Wharton's Ethan Frome Modernized
February 25, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
In Conversation with Amy Bloom:
Ali Benjamin's debut adult novel, The Smash-Up, inspired by Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Frome, explores a strained marriage in a small town. It is at once an intimate, moving portrait of a family in distress, a vivid examination of our roiling national rancor, and a powerful exploration of how the things we fail to notice can shatter a family, a community, and a nation.
It’s September 2018. In Washington, D.C.,—and in cities and towns across America—women have taken to the streets to protest a Supreme Court nominee. And in Starkfield, Massachusetts—a sleepy rural town where nothing much ever happens—Ethan Frome’s otherwise quiet life has turned upside down.
His wife, Zo, is so enraged by the national political scene that she’s transformed their home into a local headquarters for the Resistance. His college roommate and former business partner faces #metoo allegations, sending Ethan into increasingly desperate financial straits. His unruly, headstrong daughter, Alex, grows more challenging by the day.
Enter Maddy Silver—a breezy, blue-haired millennial making her way through the gig economy. Suddenly Ethan and Zo must question everything: their past, their future, their marriage, and what they value most. And all the while, a world-rocking cultural smash-up inches ever closer to home.
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.
Ali Benjamin is the author of the young adult novel The Thing About Jellyfish,
an international bestseller and a National Book Award finalist. Her The Next Great Paulie Fink was named a top children’s book of the year by Kirkus
Reviews, Publishers Weekly, the New York Public Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library. Her work has been published in more than twenty-five languages in more than thirty countries. Originally from the New York City area, she now lives in Massachusetts. This is her first adult novel.
Amy Bloom is the author of two New York Times best-sellers and three collections of short stories, a children’s book, a ground-breaking collection of essays, and many pilot scripts for cable and network television. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, O Magazine, and Vogue, among other publications. She lives in Connecticut and is now Wesleyan University’s Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing.