Virtual Event: Jane Smiley
Perestroika in Paris:
in conversation with MARGOT LIVESEY
January 13, 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 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.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 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 Perestroika in Paris on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
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
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