Monday, February 20, 2023

Three upcoming events: Katherine May for Enchantment (virtual), Mary Llewellyn McNeil for Century's Witness (at Boswell), George Lakey for Dancing with History (at Boswell)

Katherine May, author of Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age 
in conversation with Sally Haldorson for a virtual event
New Date: Monday, February 20, 1 pm - click here to register

Boswell Book Company and Porchlight Book Company are so happy to welcome Katherine May back for a virtual sequel to last year’s visit! This time the Wintering author joins us for a pre-publication preview event for her new book, Enchantment, which offers an invitation to rediscover the feelings of awe and wonder available to us all.

Books will be available for pickup at Boswell on February 28, 2023, the publication date. Preorders will receive a special art print with an enchanting quote from the book!

Katherine May invites the reader to come with her on a journey to reawaken our innate sense of wonder and awe. With humor, candor, and warmth, she shares stories of her own struggles with work, family, and the aftereffects of pandemic, particularly the feelings of overwhelm as the world rushes to reopen. Blending lyricism and storytelling, sensitivity and empathy, Enchantment invites each of us to open the door to human experience in all its sensual complexity, and to find the beauty waiting for us there.

And how about this early praise from Anne Lamott: "I love Katherine May’s new book, Enchantment. She is so smart, tender hearted, thoughtful. It’s actually enchanting, so wise and lyrical, down to earth and mystical, personal and universal. It’s a beautiful offering of light, truth and charm in these strange, dark times."

This article from Rachel Abrams of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review gives a very thorough and thoughtful rundown of the charms of the book. A particular highlight is when she talks about the Leonid meteor shower of 1833: 

"One early morning, an estimated 72,000 streaks of light fell across the sky in magnificent arcs. The witnesses, who at the time didn’t have the scientific knowledge to explain it, had to reckon with the mystery in their own ways, each one coming to their own uncertain conclusion about the nature of the universe. That very plurality of meaning is the magic of deep terrain. It doesn’t offer a straightforward answer. Engaging with its layers of history and life isn’t a means to an end but a practice in and of itself, one that requires curiosity, reverence, and ceremony. Most importantly, you create your own meaning."

Katherine May is the New York Times bestselling author of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times and . Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including The New York TimesThe Times of London, and Cosmopolitan.

Mary Llewellyn McNeil, author of Century’s Witness: The Extraordinary Life of Journalist Wallace Carroll
at Boswell
Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm - click right here to register

Journalist and author Mary Llewellyn McNeil appears at Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, Century’s Witness, a book about Wallace Carroll, a journalist’s journalist, whose life and life’s work is essential reading for all those who believe a trusted and reasoned press is essential to our democracy.

Today when local newspapers are going out of business, corporate profits drive press coverage, and unbiased reporting is seen as almost nonexistent, Wallace Carroll's life is a lesson in excellence. A reporter with unmatched integrity, Carroll covered the most significant events of his time, from the London Blitz to the United States' withdrawal from the Vietnam War. His story is even more relevant today given the war in Ukraine and Russia's assault on the truth.

Carroll covered the League of Nations in the 1930s, warning the American public of the dangers of fascism, headed United Press's office in London at the outbreak of the war and was among the first journalists to reach the Russian front following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He later joined the US Office of War Information, tasked with "winning the hearts and minds" of those under the Nazi boot. As such, he was well-placed to understand the power of words, and their heightened importance in a time of war.

Mary Llewellyn McNeil is a former editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly, former editor at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, and was a journalist at the Winston-Salem Journal. She is coeditor of Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa. McNeil was a student of Wallace Carroll's and a graduate of Wake Forest University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

George Lakey, author of Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice
at Boswell
Monday, February 27, 6:30 pm - click here to register

Boswell presents an evening with Quaker activist George Lakey for a conversation about his latest work, Dancing with History, on his involvement in struggles for peace, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment.

From his first arrest in the Civil Rights era to his most recent during a climate justice march at the age of 83, George Lakey has committed his life to a mission of building a better world through movements for justice. In this memoir, he describes the personal, political, and theoretical - coming out as bisexual to his Quaker community while known as a church leader and family man, protesting against the war in Vietnam by delivering medical supplies through the naval blockade in the South China Sea, and applying his academic study of nonviolent resistance to creative tactics in direct action campaigns.

From strategies he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets to risking his life as an unarmed bodyguard for Sri Lankan human rights lawyers, Lakey recounts his experience living out the tension between commitment to family and mission. Drawing strength from his community to fight cancer, survive painful parenting struggles, and create networks to help prevent activist burnout, this book shows readers how to find hope in even the darkest times through strategic, joyful activism.

From Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst who released The Pentagon Papers in 1971, peace activist, and author: "George Lakey stands out for the sheer range of his contributions to peace and justice, especially in strategy and theory, organizing, innovative and risky actions, and teaching and training others. His upbeat, soul-driven spirit underlies it all, as you'll catch in this revealing memoir."

George Lakey recently retired from Swarthmore College, where he was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change. A Quaker, he has been named Peace Educator of the Year and was given the Paul Robeson Social Justice Award and the Martin Luther King Peace Award. His previous books include Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right - and How We Can, Too and How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning.

Photo credits: 

Katherine May by Alexa Loy Dent
George Lakey by John Meyer

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