Mary Louise Kelly at the Brattle Theatre
It. Goes. So. Fast.:
The Year of No Do-Overs
in conversation with MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI
April 14, 2023
6:00 PM ET
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
$28.75 (book included)
Harvard Book Store welcomes MARY LOUISE KELLY—Harvard University alumna and co-host of All Things Considered on NPR—for a discussion of her new memoir It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs. She will be joined in conversation by MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, host of NPR's On Point.
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 Brattle Theatre events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the venue. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth. At venues where refreshments are served, attendees may briefly unmask when actively eating or drinking.
- Attendance is capped so as to allow for some social distancing in the venue.
For the time being, we will not be holding author signings at these events, in order to limit close contact. When possible, we will have pre-signed books available for purchase on-site.
There are two ticket options available for this event.
Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one hardcover copy of It. Goes. So. Fast.
Admission-Only Ticket: Includes admission for one.
About It. Goes. So. Fast.
The time for do-overs is over.
Ever since she became a parent, Mary Louise Kelly has said “next year.” Next year will be the year she makes it to her son James’s soccer games (which are on weekdays at 4 p.m., right when she is on the air on NPR’s All Things Considered, talking to millions of listeners). Drive carpool for her son Alexander? Not if she wants to do that story about Ukraine and interview the secretary of state. Like millions of parents who wrestle with raising children while pursuing a career, she has never been cavalier about these decisions. The bargain she has always made with herself is this: this time I’ll get on the plane, and next year I’ll find a way to be there for the mom stuff.
Well, James and Alexander are now seventeen and fifteen, and a realization has overtaken Mary Louise: her older son will be leaving soon for college. There used to be years to make good on her promises; now, there are months, weeks, minutes. And with the devastating death of her beloved father, Mary Louise is facing act three of her life head-on.
Mary Louise is coming to grips with the reality every parent faces. Childhood has a definite expiration date. You have only so many years with your kids before they leave your house to build their own lives. It’s what every parent is supposed to want, what they raise their children to do. But it is bittersweet. Mary Louise is also dealing with the realities of having aging parents. This pivotal time brings with it the enormous questions of what you did right and what you did wrong.
This chronicle of her eldest child’s final year at home, of losing her father, as well as other curve balls thrown at her, is not a definitive answer―not for herself and certainly not for any other parent. But her questions, her issues, will resonate with every parent. And, yes, especially with mothers, who are judged more harshly by society and, more important, judge themselves more harshly. What would she do if she had to decide all over again?
Mary Louise’s thoughts as she faces the coming year will speak to anyone who has ever cared about a child or a parent. It. Goes. So. Fast. is honest, funny, poignant, revelatory, and immensely relatable.
Praise for It. Goes. So. Fast.
“It. Goes. So. Fast. is a moving and funny account of the deals we cut with ourselves: what we sacrifice, what we gain, and what we really want (which is everything). By holding up a mirror to her own choices, Mary Louise Kelly gives us tremendous insight into how we struggle to be true to ourselves and the people we love, and how we're never going to get it exactly right. This book is the voice of solidarity. It is a gift.” ―Ann Patchett
“This compelling account of the divided heart of a dedicated journalist and devoted mother is tender and gritty and remarkably relevant.” ―Hilma Wolitzer, Author of Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket
“Mary Louise Kelly has written an achingly honest memoir that reflects the joys, regrets, pitfalls and triumphs of the modern working mother. Humor, heart, and humanity bounce off every. single. page. I felt like I was having a bottle (or two) of wine with a close friend whose balancing act very much resonated with mine―and probably yours too.” ―Katie Couric
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.
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