GrubStreet Launch Lab: The Myth of Solid Ground

featuring

STEPHANIE KEGAN
ROBIN MCLEAN
SYLVIA TRUE

discussing

Golden State:
A Novel

Reptile House

The Wednesday Group

Co-sponsored by GrubStreet

This event includes a book signing

Date

May
21
Thursday
May 21, 2015
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 and GrubStreet welcomes journalist STEPHANIE KEGAN, Clark University lecturer ROBIN MCLEAN, and debut novelist SYLVIA TRUE for a presentation of their work that explores just how fragile the foundation of an ordinary life can be. The narrator of Stephanie Kegan’s novel Golden State has a seemingly ideal life until she learns her beloved brother might be the terrorist on the FBI’s most-wanted listed. The inhabitants of Robin McLean’s prize winning collection Reptile House abandon families, nurse vendettas, and plot assassinations all in pursuit of a better dream. In Sylvia True’s novel The Wednesday Group, five women, struggling with the betrayal and heartbreak of their spouses’ sex addiction, must learn how to move forward with their lives. 

On Golden State: A Novel:

A haunting literary drama, with a ripped-from-the headlines urgency reminiscent of Defending Jacob and Sue Miller’s While I Was Gone, Golden State asks hard questions about the limits of loyalty and the bounds of family ties.

Growing up in the 1960s in one of California’s most prominent political families, Natalie Askedahl worshipped her big brother, Bobby, a sensitive math prodigy who served as her protector and confidante. But after Bobby left home at sixteen on a Princeton scholarship, something changed between them. Now that Natalie is happily married, with a career and two young daughters, her only real regret is losing Bobby.

Then, a bomb explodes in the middle of her seemingly ideal life. Her oldest daughter is on the Stanford campus when one person is killed and another maimed. Other bombings follow across California. Frightened for her family, Natalie grows obsessed with the case until she makes an unthinkable discovery: the bomber’s manifesto reads alarmingly like the last letter she has from Bobby.

Unsure of whom to sacrifice and whom to protect, Natalie is confronted with a terrible choice that will send her down a rabbit hole of confusion, lies, and betrayals. As her life splits irrevocably into before and after, she begins to learn that some of the most dangerous things in the world are the stories we tell ourselves.

On Reptile House:

The characters in these nine short stories abandon families, plot assassinations, nurse vendettas, tease, taunt, and terrorize. They retaliate for bad marriages, dream of weddings, and wait decades for lovers. How far will we go to escape to a better dream? What consequences must we face for hope and fantasy? Robin McLean's stories are strange, often disturbing and funny, and as full of foolishness and ugliness as they are of the wisdom and beauty all around us.

On The Wednesday Group:

Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone. . . . Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.

As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

From author Sylvia True comes The Wednesday Group, a captivating, moving novel about friendship, marriage, and the bonds that connect us all.

Robin McLean
Robin McLean

Robin McLean

Robin McLean holds an MFA from UMass Amherst. She teaches at Clark University and lives in Bristol, New Hampshire, and Sunderland, Massachusetts.

Stephanie Kegan
Stephanie Kegan

Stephanie Kegan

Stephanie Kegan's recently published novel Golden State, from Simon & Schuster, has been named a "must read" respectively by People, Entertainment Weekly and Los Angeles magazines. Her previous books include The Baby, a novel published by the Berkley Publishing Group and Places to Go with Children in Southern California (six editions) published by Chronicle Books. Her non-fiction has appeared in Self, Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere. A native Californian, she lives in Los Angeles. 

Sylvia True
Sylvia True

Sylvia True

Sylvia True was born in Manchester, England, and now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and dogs. She teaches high school. The Wednesday Group is her first novel.

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.

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.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

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.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Event Series: GrubStreet Launch Lab

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.

These days, authors, no matter how they are published, are frequently on their own when it comes to marketing and promoting their books. Publishers now expect their authors to be active partners in the marketing process, cultivating their audience with all the new tools available to them via social media and innovative marketing. In the midst of all these changes and this unavoidable reality, GrubStreet seeks to build community and share expertise around these crucial new responsibilities.

The Launch Lab is a pioneering program that will equip writers with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective in their efforts while also facilitating friendships and community so that they remain inspired, connected, and engaged in the process. Learn more about the Launch Lab at https://grubstreet.org/programs/the-launch-lab/.

Event Co-Sponsor(s)

GrubStreet: https://www.grubstreet.org/

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Masks Required

We currently require face masks at Harvard Book Store and at our events. Thanks for your understanding!

Learn More »

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »