A Public Space Books Launch! Bette Howland's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage"

May 21, 2019, 7:00 PM

A Public Space
323 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Join us to celebrate the publication of Bette Howland's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and the launch of the new book division from A Public Space, the award-winning literary and arts magazine.

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage restores to the literary canon the work of an extraordinarily gifted writer, who was recognized as a major talent in the 1980s before all but disappearing from public view for decades. With direct and powerful language in the tradition of Lucia Berlin, Kathleen Collins, and Grace Paley, Bette Howland chronicles the tensions of her generation. She was an outsider, an intellectual from a working-class family, and an artist chipped away at by poverty and self-doubt. In a collection that spans the entirety of Howland's career, "her words and observations shine like buried treasure, each story a glinty, multifaceted gem. This achingly beautiful book throbs with life, compassion, warmth, and humor." (Kirkus, starred review)

A Public Space editor Brigid Hughes will be joined by Bette Howland's son, Jacob Howland, for a conversation and celebration of his mother's life and work.  

Bette Howland (1937-2017) was the author of three books: W-3, Blue in Chicago, and Things to Come and Go. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984, after which she continued writing but did not publish another book. Her stories found new readers near the end of her life, when a portfolio of her work appeared in an issue of A Public Space magazine exploring a generation of women writers, their lifetimes of work, and questions of anonymity and public attention in art.

Jacob Howland is McFarlin Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tulsa, and the author of The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy, Kierkegaard and Socrates, and Plato and the Talmud. He has written about the correspondence of Bette Howland and Saul Bellow for Commentary and the Jewish Review of Books.