The Death of Fred Astaire: and other essays from a life outside the lines by Leslie Lawrence
Tuesday, November 29
A child of the sixties, Leslie Lawrence didn’t want to duplicate her parents’ lives, yet she never imagined she’d stray so far outside the lines of their - and her own - expectations. Some essays in this debut collection reflect on legacies Lawrence inherited. In others, she searches gamely for a rich, authentic life - a voice, a vocation, a community, even a “god” she can call her own.
When Fred Astaire dies, the depth of her grief surprises her. Lawrence takes on a new and different dance as she reinvents her life. She creates a summer home in the back woods of the “Live Free and Die” state. Teaching in a vocational high school in Boston, she questions her assumptions about race and class. She attempts the flying trapeze and takes part in a cross-dressing workshop. “Enough Tupperware,” is a meditation on illness, and greed, and letting go. In “Wonderlust” she confronts the complexities of motherhood, of caring for her ill partner and of widowhood.
"Leslie Lawrence’s essays are sympathetic and patiently observed; she ably demonstrates that hard choices call for careful and humane decisions.” — John Irving
Lawrence is a graduate of Oberlin College, Brown University and Goddard College’s MFA program, she has received fellowship from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the NEA. Her work as appeared in Prairie Schooner, Witness, The Boston Globe Magazine.
No RSVP required. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.