Tobey Pearl with Terror to the Wicked: America’s First Trial by Jury That Ended a War and Helped to Form a Nation

Virtual Event: Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. ET

Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library and State Library of Massachusetts

A revelatory account of America’s first murder trial, in Plymouth Colony in 1638.

Journey back to a little-known moment in colonial history that changed the course of America’s future. In Terror to the Wicked, author Tobey Pearl provides a riveting account of a brutal killing, an all-out manhunt, and America’s first murder trial, of a white runaway servant who stabbed a Nipmuc tribesman in Plymouth Colony in 1638. Set against the backdrop of the Pequot War between the Pequot tribe and the colonists of Massachusetts Bay, this work of history brings to vivid life those caught up in the drama including Roger Williams, founder of Providence, Rhode Island; Myles Standish; Edward Winslow, a former governor of Plymouth Colony; and John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ms. Pearl’s revelatory account sheds new light on America’s early history, the end of the two-year war and the peace that allowed the colonies to become a nation.

Tobey Pearl earned degrees in law and international relations from Boston University and studied international law at the University of Hong Kong.

Blake Bailey with Philip Roth: The Biography

Virtual Event: Tuesday, April 27 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Professor Michael Hoberman, Fitchburg State University
Presented in partnership with the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center

The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of literary titan Philip Roth

Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, biographer Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene. Philip Roth: The Biography has been named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021 by Oprah Magazine, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, and The Times (UK), Financial Times, and others. Don’t miss Blake Bailey’s fascinating presentation and discussion with guest moderator Professor Michael Hoberman.

Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer and James Tait Black Prizes. His previous book, The Splendid Things We Planned, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography.

Michael Hoberman teaches American literature at Fitchburg State University. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His books include New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America; How Strange it Seems: Jewish Life in Rural New England; and A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History.

Quiara Alegría Hudes with My Broken Language: A Memoir

Virtual Event: Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Maria Hinojosa, author and Emmy Award-winning journalist
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, Huntington Theatre Company, Porter Square Books, and GBH Forum Network

An inspired exploration of home, memory, and belonging from a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright.

In this remarkable memoir, Quiara Alegría Hudes tells her lyrical story of coming of age against the backdrop of an ailing Philadelphia barrio, with her sprawling Puerto Rican family as a collective muse. She was awed by her aunts and uncles and cousins, but haunted by the secrets of the family and the unspoken, untold stories of the barrio—the sea of language around her, written and spoken, English and Spanish. Hudes has since found her language, and in this powerful, heralded work, “her sentences will take your breath away. How lucky we are to have her telling our stories,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning creator of Hamilton. Hudes will be joined by journalist Maria Hinojosa, whose work has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.

Quiara Alegría Hudes is a writer, wife, mother of two, barrio feminist, and native of West Philly, USA. Hailed for their exuberance, intellectual rigor, and rich imagination, her plays and musicals have been performed around the world. They include the Broadway hit In the Heights and the Pulitzer Prize–winning drama Water by the Spoonful. She founded the online gallery Emancipated Stories.

Maria Hinojosa is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America. She is also anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by PRX and co-host of Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast In The Thick.

With special Q+A guest Boston educator and actress Melinda Lopez, playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company.

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro with Names of New York: Discovering the City's Past, Present, and Future Through Its Place-Names

Virtual Event: Thursday, May 6 at 6 p.m. ET

A fascinating journey into the past, present, and future of New York City through its place-names and the stories they contain

Join us for a journey through New York City and its history, as this celebrated writer, creator, and scholar shares images and stories behind the naming of its places. Joshua Jelly-Schapiro’s latest work reveals the marks left on the city by the native Lenape, Dutch settlers, British invaders, and a successive wave of immigrants. Drawing on his background in cultural geography, he excavates the wealth of tales embedded throughout the five boroughs and illuminates the power of naming to shape experience and our sense of place. Come with questions, submitting your own family’s history as you register, for possible discussion in the extended Q&A time.

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is a geographer and writer whose books include Island People: The Caribbean and the World, and (with Rebecca Solnit) Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, his work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Harper's magazine, among many other publications. He is a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, where he also teaches.

Daniel James Brown with Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Virtual Event: Wednesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Roland Nozomu Kelts, author, journalist, editor, and lecturer
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, the Japan Society of Boston, and GBH Forum Network

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism.

An unforgettable chronicle of war-time America, Facing the Mountain portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons. One demonstrated his courage as a resister. The three others volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and displayed fierce courage on the battlefields of France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible in often suicidal missions. Based on deep archival research and extensive family interviews, Brown also tells the story of these soldiers’ parents, immigrants who were forced to shutter the businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to imprisonment on U.S. soil. Here, as in The Boys in the Boat, he explores the questions of what “home” means, what makes a team work, and who gets to be a “real American.” Don’t miss the author’s presentation and discussion with Roland Kelts about this powerful new work.

Daniel James Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, which spent over 135 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list; The Indifferent Stars Above; and Under a Flaming Sky. A multi award-winning writer, he lives in Washington State, near Seattle, and has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University.

Roland Nozomu Kelts is a Japanese-American writer, editor, and lecturer; author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US. He writes for publications in the US, Japan, and Europe, and is a commentator for CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio. A contributing editor of MONKEY: New Writing from Japan, he was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in Tokyo.

Produced by GBH Forum Network in partnership with Boston Public Library


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