Upcoming Event

Xochitl Gonzalez at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Anita de Monte Laughs Last: A Novel

in conversation with DR. ADRIANA ZAVALA

Date

Mar
12
Tuesday
March 12, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes XOCHITL GONZALEZ—New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming—for a discussion of her new novel Anita de Monte Laughs Last. She will be joined in conversation by DR. ADRIANA ZAVALA—Associate Professor at Tufts University, holding a joint appointment in the departments of Art History and Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora Studies.

About Anita de Monte Laughs Last

1985. Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found dead in New York City; her tragic death is the talk of the town. Until it isn’t. By 1998 Anita’s name has been all but forgotten—certainly by the time Raquel, a third-year art history student is preparing her final thesis. On College Hill, surrounded by privileged students whose futures are already paved out for them, Raquel feels like an outsider. Students of color, like her, are the minority there, and the pressure to work twice as hard for the same opportunities is no secret.

But when Raquel becomes romantically involved with a well-connected older art student, she finds herself unexpectedly rising up the social ranks. As she attempts to straddle both worlds, she stumbles upon Anita’s story, raising questions about the dynamics of her own relationship, which eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.

Moving back and forth through time and told from the perspectives of both women, Anita de Monte Laughs Last, is a propulsive, witty examination of power, love, and art, daring to ask who gets to be remembered and who is left behind in the rarefied world of the elite.

Praise for Anita de Monte Laughs Last

"Funny, piercing, and full of moxie, Anita de Monte Laughs Last is unsparing in its assessment of what goes on behind the castle walls, the price people pay to be accepted into those hallowed halls, and what it takes to liberate oneself from the dangers that lurk within. Really, what Xochitl Gonzalez has written is an affirmation for anyone who's ever had to 'work twice as hard to get half as much.' Anita de Monte Laughs Last is rollicking, melodic, tender, and true. And oh so very wise." ―Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction

"Bravo! A remarkable story about reclaiming what has been erased. Reader, enjoy!” ―Ana Castillo, author of So Far From God

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Dr. Adriana Zavala
Dr. Adriana Zavala

Dr. Adriana Zavala

Dr. Adriana Zavala holds a PhD in art history from Brown University. She is Associate Professor at Tufts University, holding a joint appointment in the departments of Art History and Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora Studies. Zavala’s first book Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art (PSU Press, 2009) won the Arvey Prize from the Association of Latin American Art in 2011. Her second book, Resurrecting Tenochtitlan: Imagining the Aztec Capital in Modern Mexico City, co-authored with Dr. Delia Cosentino was published by the University of Texas Press, 2023, and is shortlisted for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award by the College Art Association. Zavala has curated several exhibitions including Frida Kahlo. Art Garden Life at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx (2015),with the accompanying catalog Frida Kahlo’s Garden and Lola Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era, which was on view in Mexico City, Long Beach, California, and Tucson, Arizona from 2010-2011

Xochitl Gonzalez
Xochitl Gonzalez

Xochitl Gonzalez

Xochitl Gonzalez is the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Best of 2022 by The New York Times, TIME, Kirkus, Washington Post, and NPR, Olga Dies Dreaming was the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction and the New York City Book Award. Gonzalez is a 2021 MFA graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her nonfiction work has been published in Elle Decor, Allure, Vogue, Real Simple, and The Cut. Her commentary writing for The Atlantic was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A native Brooklynite and proud public school graduate, Gonzalez holds a BA from Brown University and lives in her hometown of Brooklyn with her dog, Hectah Lavoe.

Photo Credit: Mayra Castillo

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