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Andrew Delbanco & Rebecca Makkai :: Canaan Meetinghouse Reading Series

A Delbanco

Andrew Delbanco will read from his book, The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War, which was awarded the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book Selection, and described as "Excellent... stunning."  by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me).

Having written many acclaimed books, including College, and Melville, Delbanco was recently appointed president of the Teagle Foundation, which supports liberal education for college students of all backgrounds. Delbanco is Professor of American Studies at Columbia University and in 2001 was awarded the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and was named by Time as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2012, President Barack Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal.

R MakkaiRebecca Makkai will read from her latest book, The Great Believers: A Novel, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, finalist for the National Book Award, included in The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2018; and winner of the ALA Stonewall Award.

Makkai's first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut and her second novel, The Hundred-Year House, won the 2015 Novel of the Year award from The Chicago Writers Association. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

meetinghouseCanaan Meetinghouse Reading Series 
Summer 2021
Moderator: Phil Pochoda

New this summer:
+ The readings will start at 7:00, not 7:30.
+ Face masks and social distancing required. 
+ Inside occupancy will be limited to 100 people (50% of capacity).
+ Audio speakers will be set up outside so any overflow crowd, and those who prefer, may sit on blankets or lawn chairs outside. 

The speakers scheduled to participate during last year’s canceled series were all invited back for 2021. Nearly all are able to participate this summer!

The Meetinghouse Readings in Canaan, held at 7:00 pm on four Thursday evenings in July are free and open to the public; no reservations needed.  (Please, no infants, toddlers or squirmers.)

The sponsors include James Laffan, Esq., Caldwell Estate Planning, Wachovia Securities, and Mascoma Savings Bank. The Norwich Bookstore will be on hand to sell current and past books by each author. Many of the books can also be purchased at the bookstore in advance, to be signed by the authors at the event.

The 1793 Meetinghouse in Canaan, N.H.’s Historic District, is located opposite the beach on Canaan Street Lake. Take Route 4 to the blinking light in Canaan; 2 miles up Canaan Street to the Old Meetinghouse. For more information, visit or call the Canaan Town Library (603) 523-9650


Event date: 
Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Meeting House
Canaan Street
Canaan, NH
The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224131
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Penguin Books - November 5th, 2019

New York Times Notable Book Selection 

Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize 

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

Winner of the Lionel Trilling Book Award 

New York Times Critics' Best Book

"Excellent... stunning."—Ta-Nehisi Coates

Staff Pick Badge
The Great Believers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Penguin Books - June 4th, 2019


Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler

The Hundred-Year House: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143127444
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2015

From the acclaimed author of The Great Believers, an original, mordantly witty novel about the secrets of an old-money family and their turn-of-the-century estate, Laurelfield.

College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be - Updated Edition Cover Image
By Andrew Delbanco (Afterword by), Andrew Delbanco
ISBN: 9780691165516
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Princeton University Press - December 28th, 2014

The strengths and failures of the American college, and why liberal education still matters

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