Xochitl Gonzalez at Harvard Book Store
Anita de Monte Laughs Last: A Novel
in conversation with DR. ADRIANA ZAVALA
March 12, 2024
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
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
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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