One Book One Belmont Author Event: Donna Gordon & What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me
Wednesday, October 267:00—8:00 PMAssembly RoomBelmont Public Library336 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA, 02478
Hybrid - online and in-person
Join us for this fascinating author talk featuring Donna Gordon and her new novel, What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me. Register for the Zoom link if you will be attending virtually; otherwise, join us in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library.
What Ben Franklin Would Have told Me explores the story of Lee, a vibrant thirteen-year-old boy who is facing premature death from Progeria (a premature aging disease); his caretaker Tomás, a survivor of Argentina’s Dirty War, who is searching for his missing wife, who was pregnant when they were both "disappeared;" and Lee's single mother, Cass, overwhelmed by love for her son and the demands of her work as a Broadway makeup artist. When a mix- up prevents Cass from taking Lee on his "final wish" trip to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to pursue his interest in the life of Ben Franklin, Tomás--who has discovered potential leads to his family in both cities--offers to accompany Lee on the trip. As one flees memories of death and the other hurtles inevitably toward it, they each share unsettling truths and find themselves transformed in the process. Set during the Ronald Reagan presidency, this lyrical novel transcends an adventure story to take the reader on an unforgettable journey which explores love, family and the inevitability of change.
Donna Gordon is a Cambridge resident. She graduated from Brown, was then a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, a PEN Discovery, and Ploughshares Discovery. What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me is the November pick of the Brown University Book Club of Boston. Donna has been featured on Vermont Edition with Connor Cyrus and with on WMVY with Laurel Redington. She’ll be at the Boston Book Festival on October 29th. She was a 2017 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference, and a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center in 2017 and 2018. She received the 2018 New Letters Publication Award for What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me, which has been named by the Independent Book Review as one of the top 45 they're excited about, and of which Nina McLaughlin wrote in her Boston Globe review, “Gordon’s prose is lively; it rushes along with verve, humor, and heart…[She has] achieved the rare thing, a stirring, poignant story of death and love and a page-turning adventure.” And in a recent story for the MVtimes, Abby Remer says,"Donna Gordon’s beautifully crafted What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me abounds with unusual characters and an engrossing story.”
You can request a copy of the book here.
Thanks to the Friends of the Belmont Public Library and our community co-sponsors who make this amazing series of events possible.
Registration for this event has now closed.