June 22nd at 6:30pm Ross Bachelder, Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man
Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man is a thought-provoking, seriocomic romp through the author’s more than fifty years of joyful immersion in the fine and performing arts. At the Heart of Happy Dawg Walks the Sad Man are twenty wide-ranging personal essays—some engagingly thoughtful, some heartrendingly poignant, some quietly hilarious, and some about people of high character and fundamental decency who’ve made a lasting difference in his life. Altogether, they chronicle a veritable cornucopia of creative projects Bachelder has either initiated or been involved in over the years as writer, musician, visual artist, and theater professional.
The book also includes more than eighty illustrations and nine playful, eccentric “tiny novelettes,” each written in response to drawings Bachelder did in 2008 while exploring the idea of the doodle as the fundamental vocabulary of all artists from the cradle to the grave.
The list of Bachelder’s creative experiences is remarkably long and varied. He spent three decades laboring in small-town, north-of-Boston theater companies, taking roles as a bit part actor, working as a pit orchestra musician, managing and publicizing three professional theaters, and founding his own theater for young people for which he wrote the plays and the music. Since then he’s run his own art gallery, managed a frame shop, chased live theater in London and Glasgow, founded the Seacoast Moderns (a group for abstract and experimental artists, based in the Kittery Art Association), and exhibited his multimedia artworks in galleries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. As the Flute Guy, he’s performed solo recitals, appeared in a wide array of special events, played at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and, in 2011, traveled to the North Island town of Tauranga, New Zealand to perform at the opening reception for renowned New Zealand artist Susan Harrison-Tustain.
June 30th at 6:30pm Sarah Healy, The Sisters Chase
An absorbing story of two sisters on the road. When their mother dies in a car accident, the Chase sisters, 18-year-old Mary and 4-year-old Hannah (affectionately called Bunny), are on their own. Their connection is intense, “the line where one ended and the other began a malleable, gossamer thing,” but what Mary knows about the identities of the girls’ fathers she does not share. They leave their home and the motel their mother ran on the southeast coast to find lives elsewhere, slowly but surely trailing a kind of fate to the opposite coast. On the road, they have to cobble together funds, shelter, and food. Mary is smart, strong-willed, beautiful, and fiercely protective of Hannah. She knows how to use these powers to manipulate the men she encounters. The first of these is her second cousin’s husband, whom she blackmails for $10,000–a desperate but lifesaving move with major consequences.
July 10th at 6:30pm: Roger Ekirch, American Sanctuary
The extraordinary story of the mutiny aboard the frigate HMS Hermione in 1797 (eight years after the mutiny on the Bounty)–the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy, that led to the extradition from America, and the hanging by the British, of the martyred sailor Jonathan Robbins. This event plunged the two-decade-old American Republic into a constitutional crisis, and powerfully contributed to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election of 1800. It propelled to the fore the fundamental issue of political asylum and extradition, still being debated today–more than two hundred years later.
A. ROGER EKIRCH was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and Delmar, New York. He is the author of Bound for America, Birthright, and At Day’s Close. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College and John Hopkins University, and is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.
July 17th at 6:30pm: Poetry for Foster Care
New Hampshire foster care is in trouble. In order to raise awareness and money for the foster care system in New Hampshire, a group of young poets and prose writers will be gathering to perform their work at River Run bookstore on Monday, July 17th at 6:30pm. The number of children in the New Hampshire foster care system has been rapidly increasing since 2014, the Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) finds. Along with the growing number of foster children, the system is plagued by a lack of foster families and resources. Some are calling the situation a crisis. Come hear the youth of New Hampshire as they speak in solidarity with their peers, and show your support for our state’s most vulnerable children.
July 18th at 6:30pm: Katie Curtis, The Wideness of the Sea
It is our great pleasure to announce the publication of The Wideness of the Sea, a terrific New England novel, and one of the winners of our 2016 novel contest. Join us for a kick-off celebration, and help us launch Katie into bestsellerdom!
About the Book: Anna Goodrich is a 28-year-old artist in New York City, out on a Friday night in the city when she gets the call that her uncle has suddenly died. When she returns home to mid-coast Maine for his funeral, she faces all that she left behind when she left seven years earlier. The pain of her own mother’s death, the fractured relationships with her father and her first love. The life she had built for herself in New York – the art world, her boyfriend, her roommate who is also her best friend – allowed her to forget the grief and hurt she had left behind in Maine. But when her uncle leaves her a surprising inheritance, if forces her to face them, and the parts of her self she’s buried. As she searches for answers about herself, and where she belongs, she discovers how people and places shape us, and how understanding, forgiveness and grace have the power to transform us and the people we love.
July 25th at 7:00pm: Kaitlin Solimine, Empire of Glass
“A portrait of a soul,”–Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, finalist for the National Book Award
In the mid-1990s, an American teenager, named Lao K in Chinese, stands on Coal Hill, a park in Beijing, a loop of rope in her hand. Will she assist her Chinese homestay mother, Li-Ming, who is dying of cancer, in ending her life, or will she choose another path? Twenty years later, Lao K receives a book written by Li-Ming called “Empire of Glass,” a narrative that chronicles the lives of Li-Ming and her husband, Wang, in pre and post-revolutionary China over the last half of the twentieth century. Lao K begins translating the story, which becomes the novel we are reading. But, as translator, how can Lao K separate fact from fiction, and what will her role be in the book’s final chapter?
A grand, experimental epic–Lao K’s story is told in footnotes that run throughout the book–that chronicles the seismic changes in China over the last half century through the lens of one family’s experiences, Empire of Glass is an investigation into the workings of human memory and the veracity of oral history that pushes the boundaries of language and form in stunning and unforgettable ways.
Kaitlin Solimine has been a Fulbright Fellow in China, and has received several scholarships, awards, and residencies for her writing, including the 2012 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program award for an earlier draft of Empire of Glass, judged by Colson Whitehead. Her fiction has been published in Guernica, the Kartika Review, and numerous anthologies. Kaitlin is co-founder of HIPPO Reads, a network connecting academic insights and scholars to the wider public. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and daughter, where she is a 2016 SF Grotto Writing Fellow.
Visit the author’s website.