Fri, Feb 16, 7PM — Steve Yarbrough, author of THE UNMADE WORLD: A NOVEL, and Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough, author of OBJECTS OF AFFECTION

About OBJECTS OF AFFECTION:

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough arrived in the United States from Poland in 1984, bringing memories of life under a totalitarian regime, where the personal was always political. In essay after essay in Objects of Affection, her remarkable debut, Hryniewicz-Yarbrough shows the immigrant’s double perspective, exploring a bi-polar world of displacement and rootlessness, geography and memory, individual and family history, always with an acute awareness of losses and gains that accompany adaptation to a new language and culture and the creation of a new identity.

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough is a native of Poland. Her essays were published in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. One of her pieces, “Objects of Affection,” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2012; five others were listed among Notable Essays for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. She divides her time between Boston and Kraków.

About THE UNMADE WORLD:

Set against a backdrop of the current political and cultural upheaval in the US and Eastern Europe, The Unmade World is a thoughtful, scope-y literary novel with a dose of suspense that moves from Poland to California to the Hudson Valley and back to Poland. It covers a decade in the lives of an American journalist and a Polish small businessman turned petty criminal and the wrenching aftermath of an accidental, tragic encounter between these two on a snowy night in 2006 on the outskirts of Krakow. The accident costs the lives of the American journalist Richard Brennan’s wife and daughter, an event that colors the rest of his life. It also leads to a downward spiral for Bogdan Baranowsk, leaving emotional scars as he suffers the seemingly inevitable loss of his business, his home, and his wife. The Unmade World is a story of ordinary, otherwise decent people from various backgrounds and circumstances who must learn how to live with the personal grief, sense of guilt, and the emotional consequences of violence. Along the way, the novel grapples with a spectrum of cultural and political issues. It includes a murder mystery wrapped around the corruption of major college sports, the pressures on immigrants and refugees in both the US and Poland, the fallout of political change, economic upheavals and armed conflicts–including the horrific destruction of Luhansk, Ukraine in 2014. It also references the 2016 presidential campaign, cultural politics in the American university, and the demise of print journalism, etc., though never in a dogmatic or overtly partisan way.

Steve Yarbrough is the author of ten books. He has won numerous awards, including the Richard Wright Award, the Robert Penn Warren Award, the California Book Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the Mississippi Authors Award, etc. He has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and has also been published in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan and Poland. He currently teaches at Emerson College and lives in Stoneham, MA with his wife Ewa.