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  • Event
  • In-Person: Seaport

Grubbie Debut: Tessa Fontaine, author of 'The Red Grove,' in conversation with Margot Livesey

Event Description

GrubStreet and Porter Square Books: Boston Edition are delighted to present the latest installment of the Grubbie Debut event series, featuring debut author Tessa Fontaine for the release of The Red Grove.

Learn more and register here!

About The Red Grove

When her mother goes missing, a young woman uncovers the secrets beneath her protected community.

The women asked: How are they safe?

And Tamsen Nightingale said: In this red grove, no woman can be harmed. No violence may come upon her. No injury to her flesh from the flesh of another.

The Story of the Sisters, Welcoming Incantation

The Red Grove is a special place, protected. Some say a spell was cast by the community’s founder, Tamsen Nightingale. Some say the mountain lions who stalk the nearby hills guard its mysteries and its people. Some say the mighty redwoods keep them safe.

Yet Luce’s mother, Gloria, has gone missing. A man came seeking answers among the Red Grove’s mysteries—a connection to the beyond—and died. And then Gloria vanished. The Red Grove is Luce’s whole world. She is devoted to its mission, its rituals and myths. But she knows that her mother, frustrated free spirit though she might be, wouldn’t just leave without a word, wouldn’t leave her little brother, Roo, and especially their aunt Gem, whose care in that suspended state of everdream depends on Gloria in every way. But as Luce tries to figure out what has happened to her mother, she discovers that this special place is not what it seems and that protection comes at a cost.

The debut novel by the acclaimed author of The Electric Woman, Tessa Fontaine's The Red Grove is an exploration of the legacies of violence, the price of safety, and the choices we make to protect what we love.

About the Authors

Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, a New York Times Editors' Choice, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and best book of 2018 by Southern Living, Refinery29, Amazon Editors', and The New York Post. Other writing can be found in Outside, The New York Times, Glamour, AGNI, The Believer, LitHub, Creative Nonfiction, and more. Raised outside San Francisco, Tessa is a former professor and has taught in jails and prisons for five years. She co-founded and teaches the Accountability Workshops with writer and pal Annie Hartnett, and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, goofy dog and sassy cat. The Red Grove is her first novel.

Margot Livesey grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands and has taught in numerous writing programs including Emerson College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, and the Warren Wilson low residency MFA program. She is the author of a collection of stories and nine novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture, The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Boy in the Field. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing was published in 2017. She is a professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and goes back to Scotland whenever she can. Her tenth novel, The Road from Belhaven, was published in February, 2024.


This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.

Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.