Jill Bialosky at Harvard Book Store
in conversation with CLAIRE MESSUD
September 6, 2022
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 award-winning author and poet JILL BIALOSKY for a discussion of her new novel The Deceptions. She will be joined in conversation by CLAIRE MESSUD, acclamied author and creative writing professor 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 Deceptions
Something terrible has happened and I don’t know what to do. An unnamed narrator’s life is unraveling. Her only child has left home, and her twenty-year marriage is strained. Anticipation about her soon-to-be-released book of poetry looms. She seeks answers to the paradoxes of love, desire, and parenthood among the Greek and Roman gods at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As she passes her days teaching at a boys’ prep school, spending her off-hours sequestered in the museum's austere galleries, she is haunted by memories of a yearlong friendship with a colleague, a fellow poet struggling with his craft. As secret betrayals and deceptions come to light and rage threatens to overwhelm her, the pantheon of gods assume remarkably vivid lives of their own, forcing her to choose between reality and myth in an effort to free herself from the patriarchal constraints of the past and embrace a new vision for her future.
The Deceptions is a page-turning and seductively told exploration of female sexuality and ambition as well as a human drama that dares to test the stories we tell ourselves. It is also a brilliant investigation of a life caught between the dueling magnetic poles of privacy and its appropriation in art and literature. Celebrated poet, memoirist, and novelist Jill Bialosky has reached new and daring heights in her boldest work yet.
Praise for The Deceptions
"Poetry and inspiration, obsession and divinity, all come under Bialosky’s purview in her elegantly constructed fable of trying to create while everything else falls apart." —Ed Simon, The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
“The great Greeks—Odysseus, Herakles, Aphrodite, and, centrally, Leda and the Swan—circle around this powerfully written account of a woman in a kind of slow crisis and help her interrogate her marriage and desires. Then, in an extraordinary, explosive final act, a profound act of betrayal lifts the novel towards genuine tragedy. The Deceptions is a deeply felt and formally original tour-de-force.” —Salman Rushdie
"At once classical and contemporary, Jill Bialosky's powerful new novel weaves together themes of art and life, sexuality and family, gender dynamics and selfhood. The Deceptions is urgent, unsettling, and utterly consuming—a triumph." —Claire Messud
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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