Virtual Event: Hanna Halperin
in conversation with RANDY SUSAN MEYERS
July 15, 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 and GrubStreet welcome writer HANNA HALPERIN for a discussion of her debut novel, Something Wild. She will be joined in conversation by RANDY SUSAN MEYERS, author of the bestselling The Widow of Wall Street and Waisted: A Novel.
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 Something Wild on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Something Wild
One weekend, sisters Tanya and Nessa Bloom pause their respective adult lives and travel to the Boston suburbs to help their mother pack up and move out of their childhood home. For the first time since they were teenagers sharing a bunk bed over a decade ago, they find themselves in the place where long-kept secrets were born, where jealousy, comfort, anger, forgiveness, and repulsion coexist with the fiercest love and loyalty. What they don't expect is for their visit to expose a new, horrifying truth: their mother, Lorraine, is in a violent relationship.
As Tanya urges Lorraine to get a restraining order, Nessa struggles to reconcile her fondness for their stepfather with his capacity for brutality. Their differing responses to the abuse bring up the sisters' shared secret—a traumatic, unspoken experience from their adolescence has shaped their lives, their sense of selves, and their relationship with each other and the men in their life. In the midst of this family crisis, they have no choice but to reckon with the past and face each other in the present, in the hope that there's a way out of the violence so deeply ingrained in the Bloom family.
Told in alternating perspectives that deftly interweave past and present, Something Wild is a magnetic, unflinching portrait of the bond between sisters, as well as a psychologically acute exploration of the legacy of divorce, the ways trauma reverberates over generations, and how it might be possible to overcome the past.
Praise for Something Wild
“Something Wild is the story of the fierce love and secrets that exist between sisters Tanya and Nessa and their mother, Lorraine—but I was just as impressed by the radical interiority that Hanna Halperin grants her characters. The women of this novel are painted with startling honesty and insight: they think the unthinkable, do the unfixable, and their raw vulnerability is thrilling, for it acknowledges our own. In this emotionally astute debut, Hanna Halperin shows herself to be a writer who is as compassionate as she is unafraid of darkness and taboo. Something Wild is tender, fearless, and savagely alive.” —Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists
“Something Wild is a gripping portrait of a family in all its shattered complexity. Hanna Halperin is a compassionate and wise writer, and in this searing debut she peels back the shiny exterior of the Bloom family and reveals what is true for us all: that secrets are psychic poison, and they transform us when they come tumbling out.” —Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance
“In Something Wild, Hanna Halperin takes a startling look at intimacy in its kaleidoscopic range—its capacity to make and undo us, to deliver us to danger and lead us out again. The grace of Halperin’s careful eye makes it impossible to diminish or look away from the women at the center of this book, even when their lives fail to give them the mercy we would want for them. This is a brave and exquisite debut.” —Danielle Evans, author of The Office of Historical Corrections
Harvard Book Store's New Voices in Fiction series, presented with GrubStreet, highlights debut fiction writers discussing their work and the writing process.
GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.
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