Upcoming Events

The Arlington Author Salon takes place quarterly the first week of July, October, January, and April, with some exceptions to circumvent holidays.

Winter Salon: Thursday, January 7, 2021, 7:30 pm

Spotlight on “Making Waves”

E. Dolores Johnson is the author of the award-winning Say I’m Dead, A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets and Love and essays on mixed race, racism and identity in Narratively, the Buffalo News, Hippocampus, Pangyrus and others. Johnson also consulted on diversity with colleges, corporations and non-profits. A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Johnson is a former executive who directed the digitization of John F. Kennedy’s papers at his Presidential Library.

25 years before the Supreme Court overturned anti-race mixing laws, Black Charles and white Ella fled such a law in Indiana, a Klan culture and a double lynching. Ella staged her own disappearance, evaded a police and FBI search, and married Charles in Buffalo, where they lived in hiding for 36 years. Until their adult daughter questioned who and where their white family were.

Her roots journey moves through the evolution of American race-mixing from a plantation rape to her parents’ Jim Crow marriage, to the discovery of the missing branch on her family tree – and in her own identity.

Steven Lee Beeber is the author of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk (Chicago Review Press), the editor of AWAKE! A Reader for the Sleepless (Soft Skull Press) and the associate editor of the literary journal Conduit. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, The New York Times and elsewhere. He has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and teaches creative writing and creative nonfiction at Lesley University and GrubStreet.

Based in part on the recent interviews with more than 125 people—among them Tommy Ramone, Chris Stein (Blondie), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Hilly Kristal (CBGBs owner), and John Zorn—this book focuses on punk’s beginnings in New York City to show that punk was the most Jewish of rock movements, in both makeup and attitude. As it originated in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1970s, punk rock was the apotheosis of a Jewish cultural tradition that found its ultimate expression in the generation born after the Holocaust. Beginning with Lenny Bruce, “the patron saint of punk,” and following pre-punk progenitors such as Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, Suicide, and the Dictators, this fascinating mixture of biography, cultural studies, and musical analysis delves into the lives of these and other Jewish punks—including Richard Hell and Joey Ramone—to create a fascinating historical overview of the scene. Reflecting the irony, romanticism, and, above all, the humor of the Jewish experience, this tale of changing Jewish identity in America reveals the conscious and unconscious forces that drove New York Jewish rockers to reinvent themselves—and popular music.

Carol Newman Cronin is an award-winning author, editor, and Olympian. She’s written fiction since childhood, and all her stories share three common elements: a coastal setting, boats, and a happy ending. In 2004, she crowned a lifetime of competitive achievement by winning two races for the USA at the Olympics in Athens—the homework needed to finish her third novel. Her weekly blog Where Books Meet Boats attracts a wide range of readers, and she also writes award-winning content for the marine industry.

“When I was 38, I traveled from the United States to India, to find my mother dying at the hands of her sister. I had spent my whole life running away from my mother’s mental illness and abuse, but when I found out she needed help, I knew I had to save her.

Loner James Malloy is a ferry captain—or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island’s daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a private golf course staked out across wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, a Narragansett Indian, James is determined to stop such “improvements.” But despite Brenton’s nickname as “Cooperation Island,” he’s used to working solo. To keep rocky bluffs, historic trees, and ocean shoreline open to all, he’ll have to learn to work with other islanders—including Captain Courtney, who might just morph from irritant to irresistible once James learns a secret that’s been kept from him for years.

This salt-sprayed fourth novel by 2004 Olympic Sailor Carol Newman Cronin celebrates wilderness and water, open space and open-mindedness, and the redemptive power of neighborly cooperation.

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(Save the date for the following Salon: Thursday, April 1, 2021, and sign up to be notified of future events.)