Salon with Jessica Francis Kane, Rules for Visiting

Please join Porter Square Books for the first in a new reading series! Our Salon series features an up-close-and-personal evening where you'll have a chance to meet, mingle and hear from an author over light refreshments in a local Porter Square Books community member's own home.

RSVPs are required for this event, and location details will be provided to confirmed guests. Space is limited. Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Jessica Francis Kane's Rules for Visiting is a beautifully observed and deeply funny novel following May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year. 

At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she’s turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm’s length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own? Rules for Visiting is a woman’s exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way--afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends’ perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones.

Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story--and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.

Jessica Francis Kane is the author of This Close, The Report, and Bending Heaven. This Close was longlisted for The Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, and The Report was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in a number of publications, including Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s, The Missouri Review, The Yale Review, A Public Space, and Granta.

Porter Square Books' Salon reading series is a new endeavour aiming to revive the salons of old--events where people would invite artists, writers, musicians, and other intellectuals into their homes and then invite their friends or their community in for an evening of performance, discussion, and conversation. In many places, the salons were the intellectual and cultural centers of their communities. As booksellers, we often have the opportunity to spend time with authors and just a handful of other dinner guests, sparking all manner of interesting discussions, and we wanted to bring this experience to you, our customers! (Interested to host? Reach out to for more information!)


Event date: 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Cambridge-Somerville, MA

RSVP Form: 

Rules for Visiting: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780525559221
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for more info
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019