Literary Afternoon

At the Levis JCC Sandler Center and B'nai Torah Congregation (as noted)

Personal appearances by 6 noted authors. Learn about their work and creative process.

Levis JCC Sandler Center, 21050 95th Avenue South, Boca Raton, FL 33433B’nai Torah Congregation, 6261 SW 18th St, Boca Raton, FL 33433

Individual Programs at Levis JCC Sandler Center: $25, Gold Members: $20, Platinum Members: Free; Individual Programs at B'nai Torah Congregation: $18

If you need assistance purchasing tickets or membership, call the Box Office at 561-558-2520.


Tuesday, October 25, 3:00 pm:

Annabelle Gurwitch, You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility

At Levis JCC Sandler Center

From the New York Times bestselling author of I See You Made an Effort, comes a timely and hilarious chronicle of downward mobility. With her signature sharp wit, Annabelle Gurwitch gives an irreverent and empathetic voice to a generation hurtling into their next chapter with no safety net and proves that the no-frills new normal doesn’t mean a deficit of humor. Gurwitch offers stories of resilience, adaptability, low-rent redemption, and the kindness of strangers. Even in a muted zoom.

Annabelle Gurwitch is a Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing finalist and New York Times bestselling author of five books, most recently You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility (Counterpoint, now out in paperback) a New York Times’ Favorite Book About Healthy Living 2021 and a Good Morning America Must Read. She was the longtime host of Dinner & a Movie on TBS, a regular NPR contributor, and has written for The New Yorker, New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and WSJ amongst other publications. She co-hosts the Tiny Victories podcast on the Maximum Fun Podcast Network.

Thursday, November 10, 2:00 pm:

Alyson Richman and Shauna Edwards, The Thread Collectors

At B'nai Torah Congregation

Inspired by the authors’ own family histories, The Thread Collectors is a rich historical novel set during the Civil War about two women — one Black and yearning for freedom in New Orleans, the other a Jewish abolitionist in New York — whose resourceful sewing to support their communities leads them on unexpected, dangerous journeys as they fight to bring their beloveds home from the front. As the two women risk every-thing for love and freedom during a brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us.

Alyson Richman is the USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels, including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture. Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She is an accomplished painter and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel. Alyson’s novels have been published in twenty-five languages and have reached bestseller lists both in the United States and abroad. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel.

Shauna J. Edwards has a BA in literature from Harvard College and a JD from NYU School of Law. A former corporate lawyer, she now works in diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a native Louisianian, raised in New Orleans, and currently lives in Harlem with her husband. The Thread Collectors is her first novel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2:00 pm:

Letty Cottin Pogrebin Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy

At B'nai Torah Congregation

The word shanda is defined as shame or disgrace in Yiddish. This book tells the story of three generations of complicated, intense 20th Century Jews for whom the desire to fit in and the fear of public humiliation either drove their aspirations or crushed their spirit. In her deeply engaging, astonishingly candid memoir, author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin exposes the fiercely guarded lies and intricate cover-ups woven by dozens of members of her extended family. While unmasking their charades and disguises, Pogrebin also showcases her family’s remarkable talent for reinvention in a narrative that is, by turns, touching, searing, and surprisingly universal.

Co-founder of Ms. Magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a nationally acclaimed writer, activist, and public speaker. The author of twelve books, her articles and essays have appeared widely. She is a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Ms. Foundation for Women; a past president of the Authors Guild and the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

Tuesday, January 17, 3:00 pm:

B.A. Shapiro Metropolis

At Levis JCC Sandler Center

Six people, six secrets, six different backgrounds. They would never have met if not for their connection to the Metropolis Storage Warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This taut and emotional novel of psychological suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger follows a cast of unforgettable characters whose lives intersect when a harrowing accident occurs. Metropolis is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.

B. A. Shapiro is the bestselling author of The Collector’s Apprentice, The Muralist, and The Art Forger, which won the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Boston Authors Society Award for Fiction, among other honors. Her books have been selected as community reads in numerous cities and translated throughout the world. Before becoming a novelist, she taught sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She and her husband, Dan, divide their time between Boston and Florida.

Tuesday, February 7, 3:00 pm:

Samantha Greene Woodruff The Lobotomist’s Wife: A Novel

At Levis JCC Sandler Center

Inspired by a shocking chapter in medical history, this is a galvanizing and enthralling historical novel of a compassionate and relentless woman, a cutting-edge breakthrough in psychiatry, and a nightmare in the making. The Lobotomist's Wife tells the story of Ruth Emeraldine and her fight to save her husband's patients from what they once believed to be a miracle treatment for mental illness.

Samantha Greene Woodruff has a BA in history from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She spent most of her career telling stories to executives at MTV Networks as the senior vice president of strategy and business development and, subsequently, audience research for the Nickelodeon Kids & Family Group. The Lobotomist’s Wife is her first historical fiction novel.

Tuesday, March 7, 2:00 pm:

Rita Rudner My Life In Dog Years: A Memoir

At B'nai Torah Congregation

The poignant, candid and funny memoir of comedian, bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and actress Rita Rudner. From a difficult childhood to dancing in New York at fifteen to becoming a Johnny Carson favorite to headlining in Las Vegas to motherhood, Rita wittily explores her eventful life journey. The one constant in her life has been her dogs. She explains, “Across the decades, I have depended on the steady, non-judgmental, immensely-satisfying love that only dogs can bring.”

Rita Rudner is a Comedian, author, screenwriter, playwright, actress, and mom. She produced and co-starred in Peter’s Friends, A Weekend in The Country, and helped write the 2001 and 2003 Oscar Shows with Steve Martin. Rudner has written five books, including Naked Beneath My Clothes, Rita Rudner’s Guide to Men and I Still Have It…I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It. My Life in Dog Years is Rita’s sixth book.

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