9th Ave: Lissa Soep

Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 7:00pm

This event will be held at our 1231 9th Ave location in the Inner Sunset. 

Cover of Lissa Soep's book, Other People's Words: Friendship, Loss, and the Conversations That Never End. The title and subtitle are in water color circles stacked atop on another in green and orange.
Join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7pm PT when Lissa Soep joins us to celebrate her book, Other People's Words: Friendship, Loss, and the Conversations That Never End, with Chris Colin at 9th Ave!

Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online at the link below

Praise for Other People's Words
“Other People’s Words is one of those books that changes you forever. Now I can hear the ‘double voicing’ in my own life: the ways the language of my past—of dear friends and family--has fused into and shapes the language of my present; how it keeps people I have lost with me always.”—Peggy Orenstein

“Other People's Words is an essential meditation on the relationship between love, loss, and language. How does speech undo the boundaries between you and me, between self and other? How do we create ourselves, and our intimacies, through our words? This book will fundamentally change how, and for whom, you speak.”—Cyrus Dunham, author of A Year Without a Name

“It’s rare to find a book like Other People’s Words, which creates its own delicate atmosphere and populates it with such unforced care that every blade of grass, and every word, seems to glow with its own mysterious purpose, only to discover that you are yourself inside that little world, breathing its air, which is all around you, and that one of its mysterious purposes is you.”—Jonathan Rosen, author of The Best Minds

About Other People's Words
What if the great love of your life is friendship?

In their twenties, Lissa Soep and her boyfriend forged deep friendships with two other couples—Mercy and Christine; and Emily and Jonnie—until, decades later, Jonnie died suddenly, in an accident, and Christine passed away after a mysterious illness. Christine had been a writer, Jonnie a storyteller. Lissa couldn’t imagine a world without their letters, postcards, texts—a world without their voices. Then she found comfort in a surprising place. As a graduate student, she had studied the philosophy of the Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin, who wrote about the many voices that can echo through a single person’s speech. Suddenly, Bakhtin’s theory that our language is “filled to overflowing with other people’s words” came to life.  Lissa began hearing Jonnie and Christine when least expected. In a conversation with Emily, a familiar phrase was spoken, and suddenly, there was Jonnie, with his riotous laugh, vibrant in her mind. Mercy recited an Adrienne Rich poem in just the way Christine used to and, for a moment, Christine was with them in the room.

Other People’s Words shows us how we carry within us the language of loved ones who are gone, and how their words can be portals to other times and places. Language—as with love—is boundless, and Other People’s Words is an intimate, original, and profoundly generous look at its power to nurture life amid the wreckage of grief. Dialogues do not end when a friendship or person is gone; instead, they accrue new layers of meaning, showing how the conversations we share with those we love continue after them, and will continue after us.

About Lissa Soep
Lissa Soep is senior editor for audio at Vox Media and special projects producer and senior scholar-in-residence at YR Media. She has a PhD from Stanford, where she studied education, social theory, and linguistic anthropology with leading Bakhtin scholars. She lives in San Francisco. 

Other People's Words: Friendship, Loss, and the Conversations That Never End By Lissa Soep Cover Image
ISBN: 9781954118355
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau - April 16th, 2024

What if the great love of your life is friendship?

Event Categories: