Coming Together When Things Fall Apart: Giving Voice to Emotional Truth in our TimesSaturday, May 2 | 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
- Current Affairs
- Health, Psychology & Spirituality
This event is for everyone who’s ever been moved by a writer’s uncanny gift for describing the indescribable: a gift that makes us feel seen and understood in all our complexity. It’s a gift we need now, more than ever. A novelist’s stock in trade is plumbing the emotional landscape of characters experiencing freefall, upheaval, uncertainty—just as all of us are experiencing, in some measure, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the overwhelming emotions of this current moment render us speechless, who better to break the silence and put words to complicated feelings than some of contemporary literature’s most groundbreaking, humane, and breathtaking voices?
Acclaimed novelist R.O. Kwon’s transcendent New York Times essay about grief in lockdown was the inspiration for this conversation. Joining her are Anthony Doerr, whose blockbuster World War II novel All the Light We Cannot See illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another; and Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose witty, exquisite The Sympathizer captures the ambivalence and humanity of “a man of two minds” in the midst of a traumatic war. Moderated by award-winning author Danielle Evans, who recently penned a beautiful essay about sheltering-in-place for The Sewanee Review’s “Corona Correspondences” series.
This ticketed live event, a fundraiser for the Bay Area Book Festival, will take us beyond the headlines and tweets into a raw, cathartic conversation about navigating lockdown, loss, and massive change. In the midst of this strange time, an hour of deep connection can bring hope and courage to us all.
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
R.O. Kwon, The Incendiaries
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
Danielle Evans, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
This event was recorded live on May 2 as a ticketed fundraiser, starting at $40. We greatly appreciate the generosity of these authors in lending their time and brilliance to help the festival! While eventually we’ll release this program for free, for just a little longer we’re asking for a donation of $20 to watch it. Not only is this program totally worth it, but you’ll be helping the festival endure to continue to bring you programs like this one.
After you make your donation here, we’ll send you a special viewing link, along with a “literary companion” list of books and articles cited by the authors, their own recent writings on COVID-19, and so on.