Lauren Kay Johnson, author of The Fine Art of Camouflage, with Joanna Rakoff

Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome Lauren Kay Johnson, author of The Fine Art of Camouflage, in conversation with Joanna Rakoff! This event will take place on Thursday, April 13 at 7pm at PSB: Boston Edition (50 Liberty Dr. Boston, MA 02210).

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Lauren Kay Johnson is just seven when she first experiences a sacrifice of war as her mother, a nurse in the Army Reserves, deploys in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. A decade later, in the wake of 9/11, Lauren signs her own military contract and deploys to a small Afghan province with a non-combat nation-building team. Through her role as the team's information operations officer—the filter between the U.S. military and the Afghan and international publics—and through interviews and letters from her mother’s service, Lauren investigates the role of information in war and in interpersonal relationships, often wrestling with the truth in stories we read and hear from the media and official sources, and in those stories we tell ourselves and our families.

A powerful generational coming-of-age narrative against the backdrop of war, The Fine Art of Camouflage reveals the impact from a child’s perspective of watching her mother leave and return home to a hero’s welcome to that of a young idealist volunteering to deploy to Afghanistan who, war-worn, eventually questions her place in the war, the military, and her family history—and their place within her.


Lauren Kay Johnson is a graduate of Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Glamour, and several anthologies. and she has lectured at schools, conferences, and veteran centers across the country, including the Association of Writers and Writing Programs national conference, the Boston Book Festival, and the University of Iowa. A writing consultant with GrubStreet, she lives with her husband and two-year-old twin daughters in Seattle.

Joanna Rakoff is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Salinger Year and the bestselling novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction and the Elle Readers’ Prize. Rakoff’s books have been translated into twenty languages, and the film adaptation of My Salinger Year opened in theaters worldwide in 2021 and is now streaming. She has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Sewanee, Bread Loaf, Jerome Foundation, Authors’ Guild, PEN, Ragdale Foundation, Art OMI/Ledig House, and Saltonstall; and has taught at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Aspen Words. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Elle, Porter, and elsewhere, and her new memoir, The Fifth Passenger, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2024.

Event date: 

Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition
50 Liberty Dr.
Boston, MA 02210

RSVP Form: 

The Fine Art of Camouflage By Lauren Kay Johnson Cover Image
ISBN: 9798985794168
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Because of how it is sold to us we cannot accept a return of this title.
Published: Milspeak Books, Milspeak Foundation, Inc. - March 1st, 2023

My Salinger Year: A Memoir By Joanna Rakoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307947987
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Vintage - May 12th, 2015


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