Saturday, October 23, 2021
2021 has seen a phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation,” thanks to so many professionals reflecting during the pandemic and recognizing a mismatch between their jobs and their personal priorities. If this sounds familiar, the novelists in this session will speak to you! In Black Buck, Mateo Askaripour blends satire and self-help as he traces one young man’s meteoric rise—and fall—as the only Black salesperson at a hot new startup, in what the Washington Post calls “an irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America.” Zakiya Dalila Harris, in The Other Black Girl, also confronts racism in the workplace—in this case, the author’s first-hand experiences in the publishing industry—in the guise of a thriller Kirkus calls “slyly brilliant.” The title character of Elizabeth Gonzalez James’s novel Mona at Sea used to be an ambitious go-getter—that is, until the Great Recession of 2008 saw her laid off before she even got onboarded, and now she spends her days fruitlessly applying for meaningless jobs. Variety calls Mona at Sea “a winsome meditation on how to carry on living in the aftermath of disrupted plans”--something we can all relate to these days. And speaking of relating, the plot of Eric Giroux’s Ring on Deli might sound familiar to Massachusetts readers, as a young man must decide where his loyalties lie when the employees of a New England supermarket chain rise up against their corrupt leadership. Kirkus compares Giroux’s writing to Richard Russo’s, and calls Ring on Deli “a well-balanced comic tale that deftly grapples with larger contemporary themes.” All four of these talented writers are debut novelists—perhaps their conversation, moderated by Books on the Rox’s Lanelle Sneed, will inspire you to add “author” to your résumé, too! Sponsored by Greenough Brand Storytellers.
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