Town Hall Seattle: Laurel Braitman with Jon Mooallem—'What Looks Like Bravery: An Epic Journey Through Loss to Love '

An event in partnership with Town Hall Seattle

Third Place Books and Town Hall Seattle are thrilled to present Laurel Braitman for a discussion of book What Looks Like Bravery: An Epic Journey Through Loss to Lovein conversation with local writer Jon Mooallem.

Purchase tickets here!

About the event. . . 

Laurel Braitman spent her childhood learning how to outfish grown men, keep bees, and fix carburetors from her larger-than-life dad.

When Laurel’s dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he went to spectacular lengths to teach her the skills she’d need to survive without him. But when she reaches her mid-thirties, she is a ship about to splinter on the rocks, exhausted by running from her own bad feelings. We follow as Laurel changes course, navigating multiple wildernesses — from northern New Mexico and western Alaska to her own Tinder app. She learns the hard way that no achievement, no matter how shiny, can protect her from pain, and works to transform guilt and regret into gold: learning from a badass birder in the Bering Sea, a few dozen grieving kids in a support group, a pile of smoking ashes, and countless online dates. Along the way, she faces a wildfire that threatens everyone and everything she cares about, a grueling test of her own survival skills, and the fact that we often have to say our hardest goodbyes before we’re ready. In the end, Laurel realizes that being open to love after loss is not only possible, it can set us free.

What Looks Like Bravery teaches us that hope is a form of courage, one that can work as an all-purpose key to the locked doors of your dreams.

Laurel Braitman is the New York Times bestselling author of Animal Madness. She has a Ph.D. from MIT in the history and anthropology of science and is the Director of the Writing and Storytelling Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe GuardianWired, and a variety of other publications. She lives between rural Alaska and her family’s citrus and avocado ranch in Southern California. She can be reached at

Jon Mooallem is a longtime writer at large with The New York Times Magazine and a contributor to numerous other radio shows and magazines, including This American Life and Wired. His first book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America was chosen as a notable book of the year by The New York Times Book ReviewThe New Yorker, NPR’s Science Friday, and Canada’s National Post, among others. He lives on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle, with his family.

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