Monday, Jun 14, 2021 7:00p -
Boston, MA 02110
Virtual & Streaming
Join Porter Square Books and GrubStreet to celebrate the launch of The Playwright's House, the debut novel from Dariel Suarez, GrubStreet's Education Director! Dariel will be joined in conversation by Jonathan Escoffery. This event is free and open to all, hosted on Crowdcast in partnership with Grubstreet.
“The Playwright's House is a bighearted novel, intricately embedded in the politics and daily life of contemporary Cuba. It is also a family story of love, sibling rivalry, courage, and redemption. Suarez writes with energy, exuberance, and psychological acuity. The straightforward prose adds gravity and earnestness to this remarkable novel.”
—Ha Jin, National Book Award winner and author of War Trash
Happily married, backed by a powerful mentor, and with career prospects that would take him abroad, Serguey has more than any young Cuban lawyer could ask for. But when his estranged brother Victor appears with news that their father—famed theater director Felipe Blanco—has been detained for what he suspects are political reasons, Serguey’s privileged life is suddenly shaken.
A return to his childhood home in Havana’s decaying suburbs—a place filled with art, politics, and the remnants of a dissolving family—reconnects Serguey with his troubled past. He learns of an elusive dramaturge’s link to Felipe, a man who could be key to his father’s release. With the help of a social media activist and his wife’s ties with the Catholic Church, Serguey sets out to unlock the mystery of Felipe’s arrest and, in the process, is forced to confront the reasons for the hostility between him and Victor: two violent childhood episodes that scarred them in unforgettable ways. On the verge of imprisonment, Serguey realizes he must make a decision regarding not just his father, but his family and his own future, a decision which, under the harsh shadow of a communist state, he cannot afford to regret.
Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. In 1997, at age fourteen, he immigrated to the United States with his family during the island’s economic crisis known as The Special Period. Dariel is now the author of the novel The Playwright’s House and the story collection A Kind of Solitude, winner of the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and the International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories. He is an inaugural City of Boston Artist Fellow and the Education Director at GrubStreet. His work has been awarded the First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize and will be anthologized in this year’s Best American Essays. He has also been published in The Threepenny Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Caribbean Writer, among others. Dariel earned his MFA in Fiction at Boston University and currently resides in the Boston area with his wife and daughter.
Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the linked story collection, If I Survive You, forthcoming fall 2022 from FSG, as well as the forthcoming novel, Play Stone Kill Bird. He is the recipient of the 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction, a 2020 NEA fellowship, and a 2021 Wallace Stegner fellowship from Stanford University. His writing has appeared in The Paris Review, American Short Fiction, The Best American Magazine Writing 2020, and elsewhere. Jonathan earned his MFA in Fiction from the University of Minnesota and attends USC’s Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature Program as a Provost Fellow.