The shelves at Robbins Library and Fox Branch library hold about 180,000 physical books, and at least 100 books in our collection (and likely many more) were written by local authors who either grew up in Arlington, lived here for a while, or live here now. Some of these works are part of the general circulating collections, but if you want one-stop-shopping, go directly to our Local Author Shelf in the Robbins Library Reading Room– and don’t be surprised to see a neighbor’s name.
Read about these 3 local authors:
Erin’s novel, Witches’ Dance, explores the charged relationship between a teenage violinist named Hilda Greer and her teacher, Phillip Manns, a former prodigy who believes he is the reincarnation of Niccolo Paganini. When Phillip becomes romantically involved with Hilda’s mother, Hilda begins to question her own feelings for her teacher, as well as her belief in him as Paganini. The climax of the novel takes place in Genoa, Italy, as Hilda prepares to compete in the prestigious Premio Paganini, the contest where Phillip’s career – and, perhaps, his madness – began.
Along with her husband, the author Steve Almond, Erin has been an Arlington resident for seventeen years. Erin and Steve have three kids in the Arlington public schools- one in elementary and two in high school! – and they love their local bookstore The Book Rack.
Erin Almond’s fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Sun, Colorado Review, Literary Mama, Normal School, and on WBUR’s cognoscenti column. Her short story, “The Unbearable Weight of My Heart,” recently won First Prize in Pangyrus Magazine’s Fiction Contest, judged by Jennifer Haigh. She’s a graduate of the UC-Irvine MFA program and Wesleyan University, a long-time member of Boston’s Grub Street, and a recipient of a St. Botolph Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. Witches’ Dance was her first published novel and she’s currently working on her second, a book about the Irish famine, faeries, motherhood, and horses. She can be reached through her website at: https://erineileenalmond.com.
The Age of Light is a novelization of the life of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. Lee’s journey takes her from the cabarets of bohemian Paris to the battlefields of war-torn Europe during WWII, from inventing radical new photography techniques to documenting the liberation of the concentration camps as one of the first female war correspondents. Through it all, Lee must grapple with the question of whether it’s possible to stay true to herself while also fulfilling her artistic ambition — and what she will have to sacrifice to do so.
The Age of Light was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Parade, Glamour Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Booklist and Yahoo. Internationally, The Age of Light won Le prix Rive Gauche à Paris, was a coups de couer selection from the American Library in Paris, and has been published in over a dozen other countries.
Whitney Scharer holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her first novel, The Age of Light, was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller, People Pick, Amazon Book of the Month selection, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and was long-listed for the Massachusetts Book Award. Whitney has been awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fiction Fellowship, Ragdale and VCCA residencies, a St. Botolph Emerging Artists Grant, and a Somerville Arts Council Artists Fellowship. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, The Telegraph, and The Tatler. She is a co-founder and serves on the organizing committee for the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly reading series. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA, where she teaches writing workshops and runs literary events as part of a new writing organization she helped to found called Blaze Writers Project (www.blazewritersproject.com), and is at work on her second novel. To find out more, visit www.whitneyscharer.com.
Yelena Lembersky is an architect and an author of two books, including a recent memoir, Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour that she co-wrote with her mother. The book traces Yelena’s childhood in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, in the 1970s and ‘80s. Told in the dual points of view, this memoir is a clear-eyed look at the reality of life in the Soviet Union, giving us an insider’s perspective on the roots of contemporary Russia. It is also a coming-of-age story, heartfelt and funny, a testament to the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of art.
Yelena Lembersky holds degrees in art and architecture from MIT and the University of Michigan. Her writing has appeared in World Literature Today, The Forward, and Cardinal Points Literary Journal, and she was a guest on National Public Radio and BBC. She lives with her family in the Turkey Hill neighborhood of Arlington, MA.
Arlington Author Salon
The Arlington Author Salon is a free reading series with a twist: each author’s presentation includes something special to tickle the senses. Music, paintings, photographs, tasty treats, fabrics, even smells! Let yourself be transported with an immersive, literary experience. Stay tuned for upcoming fall events!