***This event has been cancelled, but a virtual option may become available. Check back for more info.***
Lisa Gornick illuminates art, love, and family across the 20th century in The Peacock Feast
in conversation with Krista Bremer, memoirist and associate publisher of The Sun
Sunday 3/15, 3 pm
The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 with Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamiting the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical mansion with columns capped by brilliant glass flowers, and a boiler hidden in a blue-tiled minaret—so as to foil the town reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple crate where Prudence, the daughter of Tiffany's prized gardener, is sleeping and the rocks behind which Randall, her brother, is playing. Nearly a century later, Prudence receives an unexpected visit from Grace, a hospice nurse and the granddaughter of Randall, who Prudence never saw again after he stowed away on a train to California. Grace arrives with a box of mementos from her grandfather's house—objects that for Prudence release long-repressed memories and bring her to a new understanding of the choices she made in work and love, and what she faces now in her final days.
The Peacock Feast spans the twentieth century and three continents, ricocheting from New York to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to a Texas death-row prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a California commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a magnificent family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and a heartrending portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.
Lisa Gornick is the author of Louisa Meets Bear, Tinderbox, and A Private Sorcery. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, Real Simple, Salon, Slate, and The Sun. She holds a B.A. from Princeton University and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale, and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
Krista Bremer is the author of the memoir A Tender Struggle. Her award-winning essays have appeared in national and international magazines and news outlets including The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, CNN, MSN, MORE, The Sun, and The Sunday Times (London). Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and she has appeared in the PBS series Arab American Stories. Her work has been translated and reprinted all over the world. In 2009, she was one of six American writers to receive a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and a North Carolina Arts Fellowship, She lives in North Carolina with her husband Ismail and their two children and works as associate publisher of The Sun.