Julian Aguon at Harvard Book Store
No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies:
A Lyric Essay
in conversation with KHURY PETERSEN-SMITH
September 22, 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 Chamorro human rights lawyer and defender JULIAN AGUON for a discussion of his new book No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay. He will be joined in conversation by KHURY PETERSEN-SMITH—Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
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 No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies
Part memoir, part manifesto, Chamorro climate activist Julian Aguon’s No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is a coming-of-age story and a call for justice—for everyone, but in particular, for Indigenous peoples.
In bracing poetry and compelling prose, Aguon weaves together stories from his childhood in the villages of Guam with searing political commentary about matters ranging from nuclear weapons to global warming. Undertaking the work of bearing witness, wrestling with the most pressing questions of the modern day, and reckoning with the challenge of truth-telling in an era of rampant obfuscation, he culls from his own life experiences—from losing his father to pancreatic cancer to working for Mother Teresa to an edifying chance encounter with Sherman Alexie—to illuminate a collective path out of the darkness.
A powerful, bold, new voice writing at the intersection of Indigenous rights and environmental justice, Julian Aguon is entrenched in the struggles of the people of the Pacific to liberate themselves from colonial rule, defend their sacred sites, and obtain justice for generations of harm. In No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies, Aguon shares his wisdom and reflections on love, grief, joy, and triumph and extends an offer to join him in a hard-earned hope for a better world.
Praise for No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies
“Powerful with love, and tender about what it needs to be tender about, and direct, even fierce where it means to tell us what we need to be thinking about what we’ve been doing to this world, to Aguon’s people, and to Indigenous people everywhere, to the land and to all its beings . . . as the dying eight-spot butterfly he writes about, strong and luminous as a needed beacon in a fog of disinformation and dismay, Julian Aguon with this small book emerges already a giant.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There
“I did not know I needed this book until it had me in its embrace like the oldest and dearest of friends, from the very first page . . . With bottomless love for his people and place, Aguon guides us through a portal to the Pacific, sharing deep insights earned from life on the existential knife’s edge.” —Naomi Klein, author of How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other
“A breathtaking book and I mean it—this book took my breath away . . . alive with passion, wisdom, and heart, you can almost feel its pulse. A call not only for justice but for a brand-new covenant with our world.” —Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
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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