Thursday, May 8

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Michael Cunningham

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Michael Cunningham reads from The Snow Queen: A Novel

$5 tickets on sale April 15 at Harvard.com. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM for a reading from his latest novel, The Snow Queen.

Michael Cunningham’s luminous novel begins with a vision. It’s November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn’t believe in visions—or in God—but he can’t deny what he’s seen.

At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett’s older brother, a struggling musician, is trying—and failing—to write a wedding song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of love.

Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.

Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the core of the human soul.

“For pure, elegant, efficient beauty, Cunningham is astounding. He’s developed this captivating narrative voice . . . Half Henry James, half James Joyce, but all Cunningham, it’s an irresistible performance.” —The Washington Post


Michael Cunningham is the author of six novels, including A Home at the End of the WorldFlesh and BloodThe Hours (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and ByNightfall, as well as Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. He lives in New York.

Photo Credit: Richard Phibbs