This is a virtual event taking place via Zoom Webinar.
Third Place Books welcomes City of Boston Artist Fellow and the GrubStreet Education Director at Dariel Suarez for a discussion of his new novel, The Playwright's House. He will be joined in conversation by Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of Dancing White Elephants and a finalist for the PEN/American Bingham Debut Fiction Prize.
About The Playwright's House. . .
When a renowned Cuban theater director is arrested under mysterious circumstances, a successful young lawyer and his estranged brother must overcome their family’s tragic past and confront their country’s unforgiving political reality in order to free their father.
Happily married, backed by a powerful mentor, and with career prospects that would take him abroad, Serguey has more than any young Cuban lawyer could ask for. But when his estranged brother Victor appears with news that their father—famed theater director Felipe Blanco—has been detained for what he suspects are political reasons, Serguey’s privileged life is suddenly shaken.
A return to his childhood home in Havana’s decaying suburbs—a place filled with art, politics, and the remnants of a dissolving family—reconnects Serguey with his troubled past. He learns of an elusive dramaturge’s link to Felipe, a man who could be key to his father’s release. With the help of a social media activist and his wife’s ties with the Catholic Church, Serguey sets out to unlock the mystery of Felipe’s arrest and, in the process, is forced to confront the reasons for the hostility between him and Victor: two violent childhood episodes that scarred them in unforgettable ways. On the verge of imprisonment, Serguey realizes he must make a decision regarding not just his father, but his family and his own future, a decision which, under the harsh shadow of a communist state, he cannot afford to regret.
Praise for The Playwright's House. . .
"Fans of realistic political thrillers won't want to miss this one."
“The Playwright's House is a bighearted novel, intricately embedded in the politics and daily life of contemporary Cuba. It is also a family story of love, sibling rivalry, courage, and redemption. Suarez writes with energy, exuberance, and psychological acuity. The straightforward prose adds gravity and earnestness to this remarkable novel."
—Ha Jin, author of The Boat Rocker
"The Playwright's House is a thrilling and compassionate story of brotherhood, surveillance culture, the provocative power of theater, and the persistent ways past ghosts can haunt the present. Dariel Suarez animates the singularly complex and contradictory landscape of contemporary Havana with immense precision and insight. This is a stunning and vital novel."
—Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears
Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1997 at age fourteen. He is the author of the novel The Playwright’s House (Red Hen Press) and the story collection A Kind of Solitude (Willow Springs Books), winner of the International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories. Dariel is an inaugural City of Boston Artist Fellow and the Education Director at GrubStreet. His work has received the First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize and will be anthologized in this year’s Best American Essays. His prose has also appeared in numerous publications, including The Threepenny Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Caribbean Writer. Dariel earned his MFA in Fiction at Boston University and currently resides in the Boston area with his wife and daughter.
Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician and writer whose debut short story collection White Dancing Elephants was a finalist for the 2019 PEN/American Bingham Debut Fiction Prize and included in over 20 best of and most anticipated book lists, ranging from Kirkus Reviews to Entertainment Weekly, Huff Post, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere.
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