Welcome to the Brown Community in DC!

Events Calendar

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Oct
13
Sun
Brown Book Club: “Happiness: A Novel” @ Bethesda
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Brown Book Club will meet on Sunday, October 13 in Bethesda to discuss Happiness: A Novel, by Aminatta Forna (fiction, 368 pp, 2007). We’ll begin at 6PM with dinner, then go on to discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, October 11 by contacting the event organizer, who will provide location information. Mention any food allergies, and bring $6 – $8 for the meal.

“A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge in London. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide―Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna’s unerring powers of observation show how, in the midst of the rush of a great city, lie numerous moments of connection.  Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing.  When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens―mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London―come together to help. As the search for Tano continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.

Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in, and a grief of his own. In this delicate tale of love and loss, of cruelty and kindness, Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness.” – Amazon Book Reviews

Nov
10
Sun
Brown Book Club: “Kitchen Confidential” @ McLean, VA
Nov 10 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

RESCHEDULED FROM SPRING 2019. The Brown Book Club will meet on Sunday, November 10 in McLean, VA to discuss Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (nonfiction, 312 pp, 2000). We’ll begin at 6PM with dinner, then go on to discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, November 8 by contacting the event organizer, who will provide location information. Mention any food allergies, and bring $6 – $8 for the meal.

“Utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and precise ear for kitchen patois.” (New York Magazine)

“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…you’re gonna love it.” (Denver Post)

“The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages.” (USA Today)

Bourdain captures the world of restaurants and professionally cooked food in all its theatrical, demented glory. (USA Today)

“A gonzo memoir of whats really going on behind those swinging doors…. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is unique.” (Newsweek)

“Bourdain’s prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois.” (New York magazine)

“Hysterical…. Bourdain gleefully rips through the scenery to reveal private backstage horrors.” (New York Times Book Review)

 

Dec
8
Sun
Brown Book Club: “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” @ Springfield, VA
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Brown Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 8 in Springfield, VA to discuss Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (fiction, 303 pp, 1996). We’ll begin at 6PM with dinner, then go on to discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, December 6 by contacting the event organizer, who will provide location information. Mention any food allergies, and bring $6 – $8 for the meal.

“Abandoned by her husband, stoic Pearl raised her three children on her own. Now grown, the siblings are inextricably linked by their memories—some painful–which hold them together despite their differences. Hardened by life’s disappointments, wealthy, charismatic Cody has turned cruel and envious. Thrice-married Jenny is errant and passionate. And Ezra, the flawed saint of the family, who stayed at home to look after his mother, runs a restaurant where he cooks what other people are homesick for, stubbornly yearning for the perfect family he never had. Now gathered during a time of loss, they will reluctantly unlock the shared secrets of their past and discover if what binds them together is stronger than what tears them apart. This portrait of a family is vintage Tyler–soulful and redemptive, full of heartbreak and hope.” – Amazon Book Reviews

Jan
12
Sun
Brown Book Club: “Washington Black” @ TBA
Jan 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Brown Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 12 to discuss Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (fiction, 352 pp, 2018). We’ll begin at 6PM with dinner, then go on to discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, January 10 by contacting the event organizer, who will provide location information. Mention any food allergies, and bring $6 – $8 for the meal.

TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Slate
FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE, THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE, THE ROGERS WRITERS’ TRUST PRIZE

“Washington Black is that rarest of novels: a hybrid that knows exactly what it is. The story begins as an antebellum novel about Wash, an 11-year-old slave working on a Barbados plantation run by a sadistic master. When Christopher, the master’s brother, takes Wash under his wing and teaches him to read, the novel turns more toward adventure and scientific exploration. There are inventions, twists, and turns; there is danger and intrigue; there is travel and growth. What holds everything together is author Esi Edugyan’s writing chops. She is a precise writer who has created a world that seems whole and all-embracing. Her characters are fully realized human beings. The weight of personal freedom is a theme that winds through the book, as does the opposing weight of cultural and societal expectations. There is so much to digest here, and so much to enjoy, that readers may well be tempted to read this book twice.” –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Feb
9
Sun
Brown Book Club: “Forty Autumns” @ TBA
Feb 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Brown Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 9 to discuss Forty Autumns by Nina Willner (nonfiction, 416 pp, 2016). We’ll begin at 6PM with dinner, then go on to discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, February 7 by contacting the event organizer, who will provide location information. Mention any food allergies, and bring $6 – $8 for the meal.

“In this illuminating and deeply moving memoir, a former American military intelligence officer goes beyond traditional Cold War espionage tales to tell the true story of her family—of five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years, and their miraculous reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Forty Autumns makes visceral the pain and longing of one family forced to live apart in a world divided by two. At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own.

Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart.

In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.

A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family.

Forty Autumns is illustrated with dozens of black-and-white and color photographs.” – Amazon Book Review

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The Brown University Club of Washington D.C. fosters community and furthers intellectual curiosity and exploration among Brown University alumni and their friends in the greater Washington D.C. area

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The club organizes a variety of events throughout the year, including social events, cultural events, sporting events, alumni spotlight events, and educational events, as well as ongoing programs such as the Brown DC Book club.

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