Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Offsite @ Hillside Club
on the wisdom of saying goodbye as explored in her new book Exits: The Endings That Set Us Free (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26).
In Exit, Lawrence-Lightfoot explores the ways we leave one thing and move on to the next; how we anticipate, define, and reflect on our departures; our epiphanies that something is over and done with. The result is an enthusiastic, uplifting lesson about ourselves and the role of transition in our lives.
Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist and a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has interviewed more than a dozen women and men in states of major change, and she paints their portraits with sympathy and insight: a gay man who finds home and wholeness after coming out; a sixteen-year-old boy forced to leave Iran in the midst of the violent civil war; a Catholic priest who leaves the church he has always been devoted to, the life he has loved, and the work that has been deeply fulfilling; an anthropologist who carefully stages her departure from he “field” after four years of research; and many more.
Too often, Lawrence-Lightfoot believes, we exalt new beginnings at the expense of learning from our goodbyes. Exit finds wisdom and perspective in the possibility of moving on and marks the start of a new conversation, to help us discover how we might make our exits with purpose and dignity.
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is also the author of The Essential Conversation, The Third Chapter, and Respect. She is the recipient of a MacArthur award and twenty-eight honorary awards in addition to being the first African American woman at Harvard to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.
In collaboration with Berkeley Arts and Letters (www.berkeleyarts.org).
Tickets $12 ($6 students, OLLI, and Hillside members) in advance only at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-3006; $15 at the door (all).