Boy, Snow, Bird reimagines the traditional Snow White fairy tale. Helen Oyeyemi's new novel explores beauty, envy and identity in New England in the 1950s — race and skin color shape the characters' experiences.
The wicked stepmother in this story is named Boy; the fair beauty is Snow. The birth of Snow's half-sister, Bird, reveals a long-buried family secret. Throughout the book, characters are haunted by a sense that things are not as they appear in their relationships and in the outside world.
Being haunted seems like it might be an occupational hazard for Helen Oyeyemi. Her books are re-worked fairy tales, the gruesome kind, with beheadings and wicked stepmothers and ghosts and death, death, and more death (though, once dead, her characters don't always stay that way).
Coming up on Speakers Forum, March 13 at 9:00 p.m.
John Heilemann and Mark Halperin are the authors of "Game Change," the best-selling story of the 2008 presidential election that was turned into an HBO movie.
In their new book, “Double Down: Game Change 2012," they apply their political knowledge to the 2012 presidential race. They go beyond the headlines to offer an account of a hard-fought campaign on both sides.
They spoke at the First Presbyterian Church on November 12, 2013, in an event sponsored by Town Hall.
Steve Scher talks with Jon Krampner, author of "Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food," about how peanuts went from hog food to the organic peanut butter that we spend $8 on today.
You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.
Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.
"It was a great time for storytellers," says Matthew Biggs, the central character in Kenneth Calhoun's haunting debut novel, Black Moon. The irony of his comment comes with a horrific aftertaste: The world is suffering from a sudden, unexplainable pandemic that's made everyone a perpetual insomniac. Biggs is one of the few who can still sleep. Humanity's state of chronic wakefulness has caused mass insanity — in the noonday sun, dreams overflow and chaos reigns.
Le Pont Neuf, shown here in an 18th-century painting by Nicolas-Jean-Baptiste Raguenet, was completed in 1606 by Henry IV. The bridge's construction kicked off the reinvention of Paris in the 17th century. Today, it's the oldest standing bridge across the Seine.
Credit Public Domain
Joan DeJean is the author of 10 books on French history and culture.
Marcie Sillman talks with Susan Beilby Magee about her book "Into The Light."
The book is about the emotional and artistic journey of artist Kalman Aron. He's painted portraits of everyone from Ronald Reagan to André Previn. He is also a survivor of the Holocaust, and he tells his story and shares his art with Magee.
When Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago, her first concern was for her creative future. The award-winning cartoonist prided herself on the artwork and stories she'd come up with during periods she described as manic. Right after her diagnosis, Forney was reluctant to try the drug treatments her psychiatrist prescribed for her. Would she lose her creative edge on lithium? But after a serious period of depression, Forney set out on the ongoing journey to achieve and maintain a state of mental balance.