Upcoming Event

Marie-Helene Bertino at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Beautyland: A Novel

in conversation by LAURA VAN DEN BERG

Date

Apr
23
Tuesday
April 23, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes MARIE-HELENE BERTINO—author of Parakeet and 2AM at the Cat's Pajamas—for a discussion of her new novel Beautyland. She will be joined in conversation by LAURA VAN DEN BERG—author of The Third Hotel and I Hold a Wolf by the Ears.

About Beautyland

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

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Laura van den Berg
Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg was born and raised in Florida. She is the author of five works of fiction, including The Third Hotel, a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best Fiction Books of 2020. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bard Fiction Prize, and is a two-time finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Laura is currently a Senior Lecturer on Fiction at Harvard. Her next novel, State of Paradise, is forthcoming from FSG in July 2024. She lives in the Hudson Valley.

Photo Credit: Lucy Bohnsack

Marie-Helene Bertino
Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of Parakeet, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, and the story collection Safe as Houses. She was the 2017 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow in Cork, Ireland. Her work has received the O. Henry Prize, the Pushcart Prize, the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the Mississippi Review Story Prize, and fellowships from MacDowell, Sewanee, and New York City’s Center for Fiction, and has twice been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She teaches creative writing at New York University and Yale University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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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