WORD Presents Boomhouse and The Box: Mandy Suzanne Wong and Summer J. Hart in Conversation

10/03/2023 - 7:00pm

FREE EVENT! Limited Seating + Additional Standing Room; RSVP below

Masks appreciated!

*Please note event space is only accessible by stairs; we do not have an elevator.*


About the Book

A stylistically dazzling novel about objects, people, and the forces and seams between them.

Of course, each thing has its own sides to every story.

In a dark and crooked lane in an unnamed city where it never ceases to snow, a small white box falls from a coat pocket. It is made of paper strips woven tightly together; there is no apparent way to open it without destroying it. What compels a passing witness, a self-described anthrophobe not inclined to engage with other people, to pick up the box and chase after the stranger who dropped it?

The Box follows an impenetrable rectangle as it changes hands in a collapsing metropolis, causing confluences, conflicts, rifts, and disasters. Different narrators, each with a distinctive voice, give secondhand accounts of decisive moments in the box’s life. From the anthrophobe to a newly hired curator of a renowned art collection, from a couple who own an antiquarian bookshop to a hotel bartender hiding from a terrible past, the storytellers repeat rumors and rely on faulty memories, grasping at something that continually escapes them. Haunting their recollections is one mysterious woman who, convinced of the box’s good or evil powers, pursues it with deadly desperation.

In this mesmerizing, intricately constructed puzzle of a novel, Mandy-Suzanne Wong challenges our understanding of subjects and objects, of cause and effect. Is it only humans who have agency? What is or isn’t animate? What do we value and what do we discard?



About the author:

MANDY-SUZANNE WONG is a Bermudian writer of fiction and essays. Her works include the novel Drafts of a Suicide Note, a PEN Open Book Award nominee; the essay collection Listen, we all bleed, a nominee for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction; the chapbooks Awabi and Artificial Wilderness; and the exhibition catalogue Animals Across Discipline, Time, and Space. Her work appears in Arcturus, Black Warrior Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Island Review, Necessary Fiction, Quail Bell, Stoneboat, and The Spectacle and has won recognition in the Best of the Net, Aeon Award, and Eyelands Flash Fiction competitions.


In conversation with

Summer J. Hart is an interdisciplinary artist and writer from Maine living in the Hudson Valley, New York. She is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation. Her written and visual narratives are influenced by folklore, superstition, divination, and forgotten territories reclaimed by nature. Summer is the author of Boomhouse (2023, The 3rd Thing Press). She is the recipient of a 2022 MacDowell Fellowship in Literature. Her poetry can be found in BedfellowsHeavy Feather ReviewThe Massachusetts ReviewNorthern New England ReviewWaxwing, and elsewhere. Her mixed-media installations have been featured in shows and galleries including SPRING/BREAK, NYC; Pen + Brush, NYC; Gitana Rosa Gallery at Paterson Art Factory, Paterson, NJ; LeMieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA; and The Parsonage Gallery, Searsport, ME.


Interested in a signed copy but unable to attend the event?

Use the listing below to purchase a copy and leave us a note in the "Notes" field saying you'd like a signed one! We offer pick-up and shipping options. 


The Box: A Novel By Mandy-Suzanne Wong Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644452493
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Graywolf Press - September 19th, 2023

A stylistically dazzling novel about objects, people, and the forces and seams between them.

Of course, each thing has its own sides to every story.