Toadstool Bookshop will host Lacy Crawford for a Free virtual event on, at 7 p.m. Tuesday Sept 1, 2020
NOTES ON A SILENCING: A MEMOIR is a literary chronicling of the machinery of power in an iconic institution, and how it preys on those not born to that elite echelon of society. It’s the story of what it was like—and is still often like—to be a girl in that privileged world, in which the number-one priority of the machinery at the top is to protect itself above all else. Lacy writes of that world with resolute candor: “It’s so simple, what happened at St. Paul’s. First they refused to believe me, then they shamed me, then they silenced me. It happens all the time.” The book is also an unflinching inquiry into what happened nearly 30 years after the assault took place, when in 2017 the State of New Hampshire opened a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School. Police unearthed startling new pieces of the puzzle of what really happened in 1990, but the state refused to admit this evidence, presumably to protect the men who had silenced Lacy so many years ago.
As Lacy describes it, NOTES ON A SILENCING “isn’t the detail behind the headlines (of an assault). There were no headlines, which is sort of the point.” So while Lacy’s experiences and the revelations about a still-formidable institution are newsworthy, the impact of NOTES ON A SILENCING’s riveting storytelling is that, in Lacy’s words, “it is not about an assault, it’s about the architecture of silence, the machinery that erases girls, that erases so many of us.” She wrote this memoir all these decades later to tell what happened to her in a way that diffuses its power and catalyzes a remedy to this frighteningly common societal issue and the dynamics of influence and coercion that always come with it. In that telling and reframing, the memoir moves the focus away from the powerful and towards those whose safety they sacrifice in the name of civility and preserving the status quo.In its insightful examinations of witnessing and silencing, and the factors that dictate who can speak and who is heard in American society, NOTES ON A SILENCING sheds light on one of the darkest, ongoing issues of our time, reflecting Lacy’s desire to “embolden everyone who ever wondered what her agency was, why her life was shattered, and who felt she would not be heard.”
Lacy will be discussing her book with Jessica Lahey.
Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Over twenty years, she’s taught every grade from sixth to twelfth in both public and private schools. She writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, The Washington Post and the New York Times and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the educational curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. Jessica earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts and a J.D. with a concentration in juvenile and education law from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two sons. Her second book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence, will be released in April 2021.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:LACY CRAWFORD is an author of fiction and nonfiction, including the satire EARLY DECISION (Morrow, 2013) and the forthcoming memoir NOTES ON A SILENCING (Little, Brown, 2020). Her literary journalism includes profiles of Frank Conroy, Reynolds Price, and Shirley Hazzard. Lacy’s other jobs have included high school English teacher, human and environmental rights campaigner, co-convener of a high-level international conference on pandemic influenza, Girl Friday to an English Lord, and Director of the Burberry Foundation. Lacy lives in California with her husband and three children.
Please join us here on Tuesday Sept 1 at 7pm.