The Literary Cocktail Hour is an fun, informal monthly event featuring a pair (or more) of speakers in an entertaining, illuminating virtual event that opens with cocktails!
Literary Cocktail Hour—The Book of Form And Emptiness
On Friday, December 10, The Brattleboro Literary Festival concludes its 20th anniversary year with a very special Literary Cocktail Hour at 5:00 pm featuring Ruth Ozeki. Her new book, The Book of Form and Emptiness, tells the story of thirteen-year-old Benny Oh who, one year after the death of his beloved musician father, begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, whose books have garnered international acclaim for their ability to integrate issues of science, technology, religion, environmental politics, and global pop culture into unique, hybrid, narrative forms. Her new novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, published by Viking in September 2021, tells the story of a young boy who, after the death of his father, starts to hear voices and finds solace in the companionship of his very own book.Her first two novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries. Her third novel, A Tale for the Time Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has been published in over thirty countries. She splits her time between Western Massachusetts, New York City, and British Columbia, Canada. She currently teaches creative writing at Smith College, where she is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities in the Department of English Language and Literature