Fernanda Eberstadt, author of Bite Your Friends, in conversation with Claire Messud

Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome Fernanda Eberstadt for the release of Bite Your Friends! Author Claire Messud will join Eberstadt in conversation. This event will take place on Monday, March 4 at 7pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140).

RSVP below to let us know you're coming and to receive event updates!

At once a subversive autobiography of a mercurial woman and a mesmerizing history of the body as a site of resistance to power.

"I bite my friends to heal them."--Diogenes the Cynic, c. 350 BCE

From a Roman amphitheater where 4th century martyrs are fed to wild beasts to the S&M leather bars of New York in the 1970s, this sinuous and illuminating book by novelist and cultural critic Fernanda Eberstadt explore the lives of uncommonly brave men and women--saints, philosophers, artists--who have used their own wounded or stigmatized bodies to challenge society's mores and entrenched power structures.

The Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes who lived "a dog's life," sleeping, teaching, having sex in the public square; Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, two early Christian martyrs; twentieth-century prophets of bodily freedom like filmmaker-poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and philosopher Michel Foucault; Russian punk feminist group Pussy Riot; the political artist Piotr Pavlensky, who nailed his scrotum to the pavement of Red Square to protest Vladimir Putin's tyranny; these are the outrageous, uncommon, but deeply committed activists featured through original interviews and careful case studies in Eberstadt's immensely readable book, which is part political treatise, part manifesto, part memoir.

Running through her narrative of the Body Militant is Eberstadt's own story and the story of her mother, a New York writer and glamor figure of the 1960s, whose illness-scarred body first led Eberstadt to seek connections between beauty, belief, and the truths taught through the body.

Eberstadt asks crucial questions for our time: what drives certain individuals to risk pain, disgrace, even death, in the name of freedom? And, what can we learn from their example to become braver ourselves?

Fernanda Eberstadt was born in New York City. She has published five novels and one work of nonfiction, a memoir about her friendship with a family of Rom musicians in Southern France. She has written for publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Vogue, and Granta, and is an editor at large for the European Review of Books. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages. She lives in Europe.

Claire Messud is the author of six works of fiction. A recipient of a Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

Event date: 

Monday, March 4, 2024 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

Bite Your Friends: Stories of the Body Militant By Fernanda Eberstadt Cover Image
ISBN: 9798889660064
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Europa Editions - March 5th, 2024


Event Location: