Virtual Event: Jane Smiley

presenting

Perestroika in Paris:
A Novel

in conversation with MARGOT LIVESEY

Date

Jan
13
Wednesday
January 13, 2021
7:00 PM ET

Location

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

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes acclaimed, bestselling novelist JANE SMILEY—author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book, A Thousand Acres—for a discussion of her latest novel, Perestroika in Paris. She will be joined in conversation by beloved novelist MARGOT LIVESEY, author of the The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Boy in the Field.

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About Perestroika in Paris

Paras, short for "Perestroika," is a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. One afternoon at dusk, she finds the door of her stall open and—she's a curious filly—wanders all the way to the City of Light. She's dazzled and often mystified by the sights, sounds, and smells around her, but she isn't afraid.

Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians. Paras and Frida coexist for a time in the city's lush green spaces, nourished by Frida's strategic trips to the vegetable market. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated raven. But then Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother live in seclusion.

As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom. But how long can a runaway horse stay undiscovered in Paris? How long can a boy keep her hidden and all to himself? Jane Smiley's beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity, ingenuity, and the desire of all creatures for true love and freedom.

Praise for Perestroika in Paris

“A sparkling screwball-comedy treat . . . If ever there were a year when we could use some light relief, 2020 is it. Perestroika in Paris couldn’t have come at a better time . . . It’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying this wistful charmer of a book.” —Seattle Times

“Sprightly, fun . . . A lighthearted spree of a novel . . . Here Smiley stretches her talents even further.” —Washington Post

“After writing some of the most brilliant and ferocious fiction of the past 40 years, Jane Smiley takes a gentler approach in Perestroika in Paris . . . Her tone may be genial, but she’s as tough-minded as ever . . . Underpinning the novel’s abundant humor is a pervasive atmosphere of loneliness and longing for companionship felt by humans and animals alike.” —Boston Globe

Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, The Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is also the author of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.

Photo Credit: Derek Shapton

Margot Livesey
Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey was born and grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She has taught in numerous writing programs including Emerson College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, and the Warren Wilson low residency MFA program. She is the author of a collection of stories and eight novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and most recently Mercury. She is the recipient of awards from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute. She lives in Cambridge, MA and is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing was published in July 2017.

 

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" by Boston magazine.

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