Upcoming Events

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

Next Salon: Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7:30 pm

“Maps, Manhunts & Mysteries”

Where: Kickstand Café, 594 Mass Ave in Arlington Center, MA.
Just off the Minuteman bike path and steps from Spy Pond.
Accessible via the #77 bus. Some parking available in front of the café, and ample parking in the two town lots across the street.

Who:

Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist whose work has appeared in publications including WIRED, Slate, The Nation,and The Boston Globe Magazine. His latest book, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps was published by Gotham in 2014 and named a New York Times Bestseller and an NPR Book of the Year. He is also a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute of Investigative reporting at Brandeis University and has taught writing at Tufts University, Emerson College, and GrubStreet.

The story of an infamous crime, a revered map dealer with an unsavory secret, and the ruthless subculture that consumed him

Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers—both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief —until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him.

Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full—and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he’d gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more—and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption.

The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime.

Elizabeth Searle is the author of a new novel, We Got Him (set on the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt night), and four prior books: My Body to You, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize; A Four-Sided Bed, now in development for film; Celebrities in Disgrace and Girl Held in Home. Elizabeth’s  theater work Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera has drawn national media and has been produced in NYC, Boston, LA, Portland and most recently Chicago (2016). Elizabeth teaches fiction and scriptwriting at Stonecoast MFA.  She lives with her husband and son in Arlington, where she frequently rides the bike path.

Elizabeth Searle’s WE GOT HIM is an ingeniously plotted, suspenseful novel written in blood, mother’s milk, and the unintended consequence of rage. It is the story of one family’s inherited flaws, harbored guilts, and obsessive desires, whether for a child, a parent, or a second chance to do the elusive right thing. Powerfully worked against the unfolding events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Elizabeth Searle’s taut drama of a young, pregnant stepmother and her troubled stepson is a narrative tour de force, interweaving public and private acts of terror with the redemptive, but ever–fragile, forces of love.

 

 

Jessica Treadway is the author of three novels: How Will I Know You?, a People Magazine Book of the Week; Lacy Eye, a Target Book Club pick; and And Give You Peace. She has also published two story collections, Absent Without Leave and Please Come Back To Me, which received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is a professor of creative writing at Emerson College.
SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST MISTAKES ARE THE DEADLIEST.

“Jessica Treadway draws her characters into an impossible knot and then expertly teases apart…kept me up half the night.” – Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth

Fans of Reconstructing Amelia will love this pulse-pounding novel of mystery, betrayal, and a small town’s dark secrets. On a cold December day, the body of high school senior Joy Enright is discovered in the woods at the edge of a frozen pond. Her death looks like a tragic drowning accident at first, but an autopsy reveals something sinister — the teenager’s body shows unmistakable signs of strangulation. The discovery upends an otherwise uneventful small town, as police grapple with a rare homicide case and those closest to Joy wonder how she could have been taken from them — and by whom. Susanne, Joy’s mother, tries to reconcile past betrayals with their wrenching consequences. Martin, an African-American graduate student, faces ostracism when blame is cast on him. Tom, a rescue diver and son-in-law of the town’s police chief, doubts both the police’s methods and his own perceptions. And Harper, Joy’s best friend, tries to figure out why she disappeared from Harper’s life months before she actually went missing.

In a close-knit community where everyone knows someone else’s secret, it’s only a matter of time before the truth is exposed. In this gripping novel, author Jessica Treadway explore the ways in which families both thrive and falter, and how seemingly small bad choices can escalate – with fatal consequences.

A People Magazine “Book of the Week.”

Books will be available for sale at the event via The Book Rack.

Visit our Featured Authors page to learn more about past readers.

(Save the date for the following Salon: Thursday,July 13 2017, and sign up to be notified of future events.)