Virtual: Alden Jones and Sven Birkerts

Join Porter Square Books for a virtual talk with local authors Alden Jones (The Wanting Was a Wilderness) and Sven Birkerts (Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory), who will discuss their latest works and their shared form of the "critical memoir." This event is free and open to all, hosted on Crowdcast!








Register to join the event on Crowdcast here:

How did Cheryl Strayed turn a solo hike into an inspirational memoir, beloved by millions? Memoirist and professor Alden Jones sets out to explore why. But when a sudden personal crisis occurs while she is writing, Jones realizes she must confront some difficult truths, both in her life and on the page. THE WANTING WAS A WILDERNESS is a profoundly original work that blends criticism, craft analysis, and a memoir of Jones's own time in the wilderness. The result is a celebration of Wild and a map of our long path to self-discovery.

Alden Jones intended to write a reckoning with a contemporary literary classic--but she has written far more than that. To carefully dissect Wild, she finds she must consider her own quests: her own time in the wild; her self-discoveries as a queer woman; and how she can both live and tell an authentic story. This is a beautiful, lyric, unexpected book about the power of memoir and how desire both leads us into the wilderness and makes for us a map. THE WANTING WAS A WILDERNESS is book for readers, true readers, to treasure.--Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory is one of the most critically acclaimed memoirs of the twentieth century. In this classic account of his life, Nabokov writes about his idyllic Russian childhood in a aristocratic family, the 1917 Bolshevik revolution that led to his exile from Russia, and the path that would eventually lead him to live in the United States. In the latest volume in Ig's acclaimed Bookmarked series, celebrated author and critic Sven Birkerts writes about how Speak, Memory not only intersects with various central life-concerns (exile, serendipity and coincidence, childhood, literary redemption), but is also vital to understanding the workings of memory in literature.

Alden Jones is the author, most recently, of the critical memoir The Wanting Was a Wilderness. Her previous books are the travel memoir The Blind Masseuse and the story collection Unaccompanied Minors. Her writing and teaching has earned her awards including the New American Fiction Prize, the PEN Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award longlist, and the Alan Stanzler Award for Excellence in Teaching. She teaches creative writing and cultural studies at Emerson College and is core faculty in fiction and nonfiction writing at the low-residency Newport MFA program.

Co-editor of AGNI, former Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars, Sven Birkerts is the author of 10 previous books, most recently CHANGING THE SUBJECT:ART AND ATTENTION IN THE INTERNET AGE (Graywolf).

Register to join the event on Crowdcast here:

Event date: 

Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

The comfort of your home!
The Wanting Was a Wilderness: Cheryl Strayed's Wild and the Art of Memoir (...Afterwords) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780999431665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Because of how it is sold to us we cannot accept a return of this title.
Published: Fiction Advocate - August 25th, 2020

Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory: Bookmarked Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632461070
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Ig Publishing - January 26th, 2021