Connect with the Library:

Spotlight Lecture: Heidi Julavits & Mary Pols at Oxbow Brewing

Tuesday | September 26, 2023
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Location: Oxbow Blending & Bottling, 49 Washington Ave Portland, ME 04101
Audience: Adults

photos of Heidi Julavits (above) and Mary Pols (below) next to the cover of Julavits' book "Directions to Myself" (right)

Heidi Julavits will discuss her new memoir, Directions to Myself: A Memoir of Four Years, with fellow writer and friend Mary Pols. The talk is presented by Portland Public Library and Back Cove Books and will be held at Oxbow Brewing!  Special thanks to our sponsor The Press Hotel.

About Directions to Myself (publisher copy):
One summer Heidi Julavits sees her son silhouetted by the sun and notices he is at the threshold of what she calls “the end times of childhood.” When did this happen, she asks herself. Who is my son becoming—and what qualifies me to be his guide?

The next four years feel like uncharted waters. Rape allegations rock the university campus where Julavits teaches, unleashing questions of justice and accountability, as well as education and prevention. She begins to wonder how to prepare her son to be the best possible citizen of the world he’s about to enter. And what she must learn about herself to responsibly steer him.

Looking back to her childhood in Maine, where she and her family often navigated the tricky coastline in a small boat, relying on a decades-old nautical guide, Julavits takes us on an intellectual navigation of the self. Throughout, she intertwines her internal analysis with a wide-ranging exploration of what it means to raise a child in a time full of contradictions and moral complexity. Using the past and present as points of orientation, Directions to Myself examines the messy minutiae of family life alongside knottier questions of politics and gender. Through it all, Julavits discovers the beauty and the peril of telling stories as a way to locate ourselves and help others find us.

Intimate, rigorous, and refreshingly unsentimental, Directions to Myself cements Julavits’s reputation as one of the most shrewdly innovative nonfiction writers at work today.

Logo for Back Cove BooksPress Hotel Logo

Oxbow Blending and Bottling Logo.

About the Series » Spotlight Lecture Series

2023 Spotlight Lectures from Portland Public Library: A Light on Motherhood

Portland Public Library Spotlight Lectures bring authors into engaging conversation with their peers. This year, these conversations follow the theme A Light on Motherhood. Hear about modern experiences of pregnancy, motherhood, and how they exist in our current culture.

Converstaions are followed by audience Q&A and a book signing.

The series is presented by Portland Public Library with various partners.