Peter Orner at Harvard Book Store
Still No Word from You:
Notes in the Margin
in conversation with ASAKO SERIZAWA
November 18, 2022
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 Pushcart Prize-winning author PETER ORNER for a discussion of his new book Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin. He will be joined in conversation by ASAKO SERIZAWA.
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 Still No Word from You
Stationed in the South Pacific during World War II, Seymour Orner wrote a letter every day to his wife, Lorraine. She seldom responded, leading him to plead in 1945, “Another day and still no word from you.” Seventy years later, Peter Orner writes in response to his grandfather’s plea: “Maybe we read because we seek that word from someone, from anyone.”
From the acclaimed fiction writer about whom Dwight Garner of The New York Times wrote, “You know from the second you pick him up that he’s the real deal,” comes Still No Word from You, a unique chain of essays and intimate stories that meld the lived life and the reading life. For Orner, there is no separation. Covering such well-known writers as Lorraine Hansberry, Primo Levi, and Marilynne Robinson, as well as other greats like Maeve Brennan and James Alan McPherson, Orner’s highly personal take on literature alternates with his own true stories of loss and love, hope and despair. In his mother’s copy of A Coney Island of the Mind, he’s stopped short by a single word in the margin, “YES!”—which leads him to conjure his mother at twenty-three. He stops reading Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Beginning of Spring three quarters of the way through because he knows that finishing the novel will leave him bereft. Orner’s solution is to start again from the beginning to slow the inevitable heartache.
Still No Word from You is a book for anyone for whom reading is as essential as breathing.
Praise for Still No Word from You
"If there’s an ideal autumn book, it’s a book about books, writers and reading. Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin (Oct. 11), by the always undervalued Peter Orner, swings seamlessly between his Highland Park boyhood (a Cheever tale, writ large) and his reading life, mourning family, and even stumbling on his mother’s youthful marginalia." —Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune
"Peter Orner is a writer’s writer . . . Since all writers are also readers, his fans should particularly appreciate this volume of essays and other musings on the writing life, the reading life, and the living life, which are all, of course, inseparable. I am very much looking forward to living inside Orner’s brain (and bookshelf) for a while." —Emily Temple
"Orner—a legitimate triple-threat: novelist, short story master, and prolific essayist—returns with an addictive collection of more than 100 buoyant essays organized around a single day and a wide range of emotions . . . [A] wise, welcoming, heartfelt book." —Kirkus Reviews
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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