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Bookstores Offer Three Literary Options

See them, hear them, speak with them tonight


Ready for a good summer read? Local bookstores are ready for you.

Tonight, authors J. Courtney Sullivan, Patrick Radden Keefe, and John Hough will read from works that ranges in topic from sex and stereotypes at a women’s college to a coming-of-age story set during the Civil War to a Chinese-American version of The Sopranos.

The problem: all three are happening at the same time. The solution: attend one, read them all.

Harvard Book Store presents J. Courtney Sullivan reading from Commencement: A Novel 

A New York Times editorial staffer and Smith graduate, Sullivan tells the stories of four Smith College undergrads.

“Sullivan’s debut novel works like a backstage pass to a world I barely knew existed — the elite contemporary women’s college, the world of Smithies — with their rampant anagrams [sic] (including my favorite, S.L.U.G., Smith Lesbian Until Graduation), fluid and complex sexuality, eccentric traditions, arch politics, and, most of all, incredibly deep and enduring friendships.” — Bridget Asher (My Husband’s Sweethearts)

The reading starts at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.

Brookline Booksmith presents Patrick Radden Keefe reading from The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream  

A regular contributor to The New Yorker and a Dorchester native, Keefe’s story of a global crime conglomerate built by Sister Ping, a ruling figure of the 1980s Chinese underworld, delves into the underground economy of America’s 12 million undocumented immigrants.

The Snakehead reads like a Chinese-American version of The Sopranos, except that the mob boss is a grandmother who runs a human smuggling enterprise, and the story is true.” — Jane Mayer (The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals)

The reading starts at 7 p.m. at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Ave., Brookline.

Porter Square Books presents John Hough, Jr., reading from Seen the Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg

Martha’s Vineyard resident and novelist John Hough, Jr., explores the hardships and camaraderie of soldiers and civilians set against the Battle of Gettysburg in a coming-of-age story of two brothers fighting in the Civil War.

“Join up and go to war with these boys from the Vineyard; you won’t be able to catch your breath until this fast, brilliant novel is over.” — Lee Smith (On Agate Hill)

The reading starts at 7 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

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