Log In

Reset Password
Cultural Events

Booth Library To Host Exclusive Hybrid Author Event With Former Resident Beams



Text Size

C.H. Booth Library proudly announces an exclusive virtual author talk featuring former Newtown resident Clare Beams, who will discuss her acclaimed literary works, including latest novel The Garden, published by Doubleday in April.

The event is planned for Wednesday, May 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Beams will delve into the themes and inspirations behind her captivating storytelling, offering insights into her creative process and the journey of crafting her highly anticipated novel.

The Garden has already garnered widespread acclaim, securing a coveted spot on the long list for the prestigious 2024 Joyce Carol Oates/New Literary Project Prize. Additionally, it has been featured on anticipated lists at prominent literary platforms such as LitHub and Bookshop.org.

According to Doubleday, “With shades of Shirley Jackson and Rosemary’s Baby, The Garden delves into the territory of motherhood, childbirth, the mysteries of the female body, and the ways it has always been controlled and corralled.”

The Garden has been called “genius” in The New York Times Book Review and “a teeming gothic” by Vanity Fair, and The LA Times says “few novels of literary fiction are written as well as The Garden.”

Journalist and author Elizabeth Grant (Eat, Pray, Love) called the book “an eerie, masterful novel about pregnancy as a haunted house and the ways the female body has always been policed and manipulated.”

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to engage with Beams directly during the virtual author talk, posing questions and participating in discussions about literature, writing, and the artistic landscape.

Booth Library Spokesperson Tom Nolan said the library is “thrilled to host Clare Beams for this special event.

“Beams’ connection to our community adds an extra layer of significance to this occasion, and we look forward to welcoming her back to the C.H. Booth Library to share her insights and experiences.”

Beams and her family moved to Newtown when she was six years old, she told People.com earlier this year. She attended local schools, graduating from Newtown High School in 2000. The family has since moved away, but Beams said in the recent interview that she continues to feel “a strange mix of disorientation and deep familiarity” when she travels to visit her parents, who now live in New Hampshire.

Beams earned an MFA at Columbia, where she held a Graham Fellowship. She is a former high school freshman English teacher.

She now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two daughters and teaches in the Randolph MFA program.

Beams’s novel The Illness Lesson, published in February 2020 by Doubleday, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and was long listed for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It was named a best book of 2020 by Esquire and Bustle and a best book of February by Time, O Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly.

Her story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, was published by Lookout Books in 2016. It won The Bard Fiction Prize, was long listed for The Story Prize, and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and The Shirley Jackson Award.

Her short fiction appears in One Story, n+1, Ecotone, Conjunctions, The Common, Kenyon Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and has received special mention in The Pushcart Prize and twice in The Best American Short Stories.

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, MacDowell, and The Sustainable Arts Foundation, and was a finalist for the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates/New Literary Project Prize.

Reservations for the May 29 Booth Library program are requested and available by visiting chboothlibrary.org. Nolan can be reached for additional information at 203-426-4533 or tnolan@chboothlibrary.org.

The hybrid author talk will be held in the meeting room of the library, 25 Main Street, and will also be available to be viewed at home.

Copies of The Garden and The Illness Lesson are available to be checked out at the library.

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply