South Station will provide the unlikely but convenient backdrop for a series of literary lunches hosted by the Boston Literary District throughout the month. Starting on May 1, some of Boston’s most prominent literary figures will appear at 1 p.m. every Friday to read, sign and discuss their recent works of fiction and nonfiction.
Award-winning short story writer Robin McLean will be the first featured author on May 1. She’ll be reading from her collection, “Reptile House, ” which was released in 2013. The debut collection of stories has earned wide literary acclaim, earning a nomination for the prestigious Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize and winning the BOA Editions Fiction Prize. McLean now teaches at Clark University.
The following week, on May 8, journalist Deborah Halber will discuss her book “The Skeleton Crew,” an exploration of the amateur sleuth culture that has arisen from the Internet age. The book has been described by Publishers Weekly as “eminently entertaining” and by the Wall Street Journal as “brilliant.”
Henriette Lazaridis will read from her Boston Globe bestseller, “The Clover House,” on May 15. The debut novel tells the story of a family, spanning time and place from Greece in the 1940s to modern day Boston. The Greek/American Lazaridis taught at Harvard for 10 years and founded The Drum, an audible literary magazine.
Lisa Wong leads the next week’s literary lunch. The pediatrician has devoted her career to integrating the arts and medicine. In addition to reading from her book “Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine” on the 22nd, she’ll play viola as part of a string trio.
Dick Lehr’s book, “Black Mass,” was just made into a movie of the same name starring Johnny Depp as notorious Boston criminal Whitey Bulger. On May 29, the veteran journalist will be discussing his more recent book, “Birth of a Nation: How A Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War.” The nonfiction book explores the censorship of the controversial civil war film “Birth of a Nation.” It’s in many ways a Boston story; the editor in the title is William Monroe Trotter, one of the first black men to attend Harvard. Trotter vehemently fought with the film’s director D.W. Griffith to achieve censorship throughout the United States. Lehr will be reading from and discussing the book on May 29, also at 1 p.m.
There will be more Boston crime the following week when three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Kurkjian will read from and discuss “Master Thieves.” Kurkjian was a reporter at the Boston Globe for years, having written extensively on crimes, as well as on the Armenian Genocide (which just passed its 100th anniversary). He also reported on one of the greatest art thefts in history, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, which remains unsolved after 25 years. This is the subject of his latest book, “Master Thieves,” which doesn’t solve the mystery, but explores Boston’s criminal underbelly. The Globe praised it for its treatment of ambiguity. “We don’t get the definitive answer in ‘Master Thieves.’ What we do get is a great mystery story well told. In this case, the story is about the journey, not the destination.” He’ll be at South Station to read from “Master Thieves” on June 5.
More about the events can be found here.