A View From The Mezzanine
an eclectic look at what's happening inside
The Providence Athenaeum
February 4, 2015
UPCOMING PROGRAM AND SALONLet the Salon season commence! And let the mountain goat be your muse, what care you for an Alp-like range of snowy peaks? All the better for clambering and capering! We hope to see you this week - and stay on the alert for next week's enews, when our signature listings of cultural happenings of interest throughout the region will return.
On Thursday, 2/5 at 7pm, join us for the launch of Allen Kurzweil's new book, Whipping Boy, the Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully. Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy takes Kurzweil from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California, and features an international cast of unforgettable eccentrics. A scrupulously researched work of nonfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage. Books for sale and signing are made available by our generous friends at the Brown Bookstore.
Our first Salon is Friday, 2/6 from 5-7pm. Athenaeum Director of Programs and Public Engagement Christina Bevilacqua, along with her research assistant Jane'a Johnson, bring us "The Athenaeum Salon: Past, Present, and Future," part 6 of "The Cosmology of Conversation," a series on the history of the salon. Bevilacqua is a 2014-15 as a Community Fellow at Brown's John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, where she is working with Johnson, a PhD student in Brown's Department of Modern Culture and Media, on a variety of projects focused the history and future of the Athenaeum Salon. Join them for a discussion of their fellowship work, the role of the Salon within the Athenaeum and the larger community, and the ideals and ideas for spring and beyond.
READER SERVICESIf you're looking for a book, or in this case books, to get you through the long winter nights, our Publications Coordinator Tina Egnoski suggests the Neapolitan novels, a series—three are currently in translation, a fourth is to be released in September—by Italian writer Elena Ferrante. The story follows the lives of narrator Elena Greco and her friend Lila Cerrullo, young women born into a working-class neighborhood in Naples in the mid-20th century. From childhood to adulthood, their friendship is tested and survives the trials of adolescence, marriage and motherhood. The novels tackle large themes, such as class, feminism, violence and fascism, but the power lies in the personal struggles of these two intriguing and multi-faceted characters. It's a series worth binge-reading!
The titles, in order, are: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.
AND SPEAKING OF READINGHere's another book for your to-read list. Our friend and member Robert Koppel just published a new novel, Why Love? It's the the story of Ira Fleckenstein and his crazy family. Inspired by Greek mythology, Yiddish theater, the God particle, and the songs of Burt Bacharach, the hero embarks on a punch-drunk Proustian odyssey. The novel is a love story and the writing of a love story, all rolled into one; full of false starts, dashed plans, deep feeling, raw humor, and triumph. It's the debut book of the newly formed Vitruvian Book Publishing, LLC., a Providence imprint dedicated to the publication of outstanding new works that draw from authors living and writing in Rhode Island. Koppel is the critically acclaimed author of more than a dozen books. His previous novel, The Next Step, tells the story of a Wall Street titan who, losing everything, reinvents himself as a FedEx shipping clerk. In the process, he saves the world and achieves redemption.
THE ATHENAEUM, SOCIALLY
THE ATHENAEUM, AT A GLANCE
ABOUT THE ATHENAEUM
The Providence Athenaeum is an independent membership library that opened on Benefit Street in 1838; its antecedent was an earlier library, The Providence Library Company, founded in 1753. We provide books and other materials to all, of any age, who love reading, appreciate literature, and enjoy cultural discovery. Our collections and historic building are maintained in the spirit of its founders in order to enrich the lives of all who enter its granite walls. We're committed to cultural programming and events for adults and children that accentuate the strengths of the collections and mission of the institution. Exhibits are open to the public. Visit our website at here.
ATHENAEUM HOURS Mon-Thu 9:00am-7:00pm Fri 9:00am-5:00pm Sat 9:00am-5:00pm Sun 1:00pm-5:00pm
UPCOMING HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
Mon 2/16: Presidents' Day
The Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903
The Providence Athenaeum
251 Benefit Street
Providence, Rhode Island