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Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002   ·  413.256.1547 ·  800.503.5865 · books @ amherstbooks.com   
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< December 2019 >

Events listed in white are at the bookshop; events listed in yellow are elsewhere.

Unless noted otherwise all events are free & open to the public.

Hosted by Amherst College professors Alexander George & Nishi Shah, Elizabeth Kolbert will talk in the Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College, as part of this year’s Point/Counterpoint series.   For more information go here.
Dexter Palmer will read from his new book, Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen.   Palmer has now published two books.   His first novel, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.   Writing in The New York Times, novelist Jeff Vandermeer called it “a singular riff on steampunk — sophisticated, subversive entertainment that never settles for escapism.”   His second novel, Version Control, was reviewed by NPR, which said it was “a thoughtful, powerful overhaul of the age-old time travel tale, one that doesn't radically deconstruct the genre so much as explore it more broadly and deeply.” Our own Kelly Link said of his new novel, “Mary Toft is wonderful!   The kind of novel that you want to read & then discuss with other readers.   But then Dexter Palmer is a writer like Hilary Mantel or Kate Atkinson, able to move between genres & time periods, by virtue of the almost supernatural sympathy he is able to invoke for his characters & the sense of the worlds they inhabit.”
Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans will talk with Stanley Fish about Fish’s new book, The First: How to Think about Hate Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Speech, Fake News, Post-Truth, & Donald Trump at Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College.   Fish is literary theorist, legal scholar, author & public intellectual. is the author of many renowned books, including Is There a Text in This Class: The Authority of Interpretive Communities, & How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One.   His essays & articles have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, & The Atlantic.   As well as being the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities & Latin American & Latino Culture, Stavans is a publisher, public commentator for NPR, & author of numerous books, including the recent The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America.
Postponed!   Mary Ruefle will read from her new collection of poetry, Dunce, at the Old Chapel, UMass, Amherst, as part of the UMass MFA’s Visiting Writers Series.  (For more information see here.)   Ruefle has published numerous books of poetry, essays, & erasures.   Her honors include the Whiting, the Robert Creeley, & the William Carlos Williams Awards, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Mia Cabana, Head of Youth Services at the Jones Library, Amherst, will host a Story Time reading for children as part of Amherst’s “Lighting of the Merry Maple”on the Town Common.   From 4:00 to 5:00, Cabana will be reading a selection of books, old & new, including Winter Candle by Jeron Ashford, Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson, The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, Night Tree by Eve Bunting, & Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael Rosen  The Merry Maple will be lit between 5:00 & 5:15!   For more information, go the Town’s website.
Emily Dickinson reading at bookstore
“Live Lit” Students in the M.F.A. Program at the University of Massachusetts will read from their recent work.   Evenings usually include a mix of poetry & fiction.
Downtown Amherst’s “Pack the Sack” Day.   20% off all purchases at the Amherst Books!   Look for other participating businesses.   And don’t forget, all Saturday’s are free parking until Christmas.
Local authors Heather Abel, Lisa Brooks, George Colt, Anne Fadiman, Noy Holland, Natasha Lowe, Richard Michelson, Sabina Murray, Ilan Stavans, Ellen Doré Watson, Dara Wier, & Jane Yolen will read from & sign their books at the Jones Library, Amherst, as part of “The Massachusetts Book Awards Holiday Dozen — Valley Edition.”   For more information go to the Jones Library’s Calendar.   This event is co-sponsored by State Representatives Mindy Domb, Natalie Blais, & Lindsay Sabadosa; & coordinated by Massachusetts Center for the Book.
Michael McElroy will talk about his book, Energy & Climate: Vision for the Future.   McElroy is the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies at Harvard University.   His research covers topics ranging from planetary atmospheres to extensive studies of the earth’s environment, with particular attention to the impact of human activity, & to the development of options to limit potentially negative consequences of this activity. He is also author of Energy: Perspectives, Problems, & Prospects.   Co-sponsored by the Harvard Club of Western Massachusetts.
Stellan Vinthagen will talk about his new book, Conceptualizing “Everyday Resistance”: A Transdisciplinary Approach.   Vinthagen is a Professor of Sociology & a scholar-activist.   He is the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action & Civil Resistance, & Director of the Resistance Studies Initiative at UMass.   He is also a researcher in his native Sweden at the Department of Social & Behavioral Studies, University West, & at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, where he is leading the Resistance Studies Program.
Noontime Book Conversation This month the group will discuss Anne Carson’s book, The Beauty of the Husband.   Meeting ordinarily on the second Tuesday of every month from 12:00pm until 1:00pm, the group has no fixed members (although quite a few regulars).   Readers are urged to nominate a book to be read, especially if they are willing to lead the discussion.   We focus on fiction & drama with occasional foray into the graphic novel.   We limit the length of our selections to about 200 pages, although this is a guideline rather than a fixed rule.   We believe in the joy of re-reading, so some of our selections are works that many have already read at least once.   The noontime book group is under the general oversight of Michael Greenebaum (mlgreenebaum33@gmail.com) who selects the books & leads the discussions.   He is happy to hear from those with ideas or questions.   Amherst Books offers a 10% discount on the month’s book for those who plan to join the group.   January’s book will by The Aspern Papers by Henry James.
Robert Bagg & Susan Todd will read.   Bagg, Professor Emeritus of English at UMass, is author of six volumes of poetry; with his wife, Mary Bagg, wrote Let Us Watch Richard Wilbur: A Biographical Study.   Recently, Bagg has focused on translating Greek plays, which have been staged in 74 productions on four continents.   His latest translation is, Four by Euripides: Medea, Bakkhai, Hippolytos & Cyclops.   Todd, has been an advertising copywriter, an elementary school teacher, the head of the Heath School, the founding editor of Parents’ Choice magazine, a contributing editor of FamilyFun magazine, & co-author of Morning Song: Poems for New Parents.
Join us in celebrating the publication of a new translation by local poet, essayist, translator, & maker of artist books, Michael KasperThe Subversion of Images: Notes Illustrated with Nineteen Photographs by the Author, Paul Nougé.   A classic surrealist photobook which pioneered the imagery of the domestic uncanny, it was edited originally by Marcel Marien, collecting Nougés notes & photographs from 1929–30 to form a guidebook to the surrealist image.
Margaret Bullitt-Jonas will read & talk at the Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, as part of the Adult Christian Education program, “Realities & Remedies of the Climate Crisis: Where are we headed?   How can our faith help us face this crisis?   What can we, as people of faith, do?”   Bullitt-Jonas is Missioner for Creation Care, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ .   Her new book, co-edited with Leah Schade, is Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis.   The book brings together a diverse range of voices to explore the spiritual perspectives that sustain climate activism.   Featuring study questions & spiritual practices, this remarkable collection of essays is for everyone concerned about the climate crisis.
Help us celebrate the publication of a new book by Amherst College political science professor, Thomas DummHome in America: On Loss & Retrieval.   Dumm is author of numerous books of Foucault, democracy, & cultural thought, including most recently Loneliness as a Way of Life & My Father's House: On Will Barnet’s Painting.  
Don Tomaskovic-Devey will read from his recent book, Relational Inequalities: An Organizational Approach.   Tomaskovic-Devey studies the processes that generate workplace inequality.   He is the founding Director of the UMass Center for Employment Equity & the coordinator of the Comparative Organizational Inequality Network.   Relational Inequalities develops a general sociological & organizational analysis of inequality, exploring the processes that generate inequalities in access to respect, resources, & rewards.
Local poet Janet MacFadyen will read from her recent collection of poetry, Adrift in the House of Rocks—which is focused on southern Utah.   Her reading will be accompanied by slides by her husband Stephen Schmidt.   MacFadyen is author of several previously published volumes of poetry, including Newfoundland Journal, In the Province Lands, & In Defense of Stones; she is also managing editor of Slate Roof Press.   Schmidt’s photography has appeared in Sierra Magazine, among other publications.
Julie Dobrow will talk about her recent book, After Emily: Two Remarkable Women & the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet, at the Woodbury Room, Jones Library, Amherst.   Dobrow is a professor & director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tufts University.   Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine & the Huffington Post, among other places.   After Emily sheds light on the importance of the earliest editions of Dickinson’s work—including the controversial editorial decisions made to introduce her singular genius to the world—& reveals the surprising impact Mabel Loomis Todd & her daughter, Millicent Millicent Todd Bingham, had on the poet we know today.
Please note: this was originally scheduled for Tuesday, December 17th.   Help us celebrate the publication of a new book by Rachel ConradTime for Childhoods: Young Poets & Questions of Agency.   Conrad is professor of childhood studies at Hampshire College.   She has published widely in on the convergence of psychological, social, & literary analysis.   She is currently the Director for Academic Innovation at Hampshire College, as well as Faculty Director of the Hampshire College Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, & Learning program.

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