Clare Beams & Crystal Hana Kim — The Garden & The Stone Home - at The Wharf

Upcoming Event
Friday, April 26, 2024 - 7:00pm

In 1948, Irene Willard, who's had five previous miscarriages in a quest to give her beloved husband the child he desperately desires and is now pregnant again, comes to an isolated house-cum-hospital in the Berkshires, run by a husband-and-wife team of doctors who are pioneering a cure for her condition. Warily, she enlists herself in the efforts of the Doctors Hall to "rectify the maternal environment," both physical and psychological. In the meantime, she also discovers a long-forgotten walled garden on the spacious grounds, a place imbued with its own powers and pulls. As the doctors' plans begin to crumble, Irene and her fellow patients make a desperate bid to harness the power of the garden for themselves--and must face the incalculable risks associated with such incalculable rewards.

With shades of Shirley Jackson and Rosemary's Baby, The Garden delves into the territory of motherhood, childbirth, the mysteries of the female body, and the ways it has always been controlled and corralled.

Clare Beams is the author of the novel The Illness Lesson and the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, which won the Bard Prize and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. With her husband and two daughters, she lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

In 2011, Eunju Oh opens her door to greet a stranger: a young Korean American woman holding a familiar-looking knife--a knife Eunju hasn't seen in thirty years, and that connects her to a place she'd desperately hoped to leave behind forever.

In South Korea in the 1980s, young Eunju and her mother are homeless on the street. After being captured by the police, they're sent to live within the walls of a state-sanctioned reformatory center that claims to rehabilitate the nation's citizens but hides a darker, more violent reality. While Eunju and her mother form a tight-knit community with the other women in the kitchen, two teenage brothers, Sangchul and Youngchul, are compelled to labor in the workshops and make increasingly desperate decisions--and all are forced down a path of survival, the repercussions of which will echo for decades to come.

Inspired by real events, told through alternating timelines and two intimate perspectives, The Stone Home is a deeply affecting story of a mother and daughter's love and a pair of brothers whose bond is put to an unfathomably difficult test. Capturing a shameful period of history with breathtaking restraint and tenderness, Crystal Hana Kim weaves a lyrical exploration of the legacy of violence and the complicated psychology of power, while showcasing the extraordinary acts of devotion and friendship that can arise in the darkness.

Crystal Hana Kim is the author of If You Leave Me, which was named a best book of 2018 by over a dozen publications. Kim is the recipient of the 2022 National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award and is a 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize winner. Currently, she is the Visiting Assistant Professor at Queens College and a contributing editor at Apogee Journal. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.

This event is free with first come, first serve seating.

610 Waters St SW
Washington, DC 20024
The Wharf
Fiction & Poetry
The Garden: A Novel By Clare Beams Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385548182
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Doubleday - April 9th, 2024

The Stone Home: A Novel By Crystal Hana Kim Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063310971
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: William Morrow - April 2nd, 2024