Virtual Event: Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
in conversation with DANZY SENNA
October 2, 2020
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 SARAH SHUN-LIEN BYNUM—author of the award-winning novels Ms. Hempel Chronicles and Madeleine Is Sleeping—for a discussion of her latest story collection, Likes. She will be joined in conversation by DANZY SENNA, author of the acclaimed novels Caucasia and New People.
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 Likes on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
In nine stories that range from the real to the unreal, strange to familiar, funny to frightening, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum reminds us why her wildly original debut, Madeleine Is Sleeping, and her masterful Ms. Hempel Chronicles have become contemporary classics—celebrated and beloved.
In a nimble dance of lightness and gravity, Likes explores the full range and contradictions of our contemporary moment. Through unexpected visitors, Waldorf school fairs, aging indie-film stars, the struggle to gain a foothold in the capitalist shell-game of work, the Instagram posts of a twelve-year-old—these stories of friendship and parenthood, celebrity and obsession, race and class and the passage of time, form an engrossing collection that is both otherworldly and suffused with the deceitful humdrum of everyday life.
For readers of Joy Williams, George Saunders, Lauren Groff, and Deborah Eisenberg, Likes helps us see into our unacknowledged desires and, in quick, artful, nearly invisible cuts, exposes the roots of our abiding terrors and delights.
Praise for Likes
“Sarah Shun-lien Bynum not only makes us see and feel what we may have missed in our busy lives, but articulates what we see and feel with the precise words we’ve always been searching for but rarely find. How does she capture the world in its shimmery and inexplicable state so deftly? Stories in this collection lead the readers to feel nostalgic for experiences both lived and missed, alarmed and yet thrilled by the mysteries hidden in everyday moments, and above all, hopeful and grateful that there is no need to compromise: we can live as fully and expansively as these stories.” —Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End
“Oh, what a treasure trove of delights this is! The most succulent details are tucked inside the warmth of these characters’ voices, and it is Bynum’s governing and generous intelligence that gives shape to their stories, always holding close and with care our complex yearnings and desires.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
“These stories caught me in the throat. Everything I thought to be true—about home invaders and husbands, BFFs and rich hippie schools―is revealed to be temporary, spectral, fragile as glass. Likes is a cunning, electrifying work by one of the best writers of our times.” —Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia and New People
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