The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Brookline Booksmith displays author voices

Author Cadwell Turnbull, who wrote “We are the Crisis,” spoke at the Brookline Booksmith on Tuesday Nov. 7.

Shan Liu has a story to tell. Her great-grandfather invented the mask that preceded the N95 and she realized that despite the importance of this invention in our current day, China’s role in the history of medicine is not mentioned enough. The perfect place to share this story? The Brookline Booksmith.

Shan Liu did a reading on Oct. 22 at the Brookline Booksmith, and over 20 kids came to hear her story. Many authors go through the same process, using the Brookline Booksmith as a place to share their work through speaker events, where they read their books and offer more in-depth lessons on them.

Located in Coolidge Corner, the Brookline Booksmith holds many similar events, including Sunday storytime readings for elementary school children, and middle grade and young adult authors on weeknights. The store brings stories from all different places and backgrounds in hopes of educating people about the world beyond Brookline.

The Brookline Booksmith has a diverse selection of stories, which is clear through the different speakers that they host. The organizer of these events, Heather Johnson, said they try to incorporate many types of literature into these readings, including poetry. The third Thursday of every month, poets come in and read their work.

“We really try to have a wide variety of events across the board,” Johnson said. “It also gives the people of Brookline an opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors.”

Johnson said they specifically try to get local authors to speak, to help authors gain support through their close community, as well as provide the community education on subjects people may not have previously known about. Shan Liu said one of the best parts of speaking at these events is afterwards, when she and her daughter are able to connect with people and hear their stories.

“It’s been a surprise to me, as a first time author, that one of the most rewarding things would be meeting people in the crowd and hearing the amazing things that they’ve done,” Shan Liu said.

Kaili Liu is Shan Liu’s daughter and was an inspiration for her book “Masked Here.” Colleen Kavanagh, a teacher at Kaili Liu’s school, attended this reading at the Brookline Booksmith to support her student and the book. Kavanagh said she was excited about these events because they educate students on the process of creating books. She also enjoys seeing the Brookline community come together for this family.

“It’s just been nice to see the support that this family has gathered. Just looking around the room during the whole event was really nice to see,” Kavanaugh said.

“Masked Hero” educates people on the origins of wearing protective face masks to prevent spreading diseases. Her great grandfather, Wu Lien-teh, invented the Wu mask. Shan Liu said she hoped to spread this lesser known story, which has had an impact on almost all lives today after COVID.

According to Johnson, the Brookline Booksmith does a transnational literature series, a subset of their speaker events. This is specifically for books moving across boundaries, such as a book about someone moving or a book that was translated from another language.

Kavanagh said she believes these events can bring attention to stories outside of Brookline which can affect us even from a distance.

“I think it’s important to tell these stories,” Kavanagh said. “And it’s important to know that there’s history even within communities like Brookline that don’t just take place in Brookline, but in other parts of the world as well.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All comments are reviewed by Cypress staff before being published. To read our complete policy, see our policies underneath the About tab.
All The Cypress Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *