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VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch with Meredith O’Brien & Leslie Gray Streeter
July 7, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT
Booksmith and The Bindery, in partnership with Zyzzyva, present Lockdown Lit @ Lunch, a weekly salon, Tuesdays at 11am PST. Lockdown Literature is a group of authors with books published during the coronavirus pandemic who have banded together to support one another. This event features Meredith O’Brien (Uncomfortably Numb: a memoir about the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis) & Leslie Gray Streeter (Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “journey” in the Title).
** Please note **
> The books may be listed as out of stock — this is because we’re shipping directly from the warehouse to your door! If you’d like to purchase the books, please do so through the links above or below, at the bottom of this page.
> You can find a full list of Lockown Lit authors here. Please save the dates and join us!
> This event will be streaming live on our Facebook page.
Friends, neighbors: We are pleased to be able to bring you some of our events virtually while our doors are otherwise closed in the interest of public health. If you’d like to support the store, you can still do that in the usual ways:
Thank you very much for your support – we’re proud to be a legacy business and a mainstay of the Haight-Ashbury since 1976!
Uncomfortably Numb: a memoir about the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by Meredith O’Brien
It begins with numbness on her left leg. Then it spreads. Even though an MRI finds a “mass” on her brainstem, it takes two more years for Meredith O’Brien to learn what is causing that numbness. Months after her 65-year-old mother dies from a fast-moving cancer, weeks after her father is hospitalized and she experiences an unexpected job change, she learns she has multiple sclerosis.
Suddenly, Meredith, a married mother of three teens, has to figure out how to move forward into a life she no longer recognizes.
Reimagining her life as a writer and an educator, as a mother and a spouse, she has to adjust to the restrictions MS imposes on her.
It is a life, altered.
A Boston area author, Meredith O’Brien has written four books, including her latest, Uncomfortably Numb, a memoir about the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, called “triumphant” and “riveting,” as well as “heart-breaking … harrowing … and heroic.” Her third book, a work of creative nonfiction, Mr. Clark’s Big Band: A Year of Laughter, Tears and Jazz in a Middle School Band Room, won an Independent Publisher Book Award and was a finalist for a Foreword INDIES award. A former newspaper reporter and investigative journalist, Meredith teaches journalism and writing at Northeastern University in Boston where she also serves as a writing coach.
Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “journey” in the Title) by Leslie Gray Streeter
Leslie Gray Streeter is not cut out for widowhood. She’s not ready for hushed rooms and pitying looks. She is not ready to stand graveside, dabbing her eyes in a classy black hat. If she had her way she’d wear her favorite curve-hugging leopard print dress to Scott’s funeral; he loved her in that dress! But, here she is, having lost her soulmate to a sudden heart attack, totally unsure of how to navigate her new widow lifestyle. (“New widow lifestyle.” Sounds like something you’d find products for on daytime TV, like comfy track suits and compression socks. Wait, is a widow even allowed to make jokes?)
Looking at widowhood through the prism of race, mixed marriage, and aging, Black Widowredefines the stages of grief, from coffin shopping to day-drinking, to being a grown-ass woman crying for your mommy, to breaking up and making up with God, to facing the fact that life goes on even after the death of the person you were supposed to live it with. While she stumbles toward an uncertain future as a single mother raising a baby with her own widowed mother (plot twist!), Leslie looks back on her love story with Scott, recounting their journey through racism, religious differences, and persistent confusion about what kugel is. Will she find the strength to finish the most important thing that she and Scott started?
Tender, true, and endearingly hilarious, Black Widow is a story about the power of love, and how the only guide book for recovery is the one you write yourself.
Leslie Gray Streeter is a columnist for the Palm Beach Post and the author of Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books With Words Like ‘Journey’ In The Title. She lives in West Palm Beach with her mother Tina and her son Brooks.
This event is free and all ages.