Peter D. Kramer at Harvard Book Store


Death of the Great Man:
A Novel

in conversation with ALEX BEAM


April 20, 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 psychiatrist and author PETER D. KRAMER for a discussion of his latest novel Death of the Great Man. He will be joined in conversation by journalist and author, ALEX BEAM.

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.

About Death of the Great Man

When Peter D. Kramer wrote about his work with psychiatric patients in books like Listening to Prozac and Should You Leave?, Joyce Carol Oates said, “To read his prose on virtually any subject is to be provoked, enthralled, illuminated.” When Kramer switched to fiction, Publishers Weekly wrote, “The depth, quality, and ambition of Kramer’s prose will surprise those expecting a superficial crossover effort.”

In his new novel, Death of the Great Man, Kramer uses those literary skills to introduce readers to an unforgettable character, Henry Farber, a well-meaning psychiatrist forced into hiding when the nation’s chief executive—a narcissistic autocrat in his disastrous second term—is found dead on the consulting room couch. From an isolated bungalow, Farber sets out to clear his name while offering an intimate view of a flawed populist leader. What begins as comic mystery and political satire matures into a moving journey of self-exploration and a commentary on the fate of truth-telling in an era when lying has become a norm in public life.

Praise for Death of the Great Man

“Peter Kramer, whether in his nonfiction guise or in his fiction writing, is a thinker I return to with reverence and esteem often. He has an intuitive and poignant and funny take on the deeper questions that nag struggling humans, one that he comes to with such wisdom.” —Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm

“Peter Kramer has created an arch political satire that also offers a deep consideration of the modes and meaning of psychoanalysis. A sly novel of many pleasures, it is at once entertaining and enlightening.” —Geraldine Brooks, author of Horse

“I’ve been a Peter Kramer fan for years. His professional training, coupled with his innate curiosity and compassion, results in a voice uniquely his. Add to that the creativity of a novelist and you have Death of the Great Man, a mesmerizing story and a moving account of a psychotherapist in crisis.” —Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Alex Beam
Alex Beam

Alex Beam

Alex Beam is a journalist and author, whose columns were featured in the Boston Globe for 25 years. A John Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University from 1996–1997, Beam also worked for Newsweek and BusinessWeek, served as the Moscow and Boston bureau chief, and has written for the International Herald Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Forbes/FYI. Beam is the author of seven books, including The Americans Are Coming!A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books, and The Feud; Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship.

Peter D. Kramer
Peter D. Kramer

Peter D. Kramer

Peter D. Kramer is the author of eight books, including Ordinarily Well, Against Depression, Should You Leave?, the novel Spectacular Happiness, and the international bestseller Listening to Prozac, whose thirtieth anniversary edition will be published this year. Dr. Kramer hosted the nationally syndicated public radio program The Infinite Mind and has appeared on the major broadcast news and talk shows, including Today, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Fresh Air. His essays, op-eds, and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and elsewhere. For nearly forty years, Dr. Kramer taught and practiced psychiatry in Providence, Rhode Island.

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.

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

  • 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.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.


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.

More questions? Give us a call!

General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »