Jess Row at Harvard Book Store
The New Earth: A Novel
in conversation with TARA K. MENON
April 18, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes JESS ROW—acclaimed author of Your Face in Mine and White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination—for a discussion of his latest novel The New Earth. He will be joined in conversation by TARA K. MENON—Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Harvard University.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About The New Earth
For fifteen years, the Wilcoxes have been a family in name only. Though never the picture of happiness, they once seemed like a typical white Jewish clan from the Upper West Side. But in the early 2000s, two events ruptured the relationships between them. First, Naomi revealed to her children that her biological father was actually Black. In the aftermath, college-age daughter Bering left home to become a radical peace activist in Palestine’s West Bank, where she was killed by an Israeli Army sniper.
Now, in 2018, Winter Wilcox is getting married, and her only demand is that her mother, father, and brother emerge from their self-imposed isolations and gather once more. After decades of neglecting personal and political wounds, each remaining family member must face their fractured history and decide if they can ever reconcile.
Assembling a vast chorus of voices and ideas from across the globe, Jess Row “explodes the saga from within—blows the roof off, so to speak, to let in politics, race, theory, and the narrative self-awareness that the form had seemed hell-bent on ignoring” (Jonathan Lethem). The New Earth is a commanding investigation of our deep and impossible desire to undo the injustices we have both inflicted and been forced to endure.
Praise for The New Earth
“Jess Row interrogated American whiteness with great creative power in Your Face in Mine and White Flights. The New Earth extends his thinking on historical amnesia and erasure, race and family, in extraordinary ways.” — Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen
"Riveting and brilliant, The New Earth throws down a gauntlet around Jewishness, diaspora, and the historical production of whiteness in America with such tremendous force that the novel feels epochal. Indeed, it is hard to imagine that the American literary landscape will be quite the same after the effects of this work are felt. A novel at once sprawling and deeply intimate, I had to stop reading many times simply to marvel at Row’s creation of this family and the book that holds them." —Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox
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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