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Live at Brookline Booksmith! Keith Gessen: Raising Raffi

Live at Brookline Booksmith! Keith Gessen: Raising Raffi

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$0 – $36

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Brookline Booksmith

279 Harvard Street

Brookline, MA 02446

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Read on for important details for this live, in person Brookline Booksmith event.

About this event

In person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of Raising Raffi with author Keith Gessen.

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Live at Brookline Booksmith! Keith Gessen: Raising Raffi image

Raising Raffi: The First Five Years

An unsparing, loving account of fatherhood and the surprising, magical, and maddening first five years of a son’s life

“I was not prepared to be a father—this much I knew.”

Keith Gessen was nearing forty and hadn’t given much thought to the idea of being a father. He assumed he would have kids, but couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent, or what kind of parent he would be. Then, one Tuesday night in early June, the distant idea of fatherhood came careening into view: Raffi was born, a child as real and complex and demanding of his parents’ energy as he was singularly magical.

Fatherhood is another country: a place where the old concerns are swept away, where the ordering of time is reconstituted, where days unfold according to a child’s needs. Whatever rulebooks once existed for this sort of thing seem irrelevant or outdated. Overnight, Gessen’s perception of his neighborhood changes: suddenly there are flocks of other parents and babies, playgrounds, and schools that span entire blocks. Raffi is enchanting, as well as terrifying, and like all parents, Gessen wants to do what is best for his child. But he has no idea what that is.

Written over the first five years of Raffi’s life, Raising Raffi examines the profound, overwhelming, often maddening experience of being a dad. Gessen traces how the practical decisions one must make each day intersect with some of the weightiest concerns of our age: What does it mean to choose a school in a segregated city? How do you instill in your child a sense of his heritage without passing on that history’s darker sides? Is parental anger normal, possibly useful, or is it inevitably authoritarian and destructive? How do you get your kid to play sports? And what do you do, in a pandemic, when the whole world seems to fall apart? By turns hilarious and poignant, Raising Raffi is a story of what it means to invent the world anew.

Keith Gessen is the author of A Terrible Country and All the Sad Young Literary Men, and is a founding editor of n+1. He has translated or co-translated, from Russian, the work of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Kirill Medvedev, and Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich's Voices from Chernobyl. A regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and New York magazine, Gessen teaches journalism at Columbia and lives in New York with his wife, the novelist Emily Gould, and their two sons.

About Brookline Booksmith

We are one of New England’s premier independent bookstores, family-owned and locally run since 1961. We offer an extensive selection of new, used, and bargain books; unique, beautiful gifts; award-winning events series; and specialty foods. Every day, we strive to foster community through the written word, represent a diverse range of voices and histories, and inspire conversations that enrich our lives. Find more at brooklinebooksmith.com!

EVENT ACCESSIBILITY

This event will take place in Brookline Booksmith's Used Book Cellar, which is only accessible by stair. If possible, the event will be livestreamed to YouTube. ASL interpretation may be provided (based on the availability of interpreters) but must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance of the event. Seats are limited. Please email us at tickets@brooklinebooksmith.com as soon as possible if you require ASL interpretation, guaranteed seating, or other accommodations. We will do our best to serve your needs!

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING COVID & IN-PERSON EVENTS:

At this time masks are NOT required at Brookline Booksmith.

Please note that any Brookline Booksmith in-person event may be canceled by the bookstore, publisher, or author based on concerns about health and safety around the time of the event. Wherever possible, any in-person appearance canceled due to COVID will be moved to the Brookline Booksmith Zoom as a Webinar at the same date and time, and all tickets & registrations will be transferred to the online event. Book signing details may change. Refunds may be requested in the case of a virtual pivot or event cancellation.

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