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, July 11, 2019, 7:30 pm

“The power of place”

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:

Susan Bernhard is the author of the Amazon bestselling novel Winter Loon. Her fiction has appeared in Little Bird Stories and Solstice Lit Mag. She is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship recipient, a GrubStreet Novel Incubator graduate, and a 2019 Tennessee Williams Scholar to the Sewanee Writers Conference. She was born and raised in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and lives with her husband and two children near Boston.

 

 

A haunting debut novel about family and sacrifice, Winter Loon reminds us of how great a burden the past can be, the toll it exacts, and the freedom that comes from letting it go.

Abandoned by his father after his mother drowns in a frozen Minnesota lake, fifteen-year-old Wes Ballot is stranded with coldhearted grandparents and holed up in his mother’s old bedroom, surrounded by her remnants and memories. As the wait for his father stretches unforgivably into months, a local girl, whose own mother died a brutal death, captures his heart and imagination, giving Wes fresh air to breathe in the suffocating small town.

When buried truths come to light in the spring thaw, wounds are exposed and violence erupts, forcing Wes to embark on a search for his missing father, the truth about his mother, and a future he must claim for himself—a quest that begins back at that frozen lake.

A powerful, page-turning coming-of-age story, Winter Loon captures the resilience of a boy determined to become a worthy man by confronting family demons, clawing his way out of the darkness, and forging a life from the shambles of a broken past.

 

After a career in education as a teacher, career counselor, and evaluator of educational programs, Belle Brett is now an artist and a writer, contributing to her own and others’ blogs and writing fiction that deals with coming of age across the life span. She holds a doctorate of education in human development and psychology from Harvard and is a graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program. Gina in the Floating World is her first novel. A life-long traveler, it was inspired by time she spent in Japan in her 20s.  Kirkus Reviews called Gina in the Floating World “a sharply observed and unforgettable debut.”

 

A bank internship in Japan’s booming 1981 economy is supposed to be twenty-three-year-old Dorothy Falwell’s ticket into a prestigious international MBA program. But the internship is unpaid―so, to make ends meet, she accepts an evening job as a hostess in a rundown suburban bar, a far cry from the sensuous woodblock prints she’s seen of old Tokyo’s “floating world.”

Like her namesake, Dorothy hasn’t planned on the detours she encounters in her own twisted version of Oz. Renamed Gina by her boss, she struggles with nightly indignities from customers and confusing advice from new friends. Then her internship crumbles and the suave but mysterious Mr. Tambuki offers help. How can she resist?

With patience and the utmost respect for her opinions, Mr. Tambuki lures her into his exotic world of unorthodox Zen instruction, erotic art, and high-octane sex. Soon, bizarre sexual escapades with monks, salarymen, and gangsters begin to feel normal until one of her clients goes too far, and Dorothy realizes she’s in over her head. But can she find her way back from this point of no return?

 

Marjan Kamali, born in Turkey to Iranian parents, spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies: Tremors and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been. An excerpt from The Stationery Shop was published in Solstice Literary Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel Together Tea was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Marjan lives with her husband and two children in the Boston area.

Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.

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, October 3, 2019, and sign up to be notified of future events.)