I’m honored to be holding a discussion with Terry Farish of her glorious book, Either the Beginning or the End of World at the Hampstead Library on October 27 at 7 pm. This free presentation, called “Coming Home,” will focus on how combat veterans and civilian survivors of war struggle to re-integrate into our communities. Sponsored in part by the New Hampshire Humanities, our talk is part of Community Stories: Soldiers Home & Away, a nine-week event series of book discussions, film screenings, historical talks and performances focused on veterans’ experiences.
I first met Terry during my 2013 development and run of MAKE SURE IT’S ME at the West End Studio Theatre in Portsmouth. She is one of many audience members and supporters of that project who work with veterans and military families to heal from war trauma. But she also works closely with refugees in our communities, and with school children of all backgrounds to explore cultural diversity and self-expression. Terry’s first job was with the Red Cross in Vietnam during the war, and she has worn numerous hats as an advocate, educator and author since then, so she combines a lifetime of “boots on the ground” experience with a deep wellspring of compassion. When I learned she’d written a novel set in Portsmouth about the daughter of a New Hampshire fisherman and a Cambodian refugee who herself falls in love with a veteran recently returned from Afghanistan, I was intrigued. But once I began reading the book, I was positively enthralled! My husband and I loved the book so much that we took ourselves on an afternoon tour of all the Portsmouth locations Terry mentions in the story. Please join us for our discussion at the Hampstead Library on the 27th . . . and even if you can’t attend, give yourself a real treat by reading EITHER THE BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE WORLD!