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's essays and short fiction have appeared in AGNI, Five Points, Hunger Mountain, Literary Hub, Ploughshares, The American Prospect, The American Scholar, Boston Globe, New York Times, and in several anthologies. She has published five novels (Gus in Bronze, Tender Offer, The Brass Bed, Something Borrowed, and The Court of Common Pleas) and a nonfiction book, Still Waters.

Megan Marshall
Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall’s most recent book is Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, a biography-cum-memoir of the poet who was her teacher at Harvard in the 1970s. She is the recipient of the 2022 BIO Award for a writer who has “made major contributions to the advancement of the art and craft of biography.” A recent past president of the Society of American Historians, she teaches nonfiction writing and the art of archival research in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Emerson College.

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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