BRATTLEBORO — Award-winning novelist Ruth Ozeki will be in conversation with local writer Stephanie Greene this week.
At 5 p.m. Friday, the Brattleboro Literary Festival will conclude its 20th anniversary year with a special Literary Cocktail Hour.
Ozeki’s new book, “The Book of Form and Emptiness,” tells the story of 13-year-old Benny Oh, who, one year after the death of his beloved musician father, begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house — a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
The virtual cocktail hour is free and open to the public. Registration is at bit.ly/LitCocktail14.
Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest, whose books have garnered international acclaim for their ability to integrate issues of science, technology, religion, environmental politics and global pop culture into hybrid, narrative forms. “The Book of Form and Emptiness,” was published in September.
Her first two novels, “My Year of Meats”(1998) and “All Over Creation” (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries. Her third novel, “A Tale for the Time Being” (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has been published in over 30 countries. Ozeki’s work of personal non-fiction, “The Face: A Time Code” (2016), was published by Restless Books as part of their groundbreaking series called “The Face.”
Greene’s short fiction has been published in Nostoc Magazine, Green Mountains Review, Sky Island Journal, The New Guard and Flash Fiction Magazine. Her work has been long-listed for the Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, nominated for inclusion in the Best of the Net Anthology and for a Pushcart Prize. A contributor to Vermont Public Radio for nine years, she is revising her second novel (the first being safely locked in a drawer). She lives on the family farm with her husband, writer and artist Marshall Brooks.