Upcoming Event

Lucas Mann at Harvard Book Store


Essays on Fatherhood
and Other Performances

in conversation with NINA MACLAUGHLIN


May 20, 2024
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 LUCAS MANN—author of Captive Audience and professor of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth—for a discussion of his new essay collection Attachments: Essays on Fatherhood and Other Performances. He will be joined in conversation with NINA MACLAUGHLIN—award-winning author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung and Winter Solstice.

About Attachments

Lucas Mann turns his attention, tenderness, self-reflection, and humor to contemporary fatherhood. He looks closely at all the joys, frustrations, subtleties, and contradictions within an experience that often goes under-discussed. At once intimate and expansive, Mann chronicles his own life with his young daughter, but also looks outward to the cultural and political baggage that surrounds and permeates these everyday experiences. Moving through memoir, lyric essay, literary analysis, and pop culture criticism, Attachments treats the subject of fatherhood with the depth, curiosity, and vivid emotion that it deserves.

Praise for Attachments

“The essays in Lucas Mann’s Attachments are fierce and funny and agile, following the so-called ‘smallest’ moments of daily experience to the subterranean inquiries these moments have always been attached to, about the entanglements between intimacy and transformation, past and prior selves, culture and selfhood. (Which is to say: Come for the playground soap operas, stay for the acute observations about social performance!) Mann’s interest in attachment itself has to do not just with love but with identity: what versions of ourselves we are most attached to, and what parts of us emerge when we betray these attachments. I love Mann’s writing for its company and its candor, and especially for its ruthless battle with the twin demons of self-pity and self-satisfaction. His razor gaze slices through righteousness like a mandolin’s blade slivers fruit; exposing those wry, quick-silver feelings—often embarrassing, always illuminating—tucked into the crevices of the more familiar emotions we are most comfortable making visible, even to ourselves; but always, always the animating engine of this rigor is love.” —Leslie Jamison, author, The Empathy Exams: Essays

“Naked and tender, Attachments is an eyes-wide-open exploration of everything that matters. In this twelve-essay collection that spans parenthood, culture, art, and community, Lucas Mann has embraced far-ranging and clear-eyed observation that’s as astute as is it honest. A special, singular book that invites us all to participate fully in the suffering, beautiful world.”—Rachel Yoder, author, Nightbitch

Attachments is an intelligent and searching exploration of vulnerability in all its forms. Lucas Mann’s essays attain a naturalness of form without ever losing their penetrating insight and gorgeous sensibility. Some books punish as they reveal, but Mann’s generosity and clarity of vision, his humor and candor, make revelation into an occasion for connection. I was flattened and changed by this book. Simply beautiful.” —Brandon Taylor, author, Filthy Animals

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Lucas Mann
Lucas Mann

Lucas Mann

Lucas Mann teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is author of Captive Audience: On Love and Reality TV. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where he owns Riffraff Bookstore and Bar. 

Nina MacLaughlin
Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, as well as the book-length essays Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice. Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter, a finalist for the New England Book Award. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared on or in The Paris Review Daily, The Virginia Quarterly Review, n+1, The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Agni, American Short Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Meatpaper, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Kelly Davidson

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1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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