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  • Bestselling Novelist, Celebrated Writing Teacher, Journalist Dani Shapiro in The Loft with HOURGLASS

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    May 02, 2017
    Bestselling novelist and memoirist
    with her latest work
    Time, Memory, Marriage
    Tuesday, May 23, 7pm
    “I was absorbed by Hourglass and consoled by it, too. It’s a beautiful book by a writer of rare talent.”Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD

    “...the very book that should be given to a young couple at the beginning of their relationship.”Interview Magazine

    “Gorgeous, stunning, extraordinary—life-changing.”Will Schwalbe, author of Books for Living
    For images, please see: https://goo.gl/photos/JjP4H5K6e7ZuEJr96
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, May 2, 2017: The Music Hall’s Innovation and Leadership series will present bestselling novelist, memoirist, and journalist (Elle, Vogue, O, and The NY Times) Dani Shapiro on Tuesday, May 23. The treasured author of Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion will discuss her latest work, HOURGLASS: Time, Memory, Marriage, a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage, memory, and the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds.
    The 7pm event includes an author presentation and moderated Q+A, plus post-event book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
    HOURGLASS adds to Dani Shapiro’s remarkable collection of nonfiction work. She is a memoirist extraordinaire, a master and teacher of the genre, and this new book demonstrates just that,” said Margaret Talcott, Producer of Writers in the Loft and the evening’s moderator. “In it, she paints of portrait of marriage that will reverberate with anyone past the honeymoon glow and into the fullness of adult life. Her honesty about marriage is both absorbing and reassuring. Don’t miss this evening of reading discussion, sure to enrich any woman or man, personally; as well as anyone who writes or journals. She has has great tips for writers.”
    HOURGLASS is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time—abraded, strengthened, and shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart, and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning—a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and the struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
    In HOURGLASS, Shapiro asks: What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise—how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence. Don’t miss this special night with one of our finest writers.
    Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Waiting, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review, and the op-ed pages of The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on This American Life. Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on Super Soul Sunday. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
    The ticket package for Innovation and Leadership: Dani Shapiro on Tuesday, May 23 at 7pm is $37 ($35 members). In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of HOURGLASS: Time, Memory, Marriage ($22.95 hardcover), a bar beverage, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400 or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.
    About Innovation and Leadership
    In this Age of Participation, The Music Hall has expanded its programming to focus on issues critical to our time. The Innovation and Leadership series was first launched nearly five years ago to serve our local business community, bringing together the best and the brightest in technology.  The series has since broadened to showcase opinion leaders, authors and all variety of educators, and to serve audiences from a tri-state region and beyond – all who are interested in bettering the worlds they live in, at work and at home, locally and around the world. These lively and informative conversations feature experts in their field sharing experiences and providing participants practical tools for making meaningful advances in their lives.  From demonstrations in the art of all things digital to special forums featuring regional and global leaders in sustainability, from book discussion-demonstrations on the positive effect of meditation to awareness-raising events led by today’s champions in philanthropy, feminism and family matters, each Innovation and Leadership event is memorable and impactful.  The Music Hall is committed to community building and personal flourishing. Our Innovation and Leadership series delivers on that commitment.
    Presenting Sponsor: ALNÔBA
    Series Sponsor: Veris Wealth Partners
    Season Sponsors: Carey & Giampa Realtors; Portwalk Place; The River House restaurant
    Contributing Partner: The University of New Hampshire
    About the Music Hall
    The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service’s Save America's Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named "best performing arts venue" by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence.
    With acclaimed signature series including Writers on a New England Stage – a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio – and the Intimately Yours music series, we bring top authors and artists to both stages. Also, HD broadcasts from The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre of London as well as extraordinary cinema fill both screens almost every night of the year.
    This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $7.1 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending.
    Innovative in its outlook, the organization is community oriented and committed to making the Seacoast flourish. The Music Hall is a 501(c)3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board. Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 corporate partners and 58 community partner organizations. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.
    Web: www.TheMusicHall.org | Twitter: @MusicHall | Facebook: /musichall | YouTube: /musichallnh
    “The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene”- Yankee Magazine

    “The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire's seacoast” - Boston Globe
    For more information, contact:
    Margaret Talcott, Producer
    The Music Hall                                                                            
    or Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer
    “Compassionate, insightful, and powerfully honest, in Hourglass Dani Shapiro illuminates the deepest mysteries, contradictions, and consolations of so very much—love, memory, the people we used to be and the people we’ve become. In other words: life. I was absorbed by Hourglass and consoled by it, too. It’s a beautiful book by a writer of rare talent.”Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD
    Gorgeous, stunning, extraordinary—life-changing.”—Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club and Books for Living
    “Rilke reminds us that ‘There are multitudes of people, but there are many more faces, because each person has several of them.’ And how do we, moment after elusive moment, marry then continue to change and grow yet still accommodate these multitudes in one another? This is just one of the piercingly compelling questions Dani Shapiro explores in her masterfully rendered new memoir. Written with erudition, hard-earned wisdom, and sensual grace, Hourglass is a fearless and lovely mosaic of those very fragments that make life worth living, the only one we get. I adore this book.”Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

    “Dani Shapiro’s prose is elegant and crystal clear, the perfect vehicle for her fierce intelligence and curiosity about things that lurk just out of view. Hourglass is such a lovely book.”Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo

    “Reading this book was like skating across a perfect piece of ice and then slowly noticing the cracks. Dark, cold water shows through. We can’t see the depths. Be careful, Shapiro warns, be careful, but still she skates on in the fading light with remarkable beauty and grace.”Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation

    “In this touching and intimate memoir...Shapiro beautifully weaves together her own moving language and a commonplace book’s worth of perfect quotes from others.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

    “To write openly about an enduring intimate relationship requires courage and tact...In this compelling account of her 18-year marriage, Shapiro carefully exposes the vulnerabilities that have subtly begun to surface within the relationship...The narrative demonstrates Shapiro’s finely tuned, poetic skills as a writer...A sharply observed and frequently moving memoir of marriage.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    “These memories form a reality that is as diaphanous, fragile and as surprisingly resilient as a spider web. Hourglass is not only a profound and moving reflection on Shapiro’s marriage, but on all marriages.”—Bookpage

    “[Shapiro] has never written anything as raw, dark, or brave as Hourglass...a penetrating meditation...Hourglass is a stalwart witness to the erosions of time’s tides that, in being stalwart, it also wishes to stand against.”—The Boston Globe

    “A meditation that’s intimate, wide-ranging, funny and smart.”—Portland Press Herald

    “Dani Shapiro presents a sharp look at the realities of marriage. She does so in delicate strokes, never seeming self-conscious. With a combination of engaged storytelling and what remains carefully unsaid, Shapiro creates an abstract intimacy that allows the reader into her experience...It is the very book that should be given to a young couple at the beginning of their relationship.”—Interview Magazine
    “That delicate, ferocious act of unsweeping ourselves from the river of time and unplundering its instants is what Dani Shapiro explores with uncommon elegance in Hourglass—at once a memoir and a quiet manifesto for how, despite the cavalcade of losses and the exponential narrowing of possibility marking the passage of years, it remains possible to have an expansive and creatively invigorating existence. In Shapiro’s virtuosic hands, time compresses and expands—an accordion playing the sorrowful yet redemptive melody that is life.”—Brain Pickings

    “Shapiro’s honesty and devotion to her craft are impossible to detangle from her love of family...This potent memoir is a graceful meditation on the fragile balance of time, love, and loss. It’s an excellent entry point for Shapiro’s poignant and personal oeuvre. So start with this latest, and take it from there.”—Signature Reads
    Margaret Talcott, Producer