PRODIGAL FATHER WAYWARD SON: A Roadmap to Reconciliation
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: A Memoir
Wednesday, April 29
PRODIGAL FATHER WAYWARD SON
Bestselling author, co-founder of the men’s movement, former enfant terrible of American philosophers, and trapeze artist: at age 83 Sam Keen is adding another layer to his already impressive resume. Written with his son Gifford, Prodigal Father Wayward Son is the definitive roadmap to reconciliation between fathers and sons.
The long awaited sequel to Sam's bestselling Fire in the Belly and a crowning achievement of a remarkable literary career, it's also an impressive debut of a young writer that proves the adage “the apple doesn't fall far from the tree”. The rebellion of the 60s and 70s is writ large in the struggles between a driven father and an irrepressible son, from adventures to marriages to split ups to drugs to abandonment and to finding a way back. Sam helps define a movement while wreaking chaos at home; Gifford, a wild-eyed blond California surfer boy, has a knack for doing things the hard way until he stumbles into great success. A surprise reconciliation awaits.
A moving account of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation, Prodigal Father Wayward Son provides guidance and inspiration to those looking for positive role models and teaches new ways to move beyond old wounds by offering concrete methods to overcome long standing enmities and misunderstanding.
Sam Keen is the author of a baker’s dozen other books. When not writing or traveling around the world, he lectures and leads seminars on a wide range of topics. He lives on his farm in the hills above Sonoma.
Gifford Keen has had careers as a software executive, a, carpenter and a real estate investor. He is the father of a teen age son and daughter and lives with his wife in Santa Fe, where he writes, meditates, practices yoga, and takes long walks in the high-country.
Tonight, Sam Keen introduces their story and offers hope to others.
7:30 PM at Hillside Club (2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley)
Tickets $10 - $20, available only at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-3006
Tuesday, May 12
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
in conversation with FAITH ADIELE
"This is a beautifully written, heartrendingly candid account of the abrupt loss of her husband by the distinguished poet Elizabeth Alexander. It is a vivid, intensely rendered elegy of a remarkable man--husband, father, artist, chef. Both a memoir and a portrait of a marriage, The Light of the World is, as its title suggests, a bittersweet testament to love and the memory of love, one of the most compelling memoirs of loss that I have ever read."-- Joyce Carol Oates
In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander—poet, mother, and wife—finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband, artist & chef Ficre Ghebreyesus, who was just 50. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a re-energized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding, and acceptance, taking stock of herself at the midcentury mark. This deeply resonant memoir is about being strong when you want to collapse, being grateful when you lose the nucleus of your heart —but mostly, it's about discovering the truth about life's journey: that love is the most powerful force there is.
The Light of the World is both an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares about what matters most, The Light of the World is required reading.
"This is a gorgeous love story, written by one of America's greatest contemporary poets. Graceful in its simplicity, sweeping in scope, this book is proof that behind the boarded up windows of America's roiled marriages and ruined affairs, true love still exists, and where it does exist, it graces the world—and us—with light and hope. Elizabeth Alexander is a prose writer of deep talent and affecting skill. With ease, she peels back layer after layer to show the soft secrets of affection, the kindness, and the wide open generosity of a full hearted man and talented artist, who had more love to give in his relatively short lifetime than most of us will ever know." -- James McBride, National Book Award-winning author of The Good Lord Bird and The Color of Water
Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. She holds degrees from Yale University (B.A., English), Boston University (M.F.A., English), and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D, English). In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
She has written five books of poems, two collections of essays, and a play. Her book of poems, American Sublime, was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association's “Notable Books of the Year.” Her play, “Diva Studies” (1996) was produced at the Yale School of Drama.
Professor Alexander is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. She is the former Chair of the African American Studies Department at Yale.
Interviewing Elizabeth Alexander this evening is Faith Adiele, author of two memoirs, Meeting Faith and Lady Problems; screenwriter of a PBS documentary about mixed identity; and editor of a multicultural anthology. She teaches at California College of the Arts, VONA: Summer Workshops for Writers of Color, and The Writers’ Grotto.
7:30 PM at Hillside Club (2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley)
Tickets $12 - $45, available only at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-3006. Admission at the door, pending space available, $25.