PEN America Author’s Evening with Simon Schama
Please join us for an intimate evening with bestselling author and historian Simon Schama discussing his new book, Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations.
Cities and countries engulfed by panic and death, desperate for vaccines but fearful of what inoculation may bring. This is what the world has just gone through with Covid-19. But as Simon Schama shows in his epic history of vulnerable humanity caught between the terror of contagion and the ingenuity of science, it has happened before.
Delivered through gripping, page-turning stories set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – smallpox strikes London; cholera hits Paris; plague comes to India – Foreign Bodies is a vibrant cultural history investigating pandemics and vaccines. Threading through the scenes of terror, suffering and hope – in hospitals and prisons, palaces, and slums – are an unforgettable cast of characters: a philosopher-playwright burning up with smallpox in a country chateau; a vaccinating doctor paying house calls in Halifax; a woman doctor in south India driving her inoculator-carriage through the stricken streets as dead monkeys drop from the trees. But we are also in the labs when great, life-saving breakthroughs happen, in Paris, Hong Kong, and Mumbai.
Foreign Bodies crosses borders between east and west, Asia and Europe, the worlds of rich and poor, politics and science. Its thrilling story carries with it the credo of its author on the interconnectedness of humanity and nature; of the powerful and the people. Ultimately, Schama says, as we face the challenges of our times together, “there are no foreigners, only familiars.”
Spots are available, so please contact Maris Endres today if you’re interested in attending this special evening. Donations to attend are $350 per person. Following your RSVP, you will be sent the address for the dinner. The donation is considered 100% tax-deductible and supports PEN America’s mission to defend writers and free expression at a time of unprecedented need. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
About pEN America Authors’ Evenings
Proceeds from the PEN America Authors’ Evenings support PEN America’s programming to secure the liberty of persecuted and imprisoned writers around the world, to defend freedom of expression, and to promote literature and international cultural exchange.