WESTERLY — As the days of virtual events wind down, two Rhode Island authors will zoom into town for two different free book talks, courtesy of Savoy Bookshop and Café.

This evening at 7:30, Westerly native Joseph Luzzi, a professor at Bard College, will make reading suggestions in a virtual talk called "Books for the Post-Pandemic."

"As we come upon the one-year anniversary of the COVID lockdowns, many of us are looking forward to a time with less social distancing and more of the things we have missed during the pandemic, especially seeing our loved ones in person and connecting to new places," said Anastasia Soroko,the book shop's event and marketing manager.

Soroko, noting Luzzi's Westerly connections, said the event will be a virtual discussion about "great reads with a travel theme."

Luzzi's presentation will take book lovers on a tour of four masterpieces that speak to our need for adventure, travel, and reconnecting with the wider world after the long year of pandemic as we attempt to best capture longed-for experiences that we hope will be in our future. Luzzi will discuss Ernest Hemingway’s "The Sun also Rises," Karen Blixen’s "Out of Africa," E. M. Forster’s "Room with a View" and Jack Kerouac’s "On the Road."

Next Wednesday, popular author Ann Hood  will be the guest at a virtual event for the release of the new book, "Jude Banks, Superhero."

Hood, who is always a big draw with her loyal fans, is a faculty member in the MFA in Creative Writing program at The New School and the author of the best-selling novels "The Book That Matters Most," "The Obituary Writer," "Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine," "The Knitting Circle" and the memoir "Comfort: A Journey Through Grief," which was a New York Times Editor's Choice and chosen as one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly.

"We're so delighted to be hosting the marvelous Ann Hood for a launch event to promote this new book," said Soroko, a book that "tackles the important topics of grief and resilience for younger readers."

The book tells the story of Katie, who was 12-year-old Jude's favorite person in the world. For Jude, his sister Katie was everything, the person who made him learn how to say "I love you" in every language, who performed dramatic readings of "Romeo and Juliet," who obsessed over every item on the diner menu looking for the most authentic diner meal, and the one who called him "Jude Banks, Superhero," because to her, Jude was the best.

She was also the person who died. Out of nowhere, and without a goodbye. And Jude believes he was the one who killed her.

"Now, twelve-year-old Jude must figure out what life looks like without his favorite person. With Mom checked out, and Dad just trying to do his best, Jude enters a world of grief youth groups and dropped-off lasagnas," said Soroko. "It's only when he meets a girl named Clementine, who also lost a sibling, that he begins to imagine a world where maybe things might be okay. But Clementine is also feeling a terrible guilt, and even though Katie called Jude a superhero, he isn't sure he can save her."

In her signature prose, Hood crafts an extraordinary story of grief and resilience, asking the important question: "How does a family begin to heal?"

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