Virtual Event: Joanna Hershon
in conversation with JOANNA RAKOFF
May 13, 2020
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store welcomes JOANNA HERSHON—author of the novels The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance—for a discussion of her latest novel, St. Ivo. She will be joined in conversation by celebrated writer JOANNA RAKOFF.
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About St. Ivo
It’s the end of summer when we meet Sarah, the end of summer and the middle of her life, the middle of her career (she hopes it’s not the end), the middle of her marriage (recently repaired). And despite the years that have passed since she last saw her daughter, she is still very much in the middle of figuring out what happened to Leda, what role she played, and how she will let that loss affect the rest of her life.
Enter a mysterious stranger on a train, an older man taking the subway to Brooklyn who sees right into her.Then a mugging, her phone stolen, and with it any last connection to Leda. And then an invitation, friends from the past and a weekend in the country with their new, unexpected baby.
Over the course of three hot September days, the two couples try to reconnect. Events that have been set in motion, circumstances and feelings kept hidden, rise to the surface, forcing each to ask not just how they ended up where they are, but how they ended up who they are.
Unwinding like a suspense novel, Joanna Hershon's St. Ivo is a powerful investigation into the meaning of choice and family, whether we ever know the people closest to us, and how, when someone goes missing from our lives, we can ever let them go.
Praise for St. Ivo
“From the very first sentences of St. Ivo, I felt certain I was in good hands. What happens when we can no longer communicate with the people we know best? What happens when what was once fluent between two people becomes indecipherable? Not a tender novel, exactly, though there is tenderness in these pages. In St. Ivo Joanna Hershon paints a portrait of grief, of survival, but also of hope. Anyone who has ever loved fiercely, desperately, will devour this story, as I did. The effect here is cumulative and I found myself reading the final pages with the book gripped in both hands.” —Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes
“St. Ivo is a wise and revealing book, full of elegant menace—a novel whose tensions threaten to break its surface on every page. But Hershon is a master of control, showing us patiently, and with rich verisimilitude, how a parent’s love for an estranged child persists despite separation and silence; how longtime friendships hurt and heal; and how loss compels us to know ourselves, much as we might wish to look away.” ―Julie Orringer, author of The Flight Portfolio
“Joanna Hershon’s descriptive powers are vivid and cinematic, but she’s also an expert chronicler of the invisible: the changing emotional weather of a marriage, the vicissitudes of sexual passion and of grief, and the way that two human beings in an intimate relationship can still keep devastating secrets from each other.” ―Nell Freudenberger, author of Lost and Wanted
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