06/09 WHAT IF THOSE SALEM WITCH-HUNTERS HAD IT RIGHT?
The initial advance check Katherine Howe received from the seven-figure, two-book deal she earned for her first novel was well timed—when it arrived, she had $130 in her savings account. That debut effort, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, is released today. The tale zips deftly between the late 17th century and the summer of 1991 as the protagonist, a Harvard grad student, investigates her unique hunch on the Salem witch trials: Maybe the accused really were witches. Howe comes at the topic with significant expertise, as she’s a Ph.D. candidate in American and New England studies at Boston University, as well as a descendant of suspected supernaturals Elizabeth Howe and Elizabeth Proctor.
06/09 DNA DECODERS HOLD A PEP RALLY FOR PERSONAL GENETICS
Six years ago, it cost $3 billion to sequence the human genome. One measure of how dramatically the technology has improved since then is the mere existence of a trade show opening today at the Hynes Convention Center. Organizers bill the Consumer Genetics Show as the "first annual," reflecting the level of optimism generated by the burgeoning business. Local players in the vanguard of healthcare will be on hand (Harvard, Mass General, Pfizer, etc.), as will folks from Cambridge’s Knome, which in April auctioned off a full genetic mapping on eBay for $68,000.
Swindler Bernie Madoff is sentenced. That light in the sky above Brookline
is the glow of burning effigies.
06/19 EVENING FLICKS ON THE ESPLANADE
Into its second decade as a summertime fave, the free film series at the Esplanade’s Hatch Shell returns with a showing of The Tale of Despereaux. The mouse-as-hero story begins at sunset and will be followed for the next eight Fridays by a mix of family-friendly shows.
06/19 FILM SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON A DARK DAY
Twenty-three years to the day after the death of the Celtics’ most infamous draft pick, his story is rekindled in the independent film Len Bias, released today. The sad end met by the University of Maryland star, killed by a cocaine overdose, came to signal a Celtics curse, and though the team ended its title drought last year, that hasn’t dulled the lingering fascination with the career that could have been. The film, whose local debut is yet to be scheduled, plumbs what did happen, featuring interviews with Bias’s dealer and the others with him the night he died.
Director, the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts
If Arlington’s Beate Becker has her way, creativity will be the state’s next economic engine. This month, she launches DIGMA, a policy group to promote the Hub as a design hotbed. Here’s what else is keeping her busy.
Every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. from June to October, I meet up with a few of my women friends and we drive out to Walden Pond. We swim across and back, and then warm up with coffee in Concord. Pretty brutal for the first couple of times—but it’s the best part of my week.
With the school year ending this month, our time with Saya, the Japanese exchange student who’s been living with us, ends. I’m sure we’ll have more than one party for her.
Before she leaves, I want to take her to the MFA to see "Celebrating Kyoto: Modern Arts from Boston’s Sister City." And I’ll definitely take Saya and my two daughters to Brockton to see the contemporary Korean jewelry show at the Fuller Craft Museum.
At the end of the month, I’m going to pack up all my fabrics and jewelry-making supplies and head to Harrisville, New Hampshire, where I’ve rented a house and studio. I intend to spend a lot of the summer enjoying the "work of the hand." -As told to Brigid Sweeney