Clare Beams will join us via Zoom to discuss her new novel, The Illness Lesson.
The Illness Lesson, published in February of 2020 by Doubleday, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a best book of 2020 by Esquire and Bustle, and a best book of February by Time, O Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly; it has been longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
Synopsis: "At their newly founded school, Samuel Hood and his daughter Caroline promise a groundbreaking education for young women. But Caroline has grave misgivings. After all, her own unconventional education has left her unmarriageable and isolated, unsuited to the narrow roles afforded women in 19th century New England.
When a mysterious flock of red birds descends on the town, Caroline alone seems to find them unsettling. But it’s not long before the assembled students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms: Rashes, seizures, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. One by one, they sicken. Fearing ruin for the school, Samuel overrules Caroline’s pleas to inform the girls’ parents and turns instead to a noted physician, a man whose sinister ministrations–based on a shocking historic treatment–horrify Caroline. As the men around her continue to dictate, disastrously, all terms of the girls’ experience, Caroline’s body too begins to betray her. To save herself and her young charges, she will have to defy every rule that has governed her life, her mind, her body, and her world."
After teaching high school English for six years in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Clare moved to Pittsburgh, where she now lives with her husband and two daughters. She has taught creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and St. Vincent College.
This event will be conducted via the free video conferencing software Zoom and a Library staff member will be supervising the session. The Librarian coordinating the event will email each registrant a Zoom meeting invitation approximately one hour before the start of the program. Zoom is available as a free desktop (for Windows, MacOS, and Linux Operating systems) and mobile application for Android and Apple iOS devices. Once Zoom is installed, you will be able to join the virtual Library program.
Registration is required. By registering for this event you have agreed to comply with the library's patron behavior policy. All non-compliant participants will be immediately and permanently blocked from further participation. Because the Librarian facilitating the event will not be able to provide live technical support during the virtual program, it is strongly encouraged you familiarize yourself with Zoom in advance of the program. You can also contact the Library’s Virtual Reference Service for assistance learning Zoom. You can also join a test meeting to familiarize yourself with Zoom. For more in-depth instructions please visit the Zoom support page on joining a meeting.