Thursday, September 18

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Sarah Waters

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Sarah Waters discusses The Paying Guests in conversation with Emily M. Danforth

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Harvard Book Store welcomes three-time Man Booker Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author SARAH WATERS for a reading from her latest novel, The Paying Guests, in conversation with EMILY M. DANFORTH, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

“An absorbing character study [and] expertly paced and gripping psychological narrative… Readers of Water’s previous novels know that she brings historical eras to life with consummate skill, rendering authentic details into layered portraits of particular times and places… breathtaking” —Publisher’s Weekly


emily m. danforth‘s debut novel, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, won the 2012 Montana Book Award and was a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2013 William C. Morris Award and the Lambda Award for YA. emily teaches creative writing at Rhode Island College in Providence and is co-editor of The Cupboard, a quarterly prose chapbook. Her next novel, Side Talks With Girls, is forthcoming from HarperCollins.


Sarah Waters is the author of six novels, including The Little Stranger, which was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; Tipping the Velvet, a New York Times Notable Book; Affinity, which won her the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award; Fingersmith and The Night Watch, both of which were shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She has also been named one of Granta’s best young British novelists. She lives in London.

Photo Credit: Charlie Hopkinson