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Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming

Xochitl Gonzalez is the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Time, Kirkus, Bustle, and more, Olga Dies Dreaming was a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, an Indies Introduce Pick, and Amazon’s Featured Debut of the month. Gonzalez received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and a Michener-Copernicus Fellow for Fiction. Her work has been published on The Cut and in Vogue, Allure, Elle Decor, and elsewhere. Her weekly newsletter on the Atlantic’s website “Brooklyn, Everywhere” explores gentrification of people and places. A proud public school graduate, she lives in her hometown of Brooklyn with her dog. 

Photo: Mayra Castillo

In Olga Dies Dreaming, a status-driven wedding planner grapples with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots―all in the wake of Hurricane Maria. It’s 2017, and Olga, a tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers, and her brother Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, are boldfaced names in their hometown. Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy: their mother Blanca, a Young Lord turned radical, abandoned them years ago to advance a militant political cause and has now come barreling back into their lives. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, this is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm. 

October 24, 8 - 9pm, Monday

Speaker Schedule

Xochitl Gonzalez + Stewart O'Nan

In Olga Dies Dreaming, a status-driven wedding planner grapples with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots―all in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, this is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

Ocean State is a novel about a teenaged love triangle and a murder in a small town on the Rhode Island shore. Exploring the ecstasy and desperation of romantic love, it shows the lengths we’ll go to hold on to it.

8-9 p.m., virtual

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