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, October 4, 2018, 7:30 pm
“Facing fears, pursuing passions “
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.
Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland, a Memoir of My Father, a recipient of the Madame Figaro Prix Heroine and the ALA Stonewall Award. Named a New York Times Editors Pick and one of the best books of the year by the SF Chronicle and Shelf Awareness, it was also finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It has been published in the United States, the UK, France, Poland, and Spain; translations are forthcoming in Brazil, and Italy. Her writing has been published in TriQuarterly, Lit Hub, Out, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Vogue, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from Ragdale Foundation and an MFA in creative nonfiction from the New School, Abbott teaches the Memoir Incubator program at GrubStreet.
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation―few of whom are raising a child.
Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.
In Alysia’s teens, Steve’s friends―several of whom she has befriended―fall ill as AIDS starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then in France, her father tells her it’s time to come home; he’s sick with AIDS. Alysia must choose whether to take on the responsibility of caring for her father or continue the independent life she has worked so hard to create.
Lee Hope, Editor-in-Chief of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, is the author of the novel Horsefever, a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. She is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, and a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship for Fiction. She has published stories in numerous literary journals such as Witness and The North American Review. She founded and directed a low-residency MFA program and has taught at various universities. She also teaches for Changing Lives Through Literature, which serves people on probation and parole.
Nikole Swensen has the drive and raw talent to compete in the rigorous sport of horse eventing—and win. But fear holds her back from realizing her full potential. So her husband, a wealthy Vermont landowner, hires Gabe, a gifted former eventer, half paralyzed from a jumping accident. Before long, a powerful spiritual and physical attraction develops between Nikki and Gabe amid the sensual world of horses and riding. As Nikki moves to higher levels of competition, their respective spouses, Cliff and Carla, grow jealous. The two couples become lost in a tangle of ambition and passion, lust and suspicion. Inspired by an actual murder case, HORSEFEVER will penetrate the hearts of suspense lovers, horse lovers, athletes, and all those drawn to the connections between animals and humans.
Cheryl Suchors began writing at age six, when she wrote a play starring her sister and herself. She continued to write poetry until she took a detour through the business world for twenty years. She holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Smith College. Her memoir, 48 PEAKS, Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains, was published by She Writes Press in 2018. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, City Book Review, Limestone, The Distillery, RE:AL, and HerSports, as well as in the anthology My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and a plethora of plants.
At forty-eight years old, Cheryl Suchors―hoping to find concrete successes and a feeling of control as she changes careers and fifty stares at her from the horizon―vows to summit the highest forty-eight peaks in New Hampshire’s grueling White Mountains. Neglecting to consider her flimsy body, scoliosis, bum knee, and fear of heights, she dives into the challenge.
Along the way, Suchors suffers numerous injuries; her hiking buddy succumbs to ovarian cancer; and she endures breast cancer, a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and five years of adjuvant therapy herself. But she always returns to the mountains―and in that connection she finds spiritual nourishment, as well as a space powerful enough to hold her grief. Over the ten years it takes her to complete her quest, she learns that mastery alone doesn’t satisfy her and control is often an illusion―that she must connect with hiking comrades and with nature in order to feel nourished and enriched. In the end, Suchors creates her own definition of success.
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, January 10, 2019, and sign up to be notified of future events.)