The BTS Center
97 India Street • Portland, ME 04101

May 7, 2021

Dear Friends:

Long-awaited and much-anticipated, next week we will welcome author Jenny Offill, who will be with us for an online conversation to read from and discuss her most recent novel, Weather. We're pleased to partner with Portland Public Library and Print: A Bookstore for what promises to be an engaging, thought-provoking, deeply meaningful event.

In an August 2020 piece, "15 Extraordinary Books You Can Read in One Sitting," Adrienne Westenfeld, Assistant Editor at Esquire, writes: “Compact and wholly contemporary, Jenny Offill’s third novel sees a librarian find deep meaning and deep despair in her side gig as an armchair therapist for those in existential crisis, including liberals fearing climate apocalypse and conservatives fearing the demise of ‘American values.’ As she attempts to save everyone, our protagonist is driven to her limits, making for a canny, comic story about the power of human need.”

Recognized on the February 2020 Indie Next List, Weather captured the imagination of Ann Woodbeck of Excelsior Bay Books in Excelsior, MN. She writes, “Brief and brilliant, Jenny Offill’s Weather doesn’t need page after page to trap us inside. Tearing through precision-crafted paragraphs, we willingly follow a Brooklyn librarian down a doomsday rabbit hole as she tries to limit the world’s damage to those she loves. On the express bus to the demise of civilization, find a seat next to Lizzie for a wild and witty ride through the storm raging across America. An astute and satisfying read.”

And in a feature interview piece entitled "How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart," Parul Sehgal, book critic for The New York Times, notes, "Offill doesn’t write about the climate crisis but from deep within it. She does not paint pictures of apocalyptic scenarios; she charts internal cartographies... What she is doing, her friend the novelist Adam Ross told me, is coming as close as anyone ever has to writing the very nature of being itself."

Order an autographed copy of the novel from Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine.

Download the audiobook here (or from your favorite site).

And even if you haven't had a chance to read the book, join us anyway! The conversation with Jenny will inspire and provoke, and it promises to be a meaningful event even for those who haven't had a chance to dig in.

Learn more and register at the links below. We hope to see you on Thursday!

With gratitude and hope,
Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill
Executive Director • The BTS Center
Weather: A Novel
Author Event with Jenny Offill

Thursday, May 13, 2021

4:00-5:15 pm (Eastern) • Author reading, facilitated conversation, Q&A
5:30-6:00 pm (Eastern) • Pop-up book discussion groups (optional)
Free Online Event • Open to the Public

Books can be purchased from Print: A Bookstore, located around the corner from The BTS Center offices in Portland, Maine • (207) 536-4778 • A limited number of autographed copies are available. Click here to purchase.

Weather is an extraordinary novel that showcases Jenny Offill's adventurous prose, intelligence and lyricism across a range of disciplines, from deep ecology to mystical theology to the politics of collective action. The author’s vignette style reads almost like a journal filled with the main character’s reflections on daily life, increasing concern over climate devastation, and desires for spiritual enlightenment. 
The book has the potential to spark important conversations around identity and meaning in a time of global, existential crisis. We invite you to join us for one of those conversations.

"Tiny in size but immense in scope, radically disorienting yet reassuringly humane and completely irresistible... Utterly exhilarating in its wit and intelligence... Luminous." — The Boston Globe

“There is no doubt that Jenny Offill is the writer for this particular historical moment. Weather is a tour de force of her considerable and startling gifts: the compressed and gorgeous sentences, the astounding comic timing, the profound and wise surprises. The miracle of this novel is how it looks at our contradictions and conditions with such bracing honesty and yet gives us a tender hopefulness toward these fraught humans. Offill makes us feel implicated but also loved."
— Dana Spiotta
Meet Jenny Offill 

JENNY OFFILL is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award and most recently, Weather. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.
Nicole Diroff, Aram Mitchell, and Allen Ewing-Merrill of the BTSC staff team shared some conversation on Facebook Live yesterday afternoon, discussing this upcoming author event with Jenny Offill.

Event Partners:
Portland Public Library

Print: A Bookstore

The BTS Center | 207.774.5212 | |
Allen Ewing-Merrill
Executive Director

Kay Ahmed
Office Manager
Nicole Diroff
Program Director

Aram Mitchell
Director of Partnerships & Formation

Ben Yosua-Davis
Director of Applied Research
 Our mission is to catalyze spiritual imagination with enduring wisdom for transformative faith leadership.
We equip and support faith leaders for theologically grounded and effective 21st-century ministries.