OUTSIDE Highlights for the week of September 9th

TUESDAY, September 10th Author Christina Thompson is OUTSIDE and will discuss her latest book THE POLYNESIAN TRIANGLE, which delves into an area of ten million square miles, defined by the three points of Hawai‘i, New Zealand, and Easter Island. All the islands inside this triangle were originally settled by a clearly identifiable group of voyagers: a people with a single language and set of customs, a distinctive arsenal of tools and skills, and a collection of plants and animals that they carried with them wherever they went. They had no knowledge of writing or metal tools and yet they succeeded in colonizing the largest ocean on the planet, occupying every habitable rock between New Guinea and the Galapagos, and establishing what was until the modern era the largest single culture area in the world.

A dual citizen of the United States and Australia, Thompson she was born in Switzerland and grew up outside Boston. She received her BA from Dartmouth College and her PhD from the University of Melbourne and held post-doctoral fellowships at the East-West Center in Honolulu and the University of Queensland before becoming editor of the Australian literary journal Meanjin.

THURSDAY, September 12th Author Grace Talusan discusses her award-winning memoir The Body Papers. Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first. The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse.

Both events will take place from 12-1pm at Countway Courtyard.