CABS: Anna Solomon “The Book of V”
1 March 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The story of Esther is often told as the triumph of a Jewish minority over one man’s blinding hatred, through the courage and selflessness of one woman. Anna Solomon’s The Book of V. challenges this simple narrative — asking, what is Vashti’s story? And how do we choose to represent women’s lives, both in the past and today? The narrative alternates between the historical Esther’s perspective, Vivian, known as Vee, a 1970s wife of a senator, and Lily, a modern-day Brooklynite, second wife, and mother of two. Each of these women’s lives is constrained by the expectations of a patriarchal society. Vee enjoys her socialite life but is plagued by her husband’s past and her own insecurities when she compares herself to her peers; Lily is haunted by the memory of her husband’s first wife, and cannot relinquish feelings of ineptitude towards her domestic duties and her marriage.
Anna Solomon is the author of three novels—The Book of V., Leaving Lucy Pear, and The Little Bride—and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, One Story, The Boston Globe, Tablet, and elsewhere. Anna is the recipient of awards from MacDowell, Yaddo, Bread Loaf, the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, and The Missouri Review, among others, and her short story “The Lobster Mafia Story” was chosen as Boston’s One City One Story read. Anna is co-editor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. Previously, she worked as an award-winning journalist for National Public Radio’s Living on Earth. Anna is a graduate of Brown University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches writing at Barnard College, Warren Wilson’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center. Anna was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts and lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.
Partnering with: Hadassah, Dayton Chapter