The Arlington Author Salon takes place quarterly the first week of July, October, January, and April, with some exceptions to circumvent holidays.
Summer Salon: Thursday, July 8, 2021, 7:30 pm
Spotlight on “Small Towns”
Chip Cheek is the author of the bestselling novel Cape May, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, was an American Booksellers Association Indie Next pick and Indies Introduce selection, and has been published in six languages. His stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Harvard Review, Washington Square, and other journals and anthologies, and he has been awarded fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Vermont Studio Center. He lives with his wife and daughter in Redondo Beach, California, where he is at work on his second novel.
Cape May is a raw, provocative portrayal of a young 1950s couple on the cusp of a sexual awakening, and the temptations that upturn their honeymoon and reshape their marriage.Arriving for their honeymoon in Cape May, New Jersey, during the off-season, Henry and Effie are startled to find the beach town deserted. Feeling shy of each other and isolated, they decide to cut the trip short. But before they leave, they meet a glamorous set of people who sweep them up into their drama: Clara, a beautiful socialite; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn.The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences.Seductive and moving, this is a novel about marriage, love, sexuality, and the ways in which desire can reverberate endlessly through our lives.
Jennifer Dupee’s debut novel, The Little French Bridal Shop, was chosen as Good Housekeeping magazine’s April 2021 Book of the Month. She is a graduate of Brown University, where she received her honors in Creative Writing. She is an active member of the Grub Street writing community in Boston and has published in The Feminist Press. She was a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Jones First Novel Competition and a semi-finalist for the 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom competition. Jennifer lives in a historic house just outside of Boston with her family and is currently at work on her next two novels.
Is a lie of omission still a lie? Larisa Pearl didn’t think so and it got her into a heap of trouble. When Larisa Pearl returns to her small seaside hometown in Massachusetts to manage her beloved great aunt’s estate, she’s a bit of an emotional mess. She’s just lost her job and her boyfriend and she’s struggling to cope with her mother’s failing health. When she passes by the window of The Little French Bridal Shop, a beautiful ivory satin wedding gown catches her eye…Now, to the delight of everyone in town, Larisa is planning her wedding. She has her dress, made floral arrangements, and set the date. The only thing missing is the groom. How did this happen? All she did was try on a dress and let her fantasy take flight. But word about her upcoming nuptials has reached the ears of Jack Merrill. As teenagers, they spent time together on her great aunt’s estate, building a friendship that could have become something more had they chosen different paths.Lost in a web of her own lies, Larisa must first face some difficult truths, including her mother’s fragile future, before she can embrace her family, straighten out her life, and open her heart to finding love.
Calvin Hennick’s debut memoir, Once More to the Rodeo, received the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award and was named one of the 100 Best Books of the Year by Amazon. A journalist by training, he has written for dozens of publications including The Boston Globe, Esquire, and Runner’s World, and has published fiction and essays in outlets including Bellevue Literary Review, Baltimore Review, and The Drum. Recently, he has funded his creative writing habit largely through corporate work, authoring white papers and blog posts for Fortune 500 companies, while also occasionally finagling fun travel assignments that have taken him to places like Italy, Costa Rica, Barbados, Antigua, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and two young children.
Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. How can he teach his son to be a man, when his own father figures abandoned him? As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today, when society’s expectations of men seem to change from moment to moment?In search of answers, Calvin takes his young son on the road, traveling across the country to the annual rodeo in his small Iowa hometown. Along the way, a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame turns into an impromptu lesson about racism and segregation. In Niagara Falls, a day of arcade games and go-karts unexpectedly morphs into a titanic struggle between father and son. A stop in Chicago rips the scars off of old wounds. And back in Iowa, Calvin is forced to confront the most difficult question of all: What if his flaws and family history doom him to repeat the mistakes of the past?In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin Hennick holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.
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