WATCH: Colette Brooks and Jennifer Egan on Collective Memory
Hosted by Greenlight Bookstore
Our sense of our history requires us to recall the details of time and of the experiences that help us find our place in the world together. When we lose sight of the past, our ability to see ourselves and to understand one another is diminished. In Trapped in the Present Tense, Colette Brooks (In the City, Lost in Wonder) explores the mechanics and malleability of the collective American memory. Revisiting some of the more forgotten aspects of recent events in the American story to explain our challenging and often puzzling present—including televised assassinations, the Doomsday Clock, and obsessive diarists—Brooks refreshes the American narrative in a lyrical and inventive blend of history, memoir, and visual essay that “ruminates upon the past while reframing…our present perceptions of what matters most” (Booklist).
For readers of Rebecca Solnit and Jenny Odell, Trapped in the Present Tense offers us a playbook for resisting the erasure of our collective memory in this American century. Jennifer Egan (Manhattan Beach, A Visit from the Goon Squad) joins Brooks for a singular discussion on memory writ large.
Founded in October 2009 by Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore is an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, New York. Combining the best traditions of the neighborhood bookstore with carefully curated, community-minded events, Greenlight has earned a reputation as a literary destination. Greenlight has continued to serve its community during the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse array of virtual events, and has been inspired by the movements for racial justice across the country to engage in the work of becoming a more anti-racist company. Learn more at greenlightbookstore.com or check them out @greenlightbklyn.