Hub City is excited to welcome Megan Mayhew Bergman to the Bookshop for a reading and a conversation about her new book How Strange a Season. Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by The Millions, Thrillist, LitHub, The Week, and more, How Strange a Season is an evocative and engrossing collection of new stories and a novella about women experiencing life’s challenges and beauty. A former resident of South Carolina, Bergman writes hauntingly and powerfully about environment and inheritance; she'll be joined in conversation by poet John Lane, Emeritus Professor of environmental studies at Wofford College and author of, most recently, Still Upright and Headed Downstream.
This event is free and open to all; come on out to the Bookshop at 6pm on Tuesday, April 5th, and save your seat and your copy of the book below!
A recently separated woman fills a huge terrarium with endangered flowers to establish a small world only she can control in an attempt to heal her broken heart. A competitive swimmer negotiates over which days she will fulfill her wifely duties, and which days she will keep for herself. A peach farmer wonders if her orchard will survive a drought. And generations of a family in South Carolina struggle with fidelity and their cruel past, some clinging to old ways and others painfully carving new paths.
In these haunting stories, Megan Mayhew Bergman portrays women who wrestle with problematic inheritances: a modern glass house on a treacherous California cliff, a water-starved ranch, and an abandoned plantation on a river near Charleston. Bergman’s provocative prose asks the questions: what are we leaving behind for our descendants to hold, and what price will they pay for our mistakes?
"This is a remarkable collection about women reckoning with the past and insistently forging a future in an often unforgiving, confusing and exacting world. Like all of Megan Mayhew Bergman’s work, How Strange A Season is heart-forward, keen-eyed, haunting, and wonderfully satisfying." --Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of Good Company
“These are extraordinary stories. They'll make you think deeply, maybe uncomfortably, always interestingly." --Bill McKibben
"An extraordinary, unnerving, and beautiful book. Bergman writes with preternatural wisdom, delivering urgent stories of radical independence and toughness in a world on fire. Like the women who helm them, these stories are ornery and fierce — ready for battle, their teeth filed to points." --Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers
“A gorgeous collection featuring strong women, or women on their way to becoming strong, often while aiming to do some good. There is an atmosphere here—a kind of skewed quality that makes many of these stories disquieting. And that a storied Southern home could be cursed instead of blessed—this kind of overturned belief abounds in these beautifully written stories.” --Amy Hempel, author of Sing to It
“Heartfelt, rich in character and detail, the stories in How Strange a Season feel both modern and timeless.” --Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne
Megan Mayhew Bergman is the author of Almost Famous Women and Birds of a Lesser Paradise. Her short fiction has appeared in two volumes of The Best American Short Stories and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She has written columns on climate change and the natural world for The Guardian and The Paris Review. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Orion, and elsewhere. She teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College, where she also serves as director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. She lives on a small farm in Vermont.
John Lane is Emeritus Professor of environmental studies at Wofford College and was founding director of the college’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including two novels. His COYOTE SETTLES THE SOUTH was one of four finalists for the John Burroughs Medal and was named by the Burroughs Society one of the year’s “Nature Books of Uncommon Merit.”