ.

About Like Wings, Your Hands

Kalina, born in Bulgaria and now living in Boston, has always been a spiritual seeker. Her fourteen-year-old son, Marko, who has spina bifida and is partially paralyzed, shares her curiosity about larger metaphysical questions, but also has his own unique perspective on life: Marko perceives numbers as having colors, shapes, and textures―and they’re linked to emotions: embarrassment, for example, is fourteen; satisfaction is sixty-seven.

Kalina is determined to respect her son’s dignity and privacy as he embarks on the new terrain of adolescence, complicated as it is by his continued physical dependence on her care. She has other issues to wrestle with as well, including coming to understand her own life choices and her strained relationship with her father. Meanwhile, Marko, already expert at deep meditation, discovers a technique that allows him to experience a sense of boundlessness and also gain surprising insights into himself, his mother, and the grandfather he’s never met.

Both a philosophical novel and a coming-of-age story, Like Wings, Your Hands explores a mother-son relationship in the context of disability and interdependence, while also raising questions about the nature of time and space and the limitless capacities of the human mind.

Praise for Like Wings, Your Hands

"Elizabeth Earley has written a stunningly original novel—one that breaks ground as it breaks silences, one that thrums with insight and compassion and devastating beauty. Entering Like Wings, Your Hands feels like entering the dream box constructed by one of its characters—it catapults us through space and time, zooming us in to the cellular level and blasting us out to the stars. I love this book with 100% of my heart." —Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds, a Bellwether Prize recipient

"A helixing of the various incapacities of our bodies, Like Wings, Your Hands embraces the courage of yearning and the hopeful escape of dreams. Elizabeth Earley is bold and real and unapologetically political and all the things every writer strives for—and profound, absolutely profound." —Lily Hoang, author of Changing, a PEN Open Books Award recipient

"Like Wings, Your Hands takes us into a world that exists all around us, yet few of us even see. It’s a place of raw and heartbreaking human experience, and Elizabeth Earley has revealed its unique language: elemental, luminous, and beautiful." —Peter Nichols, author of The Rocks

Cole Rodriguez
Cole Rodriguez

Cole Rodriguez

Cole Rodriguez is an internationally recognized spoken word artist from Boston. As a six-year participant in the National Poetry Slam, she has competed against the top-ranked poets in the United States.

Elizabeth Earley
Elizabeth Earley

Elizabeth Earley

Elizabeth Earley is the acquisitions editor for Jaded Ibis Press. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her stories and essays have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The First Line Magazine, Fugue, Hair Trigger, and Glimmer Train. Elizabeth is the recipient of the David Friedman Memorial Prize for Fiction, has twice been a finalist for the AWP New Journals Award, has received two Pushcart nominations, and was a finalist for the 2011 Bakeless Literary Prize for Fiction. Her first novel, A Map of Everything, was a debut fiction finalist for the Lambda Literary Prize. Like Wings, Your Hands won the Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize in 2017.

Zenaida Peterson
Zenaida Peterson

Zenaida Peterson

Zenaida Peterson is an organizer, a house plant gardener and a Black non-binary poet from the south, currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts. They are the author of Breakfast for Dinner and Other Blasphemous Things, published by Pizza Pi Press. Zenaida is the founder of Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam (FEMS), an all-ages radical poetry slam for feminine folks. They have competed in 5 and coached 2 national poetry slam competitions, placing in the top 10 each time. They are prepping for the apocalypse by learning to make plant medicine, engaging in restorative justice, and farming. Outside of community work, they are a race equity consultant, and spend their time recruiting and doing equity work with Quaker Voluntary Service.

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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