Winter and spring will swell with adventure at Darien Library as we seek and study the chic, the cultural, and historic; presenting stories of craftsmanship, crisis, and coping...in the home, on the homefront, and with homesickness in a foreign land.
Join us for insight into the “spirit of grooviness.” Marvel at the resilience of a young mother with breast cancer who is far from home. We’ll revisit the Cuban Missile Crisis through the eyes of an 11-year old girl, and see 1960s America through the eyes of an 11-year old boy – a Cuban refugee.
Jonathan Adler (pictured at left)
Author of the Happy Chic Series
Jonathan has a mission: to quash the world’s fear of decorating. Each book in his Happy Chic series gives you both the information and motivation you need to not only envision a tastefully chic home, but to also infuse your inner sanctums with wit and personality. In a confessional tone, you’re encouraged to answer questions about your own tastes, interest, and influences.
Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic:
“95% chic + 5% happy = 100% The Decorative Nirvana that I Call Happy Chic.”
Author of The Foremost Good Fortune
Susan Conley, her husband, and their two young sons say good-bye to their friends, family, and house in Maine for a two-year stint in a high-rise apartment in Beijing, prepared to embrace the inevitable onslaught of new experiences that such a move entails. But Susan can’t predict just how much their lives will change.
Upon learning that she has cancer and undergoing treatment in Boston, she returns to Beijing, again as a foreigner—but this time, it’s her own body in which she feels a stranger. Set against the eternally fascinating backdrop of modern China and full of insight into the trickiest questions of motherhood—How do you talk to children about death? When is it okay to lie?—this wry and poignant memoir is a celebration of family and a candid exploration of mortality and belonging.
“Luminous….Conley's writing is at once spare and strong…[She] pulls the reader into her world like a close friend.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Author of Countdown
(A One Book, One Community* Event.)
It’s 1962, and it seems that the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. 11-year-old Franny Chapman doesn’t know how to deal with what’s going on in the world — no more than she knows how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s got to make it through.
Countdown features a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962. Deborah Wiles has created a documentary novel that will put you right alongside Franny as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history. It is an experience you will never forget.
“Wiles palpably recreates the fear kids felt when air-raid sirens and duck-and-cover drills were routine, and when watching President Kennedy’s televised speech announcing the presence of missiles in Cuba was an extra-credit assignment.” – Publishers Weekly
Author of Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy
(A One Book, One Community* Event.)
This program is co-sponsored by the Yale Club of Lower Fairfield County.
Carlos Eire, author of the 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, returns to Darien Library. In Waiting for Snow in Havana, the author narrated his coming of age in Cuba just before and during the Castro revolution. Learning to Die in Miami begins with his journey to America.
The year was 1962 and he and his older brother, Tony, had fled along with 14,000 other children from “Castrolandia.” They were not only refugees, but also orphans—both of Carlos’s parents were stuck behind in Cuba. During those first years, Carlos learns to adjust to life in America as he spends nearly a year in a Dickensian foster home, struggles to learn English and blend into American schools, and confronts the age-old immigrant’s plight—he is surrounded by the bounty of this rich land yet unable to partake. He believed that in order for his new American self to emerge, his Cuban self must "die."
Flashing back and forth between past and future, we watch as Carlos balances the divide between his past and present homes and finds his way in this strange new world, one that seems to hold the exhilarating promise of infinite possibilities, and one that he will eventually claim as his own.
“A mix of insightful observation, humor, and heartfelt emotion. . . . Easily one of the more impressive memoirs on the thorny issue of immigration.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Each presentation will conclude with a book signing and reception.
Books will be available for purchase.
Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen’s).
*One Book, One Community encourages everyone in town to read the same book and then come together to explore its themes. Our 3rd annual One Book, One Community Program will take place during March and April. The selected book for the town-wide read is Countdown by Deborah Wiles.