BELFAST — The public is invited to a free talk and book signing on Friday, August 16, at 7 p.m., at Left Bank Books in downtown Belfast, by author Suzannah Lessard. Her latest book, The Absent Hand: Reimagining Our
American Landscape, has been called “an engrossing work of literary nonfiction,” according to Left Bank, in a news release.
Lessard, who is the great-granddaughter of architect Stanford White, is also the author of The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family, a New York Times Notable Book of The Year in 1996.
In The Absent Hand Lessard, who is a self-described “collector of places,” writes a sophisticated series of essays that are a blend of historical travelogue, reportorial probing, philosophical meditation, and prose poem as
she describes and reimagines our landscapes. She guides readers through places that have meant something to her personally — the Hudson River Valley, a neighborhood in Brooklyn — as well as those with larger resonance, such as preserved Civil War battlefields, whitewashed Southern plantations, the King of Prussia shopping mall, and the Columbia University campus.
Lessard takes a “deep dive” into the surroundings – cities, countryside, and sprawl – and explores change in the meaning of place and reimagining the world in a time of transition. Whether it’s climate change, which is
altering the meaning of nature, or digital communications that are changing the nature of work, the effects of global enclosure on the meaning of place are inescapable.
“No one will finish this book without having their ideas of living and settling in their surroundings profoundly enriched,” said Left Bank, in the release.
Lessard was a founding editor of The Washington Monthly and a staff writer at The New Yorker for 20 years (1975 – 1995); she currently teaches creative writing at The New School in New York City. She is a recipient of the Whiting and Lukas Awards and has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and George Washington University.
Reservations for the free talk and signing are strongly encouraged.
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (207-338-9009) Left Bank Books to reserve a seat. If you can’t make the signing, the bookshop will take your order and have your book(s) signed for later pick up or shipment.
Left Bank Books is located at 109 Church St. in downtown Belfast, in the historic Opera House building. Ample parking is available on the street and in an adjacent public parking lot.