You have something in common with these critically-acclaimed authors.

Our Pros&Conversation literary event is coming soon, and you’re all invited. We hope that you’ll choose to join us on Thursday, May 9 for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and riveting conversation.

These four outstanding authors and our very own teen journalists will hold an impassioned panel discussion, followed by a book signing, free copies of the authors’ works, and a chance to speak to these talented writers. Poised to be captivating and inspiring, we want to make sure you’re all prepared ahead of time.

Let’s meet our authors.

Danielle Allen Headshot

Danielle Allen is a professor, ethicist, and astute political theorist. Her distinctions include:

  • James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard
  • Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard
  • Principal Investigator at the Democratic Knowledge Project, a research and action lab at Harvard
  • Author of seven published books and a multitude of sociopolitical articles
  • Recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” in 2001

Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.

We’re most excited that Allen is joining the panel to talk about her recently published memoir, Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., called “a compassionate retelling of an abjectly tragic story” (New York Times, 2017).

Cuz Book Cover - PurpleAllen’s cousin Michael was arrested at age 15 after an attempted carjacking, confessed to these and other minor crimes, and ended up serving 13 years of hard time. He was murdered three years after his release.

In her memoir, Allen explores the circumstances that led to Michael’s arrest, imprisonment, and difficulty re-assimilating after release.

As a political and ethical scholar, Allen has been close to subjects of equity, societal health, and criminal justice throughout her education and career, but revealed in an interview with The Harvard Gazette that writing Cuz made her “come to deeply understand the way in which the intellectual and the personal are completely entangled.”

“Michael’s sentence was almost equivalent, in psychological terms, to the whole of his life. It stretched past what was for him the limit of knowable time.”

Danielle Allen, “American Inferno,” The New Yorker, July 2017

Readers may be familiar with this story from reading “American Inferno,” an excerpt from Cuz published in the July 2017 issue of The New Yorker.

Joshua Foer TED talk image

Joshua Foer is a journalist and author with a wide range of personal and professional experience. His career has taken some unexpected and interesting turns, including the following accomplishments:

  • Freelance journalist with articles in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Discover, Slate, and many other publications
  • Co-founder of the online Atlas Obscura and co-author of the book, Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders (2016)
  • TED Talk speaker, “Feats of memory anyone can do” (2012)
  • Author of Moonwalking with Einstein, named a Best Book of 2011 by Amazon.com, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and 5 others
  • Winner of the USA Memory Championship, Speed Cards category, in 2006
  • Co-founder of the nonprofit Sefaria, dedicated to preserving and sharing Jewish texts through digitization and open sourcing

Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer, book front coverMoonwalking with Einstein is Foer’s first book. It became an international bestseller and has been translated into 34 languages.

Foer didn’t intend to write Moonwalking with Einstein. In a search for the world’s smartest person, he found himself at the USA Memory Championship. He was blown away by what he witnessed. As Foer puts it: “What began as an exercise in participatory journalism became an obsession.”

Assured by these memory savants that “anyone could do what they do,” Foer spent a year memorizing decks of cards in random order, strings of numbers, and lengthy poems. He ended up sweeping the Speed Cards category at the very same memory championship the following year.

“Cooke offered to serve as my coach and trainer. Memorizing would become a part of my daily routine. Like flossing. Except that I would actually remember to do it.”

Joshua Foer, “Secrets of a Mind-Gamer,” The New York Times, February 2011

For a glimpse into this incredibly engaging read, check out this NYT article, adapted from Moonwalking with Einstein.

More from Joshua Foer

It’s truly worth perusing Atlas Obscura, an incredible compilation of the most remarkable, unusual, or straight-up weird places to visit across the globe. Boston is featured, and while you’re there, check out Gastro Obscura (for adventurous palates) and Atlas Obscura events and trips.

(P.S. Foer’s favorite spot is this insane hand-woven rope bridge in Peru.)

Meredith Goldstein is an author, advice columnist, and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. Goldstein has authored:

  • The Boston Globe Love Letters column since 2009 (and hosts the recently-launched Love Letters podcast)
  • Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist (2018), a memoir and letter collection
  • Chemistry Lessons (2018), a young adult novel about a teen who uses science to manipulate her love life while learning to live without her mother
  • The Singles (2012), Goldstein’s debut novel about a group of dateless guests at a wedding

Can’t Help Myself

Goldstein’s newest book, Can’t Help Myself, captivates us. Though Goldstein is sure-footed when giving advice to her readers, it turns out she’s not always so confident in her own romantic decision-making. Can’t Help Myself is a quick-witted and sincere piece of writing that follows Goldstein’s struggles with love and loss as she dishes out advice to lovelorn strangers.

Read an excerpt of Can’t Help Myself for a taste of Goldstein’s endearing honesty and sharp wit, published in The Boston Globe in March 2018.

“I was self-aware enough to know that with my blubbering and begging, I was one pint of ice cream and a flannel blanket away from becoming a more sedentary Bridget Jones, but I couldn’t stop myself. Sometimes breakups turn you into the kind of person you wouldn’t befriend in a million years. ”

How Meredith Goldstein became an advice columnist when her own love life was falling apart,” an excerpt from Can’t Help Myself, published in The Boston Globe, March 2018

More from Meredith Goldstein

Goldstein also authored the YA novel, Chemistry Lessons, which tells the story of a teen girl who, after losing her scientist mother to cancer, continues her experiments with chemically-induced love. (Read a review.)

And if you haven’t yet, look through some of these Love Letters. Goldstein pitched the column back in 2008 in the hopes that by allowing comments from the public, it would feel like a supportive online community. Her readers did not disappoint. According to Goldstein, there are regular contributors, some who have been commenting since Love Letters’ first publication.

“One of my favorite [commenters] is Bklynmom. If Bklynmom could advise me in my own life every day, I’d be psyched.”

Meredith Goldstein in an interview for Bustle.com, April 2018
Marjan Kamali picture

Marjan Kamali was born in Turkey to Iranian parents and spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. Kamali is an award-winning author and writing teacher, who:

  • Authored the novel Together Tea, which was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author selection
  • Completed her forthcoming novel The Stationery Shop, scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster this June
  • Has been featured on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies, Tremors and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been
  • Currently teaches at GrubStreet, a Boston nonprofit that offers writing workshops to the public

Together Tea

together tea novel book coverTogether Tea has been translated into five languages and was recently adapted as a play. It tells the story of an Iranian-American mother and daughter who struggle to find common ground between their generations. The duo journey to Iran and grow closer, but the question of marriage drives a wedge still further daughter Mina falls for a suitor her mother would never have chosen.

Kamali’s own personal history gives her a unique perspective on global affairs and the role of age and culture as it relates to human connection.

“…My experience of living in five continents is that most people want the same things: love, a sense of belonging, safety, and the chance to fulfill one’s potential. The way society expects an individual to fulfill these wants may differ but those differences are more generational than cultural.”

Marjan Kamali in an interview for Solstice Magazine, winter 2017 issue

Coming Soon: The Stationery Shop

The stationery shop book coverKamali explores similar dynamics in her forthcoming novel The Stationery Shop, set in 1953 Tehran before and during the coup d’état. An excerpt from the novel appeared in the fall 2018 issue of Solstice Magazine and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Keep your eye out for The Stationery Shop, which will hit the shelves on June 18, 2019.