Virtual Event: Alexandra Marshall


The Silence of Your Name:
The Afterlife of a Suicide

in conversation with MEGAN MARSHALL


November 10, 2021
7:00 PM ET


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Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes novelist ALEXANDRA MARSHALL—author of The Court of Common Pleas and Still Waters—for a discussion of her latest book, The Silence of Your Name: The Afterlife of a Suicide. She will be joined in conversation by MEGAN MARSHALL, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.

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About The Silence of Your Name

The Silence Of Your Name revolves around the suicide of Marshall's charismatic and idealistic young husband, Tim Buxton, while they were in Ghana with Operation Crossroads Africa—a progenitor of the Peace Corps. Marshall weaves in her husband's hidden family history, one tied to Boston's wealthy social scene and the deaths of notorious Black Sun publisher Harry Crosby and Tim's aunt Josephine Rotch Bigelow. By allowing readers to experience these distinct periods of time in great detail, Marshall illuminates the toxic effects of denial across classes and generations.

As Marshall moves on with her life, now a novelist and young widow, she must navigate her way in the '70s publishing world with the guidance of her friend Philip Roth, while still processing the grief of losing her husband. Decades later, Marshall finds herself in the footprints of her past, journeying to Ghana and reuniting with a royal Queen-Mother and the steadfast community that offered her its support decades earlier. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Megan Marshall writes, she "is relentless in her quest for understanding and release from grief and guilt . . . but wisdom comes incrementally and her readers partake eagerly at each stage until we, too, have learned that grief may be transformed into love—and brilliant, soothing prose."

Praise for The Silence of Your Name

The Silence of Your Name is a moving and heartbreaking memoir, a beautiful and haunting exploration of love and loss—and love again.” —Alice Hoffman, The Book of Magic

“A rare form of memoir. Deeply introspective, insightful, surprising, gripping—and gorgeously written.” —Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go

“An eloquent countermove against the erasure that follows a suicide, Alexandra Marshall’s tender, layered memoir is an exploration of how her first husband’s death shaped her without being allowed to entirely define her. The burnished clarity of her narrative is an honor to him, to herself, and to her readers.” —Joan Wickersham, National Book Award finalist for The Suicide Index

Alexandra Marshall
Alexandra Marshall

Alexandra Marshall

Alexandra Marshall is the author of five novels and two works of nonfiction. In addition to short fiction and essays she has published film criticism, opinion pieces, and travel journalism. In May of this year she presented at The Boston Athenaeum her most recent book, the memoir The Silence of Your Name: The Afterlife of a Suicide.

Megan Marshall
Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall is the author of three biographies: The Peabody Sisters, winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography; Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction; and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, a finalist for the Christian Gauss Award in Literary Criticism of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She is the Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor at Emerson College, a past president of the Society of American Historians, and the recipient of the 2022 BIO (Biographers International Organization) Award for “contributions to the advancement of the art and craft of biography” as well as the 2022 Walter Harding Distinguished Service Award for “scholarly achievement that furthers the mission of the Thoreau Society.”

Photo Credit: Gail Samuelson

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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