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, October 12, 2017, 7:30 pm

“Tainted Love”

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:

Kelly J. Ford is the author of the novel Cottonmouths, which Lambda Literary calls “a tale of resentment, venomous betrayal, and the wounds hidden beneath familiar surfaces.” Kelly is an instructor for GrubStreet Writing Center, and her fiction has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and Knee-Jerk Magazine. She is Arkansas-bred and Boston-based.

 

 

 

This was Drear’s Bluff. Nothing bad happened here. People didn’t disappear.

College was supposed to be an escape for Emily Skinner. But after failing out of school, she’s left with no choice but to return to her small Arkansas hometown, a place run on gossip and good Christian values.

She’s not alone. Emily’s former best friend—and childhood crush—Jody Monroe is back with a baby. Emily can’t resist the opportunity to reconnect, despite the uncomfortable way things ended between them and her mom’s disapproval of their friendship. When Emily stumbles upon a meth lab on Jody’s property, she realizes just how far they’ve both fallen.

Emily intends to keep her distance from Jody, but when she’s kicked out of her house with no money and nowhere to go, a paying job as Jody’s live-in babysitter is hard to pass up. As they grow closer, Emily glimpses a future for the first time since coming home. She dismisses her worries; after all, Jody is a single mom. The meth lab is a means to an end. And besides, for Emily, Jody is the real drug.

But when Jody’s business partner goes missing, and the lies begin to pile up, Emily will learn just how far Jody is willing to go to save her own skin—and how much Emily herself has risked for the love of someone who may never truly love her back.

Echoing the work of authors like Daniel Woodrell and Sarah Waters, Cottonmouths is an unflinching story about the ways in which the past pulls us back . . . despite our best efforts to leave it behind.

 

Sonya Larson‘s fiction and essays have appeared in Best American Short Stories 2017, American Short Fiction, American Literary Review, Poets & Writers, The Writer’s Chronicle, Audible.com, West Branch, Salamander, Memorious, Del Sol Review, Red Mountain Review, and more. She has received honors and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, St. Botolph Club Foundation, and more. She is studying fiction in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and is Director of GrubStreet’s Muse and the Marketplace conference.

 

On “Gabe Dove,” the story in BASS:

Chuntao is still reeling from being tossed aside by her white boyfriend – and his enchantingly cozy family – when her coworker sets her up with a Burmese-American man named Gabe Dove. Out with a fellow Asian for the first time, Chuntao finds their commonality both attractive and repellant, intimate and embarrassing, familiar, and dangerously distancing. As their relationship deepens, Chuntao is both alert and blind to her own motives, as she starts treating Gabe Dove in ways even she doesn’t understand.

 

 

Joanna Rakoff is the author of the novel A Fortunate Age, which won the Goldberg Prize for Fiction and the Elle Readers’ Prize, and the bestselling memoir My Salinger Year, which has been published in twelve countries and is currently being adapted for film. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Vogue, and many other publications. Her new memoir, The Fifth Passenger, is forthcoming from Little, Brown.

 

 

 

Keenly observed and irresistibly funny, My Salinger Year is a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing.

After leaving graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. Precariously balanced between poverty and glamour, she spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office—where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and agents doze after three-martini lunches—and then goes home to her threadbare Brooklyn apartment and her socialist boyfriend. Rakoff is tasked with processing Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, but as she reads the heart-wrenching letters from around the world, she becomes reluctant to send the agency’s form response and impulsively begins writing back. The results are both humorous and moving, as Rakoff, while acting as the great writer’s voice, begins to discover her own.

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 4 2018, and sign up to be notified of future events.)

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