Dave Isay presents Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street.
Feeling unmotivated at work lately? Find some inspiration in Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, the new book out byStorycorps founder Dave Isay. Born 13 years ago, the oral-history project’s intimate interviews have grown to be a mainstay of American public life and podcasting. The new book draws upon audio interviews of average Americans toiling in the trenches of the nation’s workforce (public defenders, salmon slicers, science teachers and more) to try to understand what motivates people in their work every day and how they got there. Some of the storytellers themselves will speak at the event.
Whether you’re harboring literary ambitions or are just curious, “The Hustle” should be an entertaining glimpse into what its like to be a successful professional writer. The discussion includes authors Angela Flournoy, Leigh Stein and Jennifer Baker, who will delve right into the personal stuff like how they pay bills and how they get work done, and these guys know how to do it right; Flournoy’s book The Turner House was a Times Sunday book review editor’s choice, Baker does everything from writing restaurant reviews to hosting the new podcast “Minorities in Publishing,” and Stein’s recent collection of poetry was described by Publishers Weekly as “a mix both giddy and anguished that incorporates elements from fairy tale, pop-culture, ancient myth, and choose-your-own-adventure books.”
TONIGHT Overcoming the past is a key theme in young authors’ Edan Lepucki and Mira Jacobs debut novels, both published last year to great acclaim, so it seems natural that they would celebrate their paperback release with a discussion on the topic. Lepucki’s California tells the story of a couple living in the ruins of a dystopian America who must choose between freedom and security when they discover they are expecting a child. “Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future,” said Jennifer Egan (Welcome to the Goon Squad). Jacob’s The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is about a daughter who returns to her childhood home to help with her unwell father, only to find herself confronted with strange looks from the hospital staff and a series of puzzling items buried in her mother’s garden. “When her plot springs surprises, she lets them happen just as they do in life: blindsidingly right in the middle of things,” said the Boston Globe.