NORTH: Book Reading & Panel Discussion

November 18, Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

At this in-person event, author Brad Kessler will read from North, his new novel about the intertwined lives of a Vermont monk, a Somali refugee, and an Afghan war veteran. The reading will be followed by a panel discussion with Kessler, Laurie Stavrand of USCRI Vermont (Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program), and a Vermonter with a refugee background.

North follows the journey of Sahro Abdi Muse from her home in Somalia to South America, along the migrant route through Central America and Mexico, to New York City, and finally, on her dangerous attempt to continue north to safety in Canada. The book also traces the inner journeys of Brother Christopher, a cloistered monk at Blue Mountain Monastery in Vermont, and of Afghan war veteran Teddy Fletcher—three lives that, according to a Shelf Awareness review, are “woven together with intricate threads of home, flight, sanctuary, danger, hope, faith, storytelling and much more.”

Kessler’s novel Birds in Fall won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His other books include Goat Song, Lick Creek, and The Woodcutter’s Christmas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Kenyon Review, and BOMB, as well as other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Kessler lives on a goat farm in Sandgate, Vermont, with his wife Dona Ann McAdams, whose black-and-white photographs were exhibited at BMAC in 2019.

Laurie Stavrand is the Volunteer Coordinator and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Vermont office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), whose mission is to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and support their transition to a dignified life. In the last 40 years, over 8,000 refugees have started new lives in Vermont with assistance from USCRI.

This event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live.

Space is limited. Registration required.