Next Week at The Bookstore 
Two more events to round out the month.   
Monday June 24 and Thursday June 27, both at 5:30 pm

Remember last time I told you about our old slogan: All Kinds of Books for All Kinds of People.

Well, we’re at it again: First a physicist, then a psychologist. What a pleasure, what a treasure, to offer you these books and their authors.

First, Monday June 24 at 5:30 pm

WAVES IN AN IMPOSSIBLE SEA by Matt Strassler

 

On Monday the 24th, we get to explore the universe and our place within it with one of the world’s experts. Apparently he will tell us that we’re made from waves of the universe itself! 

Ever wonder why the world works the way it does? Matt Strassler is a local boy who grew up in the southern Berkshires and has recently returned to our area. He’s also a theoretical physicist at Harvard, with expertise in particle physics and string theory. On top of that, he’s also a long-time amateur musician; as a child he went to Lenox’s own Merrywood Music School, a place that old-timers will remember. 

In Matt’s new (and first) book, written in a non-technical, engaging style, he reveals some of the essential lessons of modern physics for the universe and how we humans fit into it. Apparently, the universe isn’t as empty as it looks. Instead it’s like a resonant musical instrument, and the “elementary particles” that we learned about in school are actually little waves on the instrument. Somehow it all has to do with Einstein’s relativity and quantum physics, which Matt gently guides us through. 

The blurbs on the back of the book, from Matt’s colleagues, praise it as a
“mesmerizing odyssey that will forever change how you perceive the world”, promising that it “conveys the core concepts out of which the world is constructed in language that truly anyone can understand.” Can he deliver? Join us to find out. 

Next, Thursday June 27 at 5:30 pm

IN A HUMAN VOICE by Carol Gilligan, in conversation with Shakespeare and Company’s own Tina Packer

Carol Gilligan has been described as a “feminist rock star” and “celebrity academic” by the New York Times and celebrated by Time magazine in 1996 as one of the country’s 25 most influential people. Her landmark book, In a Different Voice, one of the best-selling psychology titles of all time, has been hailed as the “little book that started a revolution.”

First published in 1982, In a Different Voice sold nearly a million copies and was translated into 17 languages. It marked a paradigm shift in psychology in explaining human development. Traditional psychological theories systematically ignored women, and allowed for men’s experience to stand for all of human experience. Gilligan’s revolutionary intervention was to look at the factors that were unique to girls’ development, positing that the “ethics of care” — based on feelings of responsibility for others — were central to their worldview. She wrote about a special feminine voice, the “different voice” referred to in the title of the book, which meant women valued relationships over rules.

Forty years later, and now in her mid-80s, she has re- examined those conclusions. In her new book, In a Human Voice she argues for something radically different, so radical in fact she has said she has changed the name of her book. She says the “different voice”, initially heard as a feminine voice, is in fact a human voice. While gender is central to the story Gilligan tells, it is not a story about gender: it is a human story. Carol is a long-time friend of ours here at The Bookstore – we’ve hosted her a number of times for previous books. And she’s a way long-time friend and colleague of another good friend of ours, Tina Packer, from Shakespeare and Company, whom we’ve asked to moderate the conversation. We’re so glad to welcome them both.

The blurbs for In a Human Voice:
A TLS Book of the Year 2023
“essential reading for our time”
—Times Literary Supplement

“Having helped the modern world to hear female voices, Carol Gilligan now takes the next step of helping us to hear a voice that is truly unified and human.”—Gloria Steinem


“Equipped with a psychologist’s queries and a novelist’s sensibilities, Gilligan invites her readers to accompany her on a revelatory journey. She shows us that, far from being distinctively feminine, ‘relational capacities such as empathy and emotional intelligence’ are actually universal human potentials, waiting to be set free from patriarchal matrices. A beautiful experience.”
—Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding

“It is rare for anyone with a public platform to revisit old work and openly admit they were wrong. It is rarer still in academia where the tendency… is for a ‘selection bias’: to publish evidence that backs up a pre-proposed thesis. But given what Gilligan came up against in the early days of her career, she cannot see herself working any other way.”

—The New Statesman

Hope to see you soon. Thanks for reading.

Matt

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