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June 20, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jana Casale discusses her new novel, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky.
Praise for The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky
“Casale writes with both energy and humor. She is an exquisite storyteller. In creating Leda and her story, Casale magically weaves together the tiny moments in life, allowing them to gain momentum and build off each other, until they culminate into an extraordinary tale that has spunk and charm.” —Weike Wang, author of Chemistry
“As the perfect title suggests, the books we don’t read can shape us just as much as the ones we do. However, unlike our titular heroine and her copy of Problems of Knowledge and Freedom, I guarantee you’ll fly through this one. It’s a rare gem of a debut–funny, heartbreaking, and genuinely profound.”--Ed Park, author of Personal Days
“How do you account for a life? In Jana Casale’s poignant debut, the answer has as much to do with the things her protagonist, Leda – college student, wife, writer, temporary Orca expert, mother – wanted to do and didn’t, as what she actually lives. A funny, tender and touching illumination of the extraordinary beauty contained in a seemingly everyday life. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena
About The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky
We first meet Leda in a coffee shop on an average afternoon, notable only for the fact that it’s the single occasion in her life when she will eat two scones in one day. And for the cute boy reading American Power and the New Mandarins. Leda hopes that, by engaging him, their banter will lead to romance. Their fleeting, awkward exchange stalls before flirtation blooms. But Leda’s left with one imperative thought: she decides she wants to read Noam Chomsky. So she promptly buys a book and never—ever—reads it.
As the days, years, and decades of the rest of her life unfold, we see all of the things Leda does instead, from eating leftover spaghetti in her college apartment, to fumbling through the first days home with her newborn daughter, to attempting (and nearly failing) to garden in her old age. In a collage of these small moments, we see the work—both visible and invisible—of a woman trying to carve out a life of meaning. Over the course of her experiences Leda comes to the universal revelation that the best-laid-plans are not always the path to utter fulfillment and contentment, and in reality there might be no such thing. Lively and disarmingly honest, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is a remarkable literary feat—bracingly funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and truly feminist in its insistence that the story it tells is an essential one.