Olivia Wolfgang-Smith at Harvard Book Store
in conversation with HANNA HALPERIN
May 19, 2023
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 OLIVIA WOLFGANG-SMITH—fiction writer whose work has appeared in Salamander, Ninth Letter, and The Common—for a discussion of her debut novel Glassworks. She will be joined in conversation by HANNA HALPERIN, award-winning author of Something Wild.
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.
In 1910, Agnes Carter makes the wrong choice in marriage. After years as an independent woman of fortune, influential with the board of a prominent university because of her financial donations, she is now subject to the whims of an abusive, spendthrift husband. But when Bohemian naturalist and glassblower Ignace Novak reignites Agnes's passion for science, Agnes begins to imagine a different life, and she sets her mind to getting it.
Agnes's desperate actions breed secrecy, and the resulting silence echoes into the future. Her son, Edward, wants to be a man of faith but struggles with the complexities of the mortal world while apprenticing at a stained-glass studio.
In 1986, Edward's child, Novak-just Novak-is an acrobatic window washer cleaning Manhattan high-rises, who gets caught up in the plight of Cecily, a small town girl remade as a gender-bending Broadway ingénue.
And in 2015, Cecily's daughter Flip-a burned-out stoner trapped in a bureaucratic job firing cremains into keepsake glass ornaments-resolves to break the cycle of inherited secrets, reaching back through the generations in search of a family legacy that feels true.
For readers of Mary Beth Keane, Min Jin Lee, and Rebecca Makkai, Glassworks is "an era-spanning, family and chosen-family following, marvel of a debut." (CJ Hauser, author of FAMILY OF ORIGIN)
Praise for Glassworks
“Rendered in achingly gorgeous prose, Glassworks sweeps across generations, forging an engrossing portrait of a complex inheritance—a wise and inventive debut.” ―Jennine Capó Crucet, author of Make Your Home Among Strangers
“With warmth, vividness, and humor, Wolfgang-Smith examines what we inherit and what is lost to silence and shows us how people come into themselves alongside the fragile legacies they build. A dazzling new voice.” ―Cara Blue Adams, author of You Never Get It Back
“In her brilliant and expansive debut, Glassworks, Olivia Wolfgang-Smith opens a window into the lives of four individuals separated across time and bound together by blood and vocation—here, glass is science, an art, an obstacle, a means for income, and the preserver of mystery. As these characters search for purpose and reason in their specific timelines, Wolfgang-Smith guides them with an empathetic eye, allowing them to act with pure heart and gumption, and daring readers to do the same. A refreshing, queer novel packed with found families, buried secrets, and intricate imagery, Glassworks is—simply put—stunning.” ―Christopher Gonzalez, author of I'm Not Hungry But I Could Eat
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.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
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.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
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- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
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Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
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