Literary Cape Ann is bringing three local memoirists to the Shalin Liu Performance Center his month to discuss the process of writing and publishing candid, intimate, and sometimes difficult personal material. Andre Dubus III, Benjamin Anastas, and Steve Almond will appear in person at 2 p.m. on March 19.
Their memoirs — William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life by Steve Almond, Townie by Andre Dubus III, and Too Good to be True by Benjamin Anastas — are powerful, unflinching, and critically acclaimed. Sometimes witty, sometimes wrenching, the memoirs are thought-provoking page-turners.
Admission is free of charge, but seating is limited due to the ongoing pandemic. Those who wish to attend should bring proof of vaccination; masks will be optional but encouraged. The Bookstore of Gloucester will be on-site selling the memoirs after the discussion, and all three authors will sign books. A recording of the event will be available on Literary Cape Ann’s Facebook page.
Gloucester native Benjamin Anastas’ memoir Too Good to Be True, a national bestseller, uses humor and a compelling, relatable darkness to recount a troubled period in Anastas’ life, as he grappled with divorce, debt, and a literary slump. The New York Times called the book “very funny and a joy to read.”
Anastas is the author of the novels An Underachiever’s Diary and The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance. and his short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and Yale Review, where it was awarded the annual Smart Family Prize for Fiction. His journalism, essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and other notable publications. He teaches literature and writing at Bennington College and is the fiction editor at the Bennington Review.
Steve Almond is the author of a dozen books, including New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His book William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life is a hybrid of literary criticism and memoir, offering his reflections on the 1965 novel Stoner, by John Williams, and its intersections with his own life, accomplishments, and relationships.
Almond’s new novel, All the Secrets of the World will be published in April by Zando Books, and has been optioned for television by 20th Century Fox. He’s the recipient of an NEA grant for 2022 and teaches at Harvard University and Wesleyan University. His stories have been published in several compilations from the “Best American” series and his essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine.
Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie, a reflection on his upbringing in Haverhill and his often turbulent relationship with his father. His new novel, Such Kindness, is forthcoming in 2023, and his essay collection, Ghost Dogs” will be released in 2024. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes; he is also the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over 25 languages, and he teaches full time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Literary Cape Ann was formed after Rockport’s beloved independent bookstore Toad Hall closed in 2017. The goal of the group was to continue to promote literature, reading, and writing in the region, to support and reinforce the value and importance of the literary arts. In pursuit of this mission, Literary Cape Ann runs readings, author panels, book sales, and other literary events.
Literary Cape Ann extends a very special thank you to its longtime sponsors SUN Engineering in Danvers, Bach Builders in Gloucester, and the Institution for Savings.