Virtual Event: Carolyn Ferrell
Dear Miss Metropolitan:
in conversation with JO ANN BEARD
July 28, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes CAROLYN FERRELL—professor of writing at Sarah Lawrence College and author of the award-winning story collection Don't Erase Me—for a discussion of her debut novel, Dear Miss Metropolitan. She will be joined in conversation by writer and fellow Sarah Lawrence professor JO ANN BEARD, acclaimed author of The Boys of My Youth and Festival Days.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Dear Miss Metropolitan on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Dear Miss Metropolitan
Fern seeks refuge from her mother’s pill-popping and boyfriends via Soul Train; Gwin finds salvation in the music of Prince much to her congregation’s dismay and Jesenia, miles ahead of her classmates at her gifted and talented high school, is a brainy and precocious enigma. None of this matters to Boss Man, the monster who abducts them and holds them captive in a dilapidated house in Queens.
On the night they are finally rescued, throngs line the block gawking and claiming ignorance. Among them is lifetime resident Miss Metropolitan, advice columnist for the local weekly, but how could anyone who fancies herself a “newspaperwoman” have missed a horror story unfolding right across the street? And why is it that only two of the three girls—now women—were found? The mystery haunts the two remaining “victim girls” who are subjected to the further trauma of becoming symbols as they continuously adapt to their present and their unrelenting past.
Like Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys, Ferrell’s Dear Miss Metropolitan gives voice to characters surviving unimaginable tragedy. The story is inventively revealed before, during, and after the ordeal in this singular and urgent novel.
Praise for Dear Miss Metropolitan
“Such a beautifully rendered and provocative novel. Ferrell has given me a world I could never have imagined filled with so many people I feel like I’ve always known. A stunner.” —Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone, Another Brooklyn and National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming
“Sometimes, to write about a horrifying trauma and its resounding effects, you have to write toward the heart of the matter in unexpected ways. Carolyn Ferrell does just that in her remarkable, challenging debut novel Dear Miss Metropolitan. This is the story of three girls stolen from their lives by a sadistic man, but it is also about a community that failed each of the girls and what it can be like to emerge from a very dark, damaged place on fragile footing. Dear Miss Metropolitan is a story told in brilliant, jagged fragments. It is a story that will make you uncomfortable and it will make you ache and make you rage. Ferrell's novel is a monumental provocation and heralds great things to come from an immensely talented writer.” —Roxane Gay, author of Difficult Women and Hunger
“Dear Miss Metropolitan is a heart-wreck of a story of how pain and suffering fracture lives, but also a hopeful one that testifies of the human will to survive. While the nexus of the book is unimaginable trauma and its aftermath, Carolyn Ferrell has wrung from it, wondrous beauty. Believeyoume, it’s the kind of book that begs at least two reads: one for the drama propelling you page to page, and another for its inimitable style—the music of its language, the masterful handling of narration, the daring inventiveness. This novel is nothing short of an artistic feat.” —Mitchell S. Jackson, author of The Residue Years
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