Boston Public Library
Programs and Events

Author Talk Series at the Central Library

Boston Public Library author talks feature a wide range of talented writers. Hear authors read from their books, purchase a copy, get it signed, and learn about the creative process that gets such magnificent stories told. To look for even more author talks taking place at Boston Public Library locations, please use our calendar of events.

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Boston and the American Revolution

Jun. 01
6 p.m.

Abbey Room

700 Boylston Street

The American RevolutionWhy did the Revolution begin in Boston?  What caused Bostonians to be more rebellious than other British subjects in North America?  What were the Revolution's consequences in Boston and beyond?
Professor Robert Allison will examine these questions and discuss the consequences of the Revolution in Boston and beyond. Robert J. Allison is chairman of the history department of Suffolk University and teaches courses in American Constitutional history and the history of Boston at Harvard Extension School. He recently taught the popular massive online open course on the history of Boston.  He is vice president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His many books include The Boston Massacre,  A Short History of Boston, and The American Revolution: A Concise History. 

Author talk with Rosana Wan, author of The Culinary Lives of John & Abigail Adams: A Cookbook

Jun. 23
6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon

700 Boylston Street

Throughout their fifty-four-year marriage, John and Abigail Adams enjoyed diverse cuisine in both Massachusetts and Europe. Raised with traditional New England palates, they feasted on cod, mince pie, and plum pudding. These recipes, as well as dishes from published cookbooks settlers brought from the Old World such as roast duck and Strawberry Fool, are included in this historical cookbook. Together or separate, at home or abroad, this extraordinary couple humbly experienced an international style of cookery that inspired modern American culinary culture. Born in Hong Kong and raised in the United States, Rosana Wan is a park ranger at the Adams National Historical Park, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, and the first recipient of the John C. Cavanagh Prize in History at Suffolk University.


Discussion with Erika DeSimone, Editor of Voices Beyond Bondage: An Anthology of Verse by African Americans of the 19th Century

Sept. 17
6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon

700 Boylston Street

Voices Beyond Bondage: An Anthology of Verse by African Americans of the 19th Century is a collection of 150 poems culled from burgeoning black-owned newspapers of the era. These poems are not the work of a few elite literary masters but were penned mostly by everyday people compelled to verse. Whether they were formally schooled or self-taught, whether they were slaves, free peoples, or the descendants of slaves, African Americans put ink to paper and declared their passions in verse. Until now, these poems – and an entire literary movement – were lost to modern readers. Erika DeSimone is currently an editorial assistant at the Modern Language Association.