Virtual Event: Laura van den Berg with Books Are Magic
I Hold a Wolf by the Ears:
interviewed by DANIELLE EVANS, JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET, KAREN RUSSELL, KRISTEN ARNETT, and LAUREN GROFF
July 29, 2020
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Books Are Magic and Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes LAURA VAN DEN BERG—acclaimed author of the story collection The Isle of Youth and the novel The Third Hotel—for a discussion of her latest, highly anticipated book, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears: Stories. She will be interviewed by celebrated writers and masters of the short story DANIELLE EVANS, JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET, KAREN RUSSELL, KRISTEN ARNETT, and LAUREN GROFF.
About I Hold a Wolf by the Ears
I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, Laura van den Berg’s first story collection since her prizewinning book The Isle of Youth, draws readers into a world of wholly original, sideways ghost stories that linger in the mouth and the mind. Both timeless and urgent, these eleven stories confront misogyny, violence, and the impossible economics of America with van den Berg’s trademark spiky humor and surreal eye. Moving from the peculiarities of Florida to liminal spaces of travel in Mexico City, Sicily, and Iceland, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is uncannily attuned to our current moment, and to the fears we reveal to no one but ourselves.
In “Lizards,” a man mutes his wife’s anxieties by giving her a LaCroix-like seltzer laced with sedatives. In the title story, a woman poses as her more successful sister during a botched Italian holiday, a choice that brings about strange and destructive consequences, while in “Karolina,” a woman discovers her prickly ex-sister-in-law in the aftermath of an earthquake and is forced to face the truth about her violent brother.
I Hold a Wolf by the Ears presents a collection of women on the verge, trying to grasp what’s left of life: grieving, divorced, and hyperaware, searching, vulnerable, and unhinged, they exist in a world that deviates from our own only when you look too closely. With remarkable control and transcendent talent, van den Berg dissolves, in the words of the narrator of “Slumberland,” “that border between magic and annihilation,” and further establishes herself as a defining fiction writer of our time.
Praise for I Hold a Wolf by the Ears
“Another bravura display from one of our most imaginative storytellers. Each enthralling new plot seeks to uncover the essence of human experience by way of the uncanny. As enchanting as fairy tales, as mysterious as dreams, these exquisitely composed fictions are as urgent and original as any being written today.” —Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction
“Unflinching, chilling and electric, with flashes of sly wit, these stories and the women who complicate them blaze a new literary trail, guided by the author’s skilled hand. What Laura van den Berg has done with this collection is extraordinary.” —Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky
"These are stories about wandering and being invisible, about stepping in a cold shadow. Laura van den Berg puts into words how scary it is when you feel you’re disappearing, when a disaster, personal or historical, makes ghosts of us, forever trapped in the trauma. They are also very beautiful, sometimes surreal and even funny stories, about loss and grief and sadness and the lives we try to leave behind. I think this collection will haunt me for a long time." —Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire
Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.
Books Are Magic was born in May 2017 and is home to exciting new releases and beloved classics, hidey-holes for children and books to read in them, gumballs filled with poetry, readings and panels almost every night of the week and storytimes on the weekends, and yes, plenty of magic. For more information, visit: https://www.booksaremagic.net/?q=p.about
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