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Arrowsmith Press organizes memorial reading for Ukrainian novelist killed in bombing; annual Provincetown Book Festival opens Sept. 29; celebrating the art of indie comics and graphic novels

Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina was killed last June. A memorial reading will take place on Sept. 30 at the Brookline Booksmith.Daniel Mordzinksi

Arrowsmith Press organizes memorial reading for Ukrainian novelist killed in bombing

Ukrainian novelist Victoria Amelina was born in 1986, and her first novel, “The Fall Syndrome: or Homo Compatiens” was published in 2015. The next year, she published a book for children called “Somebody, or Water Heart.” Her 2017 novel, “Dom’s Dream Kingdom” was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature. In 2021, she received the Joseph Conrad Korzeniowski Prize. And in 2022, with the onset of the Ukrainian war with Russia, she started to write poetry. In June of this year, she was awarded a yearlong residency in Paris for displaced Ukrainian writers, but she was killed before it started by a missile that hit the restaurant where she was eating in Kramatorsk. Local Arrowsmith Press, led by Askold Melnyczuk, has organized a memorial reading for Amelina. “Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened: A Memorial for Victoria Amelina” will take place this Saturday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Brookline Booksmith. A number of writers and figures will read and honor Amelina and her work, including co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Oleksandra Romanstova, as well as Megan Marshall, Chibuihe Obi Achimba, Lara Stecewycz, Melnyczuk, Jane Unrue, Iryna Shuvalova, Nataliya Shpylove-Saeed, Christopher Merrill, Oleh Kotsyuba, and Carolyn Guile. The Brookline Booksmith has raised over $11,000 in support of Ukrainian booksellers, libraries, and publishing professionals.

Annual Provincetown Book Festival begins Sept. 29


The seventh annual Provincetown Book Festival opens Sept. 29 with the awarding of the Rose Dorothea Award, honoring an author with a deep connection to the Outer Cape; this year’s recipient is poet, novelist, and Provincetown native Frank X. Gaspar. Saturday’s slate of conversations include “Biomythography: Family History through Poetry and Fiction” with Rio Cortez and Kim Coleman Foote; Sabrina Imbler and Isle McElroy will discuss “Body Switchers and Sea Creatures: Speculative and Experimental Writing”; as well as conversations on “Roots and Relevance: Legacy, Friendship, and Place in Fiction” with Alice Elliott Dark and A. C. Burch, and “Tides and the Towns: Artists, Radicals, and Gay Culture on the Outer Cape” with John Taylor Williams and Russ Lopez. Saturday evening’s headliner is Ilyon Woo, author of “Master Slave Husband Wife” in conversation with Susan Tran. On Sunday, hear Janet Hardy and Oliver Radclyffe talk about “Radical Approaches to Gender and Sex”; “Queer Histories: Violence, Race, Radicalization, Then and Now” includes Hugh Ryan and Prince Shakur. Shirley Chisholm’s biographer, Anastasia Curwood, and former speechwriter, Bob Frishman, will discuss the first Black woman to run for president. And the festival closes up with “Queer 80s Teens, Past and Future” with Mike Albo and Tim Murphy, and “Banned Books, Banned People,” with drag performers reading from recently banned books. The festival runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Events are free. For more information and a complete schedule, visit


Celebrating the art of indie comics and graphic novels

The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, running Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Boston University, celebrates the art of indie comics and graphic novels with a huge variety of workshops, panel discussions, demonstrations, and comics art on display. Special guests this year include Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki, local comics icon Karl Stevens, Mattie Lubchansky, Whit Taylor, Raúl the Third, Tommi Musturi, Lawrence Lindell, and Breena Nuñez. Topics of discussion range from queer activist comics to pitching graphic novels to how to teach graphic novels in the classroom, world building, cross-cultural comics, incarceration and comics, and other craft workshops and how-to’s. MICE takes place at BU’s Fuller Building, 808 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline. Admission is free. For more information and a complete schedule, visit


Coming out

“Undiscovered” by Gabriela Wiener, translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches (HarperVia)

“American Gun” by Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson (FSG)

“The Apple in the Dark” by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Benjamin Moser (New Directions)

Pick of the week

Jim O’Connell at the Brown University Bookstore in Providence, Rhode Island, recommends “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows” by Ai Weiwei, translated from the Chinese by Allan H. Barr (Crown): “In 2011, after being released from detention, Ai Weiwei began recording for his son’s sake, his stories, and those of his father. These memories have now been presented to the wider world, in this stunning work of the written and visual arts.”