Marie-Helene Bertino at Harvard Book Store
in conversation with LAURA VAN DEN BERG
February 13, 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 MARIE-HELENE BERTINO—author of Parakeet—for a discussion of her new novel Beautyland. She will be joined in conversation by LAURA VAN DEN BERG—author of The Third Hotel.
At the moment when Voyager 1 is launched into space carrying its famous golden record, a baby of unusual perception is born to a single mother in Philadelphia. Adina Giorno is tiny and jaundiced, but reaches for warmth and light. As a child, she recognizes that she is different; she also possesses knowledge of a faraway planet. The arrival of a fax machine enables her to contact her extraterrestrial relatives, beings who have sent her to report on the oddities of earthlings.
For years, as she moves through the world and makes a life for herself among humans, she dispatches transmissions on the terrors and surprising joys of their existence. But at a precarious moment, a beloved friend urges Adina to share her messages with the world. Is there a chance she is not alone?
A blazing novel of startling originality about the fragility and resilience of life in our universe, Marie-Helene Bertino’s Beautyland is a remarkable evocation of feeling in exile at home and introduces a gentle, unforgettable alien for our times.
Praise for Beautyland
“Beautyland is beautiful and hilarious and transcendent. Marie-Helene Bertino is an otherworldly talent.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There
“Sparkling and alive, funny and magnificently true, this book made me fall back in love with this universe.” —Ramona Ausubel, author of The Last Animal
“Beautyland is both an otherworldly and completely human look into one girl’s life, written in concise, lyrical prose. It is richly allusive, funny, and hypersmart. Marie-Helene Bertino has knocked it out of the park with this one. I loved it.” —Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Removed
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
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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While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
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