Apricot Irving in conversation with Lavinia Spalding: The Gospel of Trees

Tuesday, October 16th


Join us with Apricot Irving in conversation with Lavinia Spalding discussing her book, The Gospel of Trees. Apricot will sign books after the discussion.

Apricot Irving grew up as a missionary’s daughter in Haiti—a country easy to sensationalize but difficult to understand. Her father was an agronomist, a man who hiked alone into the hills with a macouti of seeds to preach the gospel of trees in a deforested but resilient country. Her mother and sisters, meanwhile, spent most of their days in the confines of the hospital compound they called home. As a child, this felt like paradise to Irving; as a teenager, the same setting felt like a prison. Outside of the walls of the missionary enclave, Haiti was a tumult of bugle-call bus horns and bicycles that jangled over hard-packed dirt, the clamor of chickens and cicadas, the sudden, insistent clatter of rain as it hammered across tin roofs and the swell of voices running ahead of the storm.

As she emerges into womanhood, an already confusing process made all the more complicated by Christianity’s demands, Irving struggles to understand her father’s choices. His unswerving commitment to his mission and the anger and despair that followed failed enterprises threatened to splinter his family.

This book is available in hardcover ($26.00).

If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books. 


Kiese Laymon in Conversation with Maurice Carlos Ruffin: Heavy: An American Memoir

Thursday, October 18th


In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.

This book is available in hardcover ($26.00).

Kiese Laymon in conversation with Maurice Carlos Ruffin discussing his book, Heavy: An American Memoir. Kiese will sign books afterward.

If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.


Congressman Bob Livingston: The Windmill Chaser: Triumphs and Less in American Politics

Friday, October 19th


Robert L.“Bob” Livingston Jr. was born to an American middle-class family. His father left when he was very young, but Livingston and his sister were raised by a strong mother who gave them both a good education and a vigorous work ethic. From an early age, he was blessed with a sense of humor that would carry him through good times and bad.

After a successful career as a prosecutor in New Orleans, Livingston was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1977. In addition to overseeing the only balanced budget in recent memory, Livingston, as Speaker-elect, oversaw the House proceedings that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.

This book is available in hardcover ($24.95).

Congressman Bob Livingston discusses and signs his book, The Windmill Chaser: Triumphs and Less in American Politics.

If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books. 

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