Virtual Event: Margot Livesey
The Boy in the Field:
in conversation with ALICE MCDERMOTT
August 12, 2020
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store welcomes beloved local novelist MARGOT LIVESEY—author of eight novels, including The Flight of Gemma Hardy and Mercury—for a discussion of her latest novel, The Boy in the Field. She will be joined in conversation by ALICE MCDERMOTT, author of the acclaimed novels The Ninth Hour and the National Book Award–winning Charming Billy.
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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 The Boy in the Field on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Boy in the Field
One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed.
Matthew, the oldest, becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant, secretly searching the local town with the victim’s brother. Zoe wanders the streets of Oxford, looking at men, and one of them, a visiting American graduate student, looks back. Duncan, the youngest, who has seldom thought about being adopted, suddenly decides he wants to find his birth mother. Overshadowing all three is the awareness that something is amiss in their parents’ marriage. Over the course of the autumn, as each of the siblings confronts the complications and contradictions of their approaching adulthood, they find themselves at once drawn together and driven apart.
Written with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable, The Boy in the Field showcases Margot Livesey’s unmatched ability to “tell her tale masterfully, with intelligence, tenderness, and a shrewd understanding of all our mercurial human impulses” (Lily King, author of Euphoria).
Praise for The Boy in the Field
“How lucky the world is that Margot Livesey has turned her usual keen and sympathetic writer’s eye to the Lang children as they struggle to make sense of a terrible crime and the sensitive, mysterious young victim who suffers in the aftermath. From its taut and frightening opening chapter to its final, mournful pages, The Boy in the Field is a tender, deeply humane exploration of family, philosophy, and what it means to grow up, to keep secrets, to care for one another, and most importantly, what it means to hold another’s heart in yours, always, with tenderness and mercy.” —Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine
"I loved every single sentence of The Boy in the Field. This novel is so intricately woven, its world so vibrantly built, its characters so beautifully and empathically wrought. To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight." —Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had
“Margot Livesey has the unique ability to find the hidden darkness beneath the surface of our lives, no matter how deeply buried. A deceptively simple story that explores the aftermath of a moment of violence, The Boy in the Field amazed me with its insight, and the subtlety of Livesey's beautiful, almost dreamlike prose. She speaks of a sensation—'quick as a mousetrap, sharp as a thorn'—and I can't think of a better description of her work. Quick and sharp.” —Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here
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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