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  • Event
  • In-Person: Seaport

Grubbie Debut: Mark Cecil, author of 'Bunyan and Henry or, The Beautiful Destiny,' in conversation with Steve Almond

Event Description

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition and GrubStreet are delighted to present the latest installment of the Grubbie Debut event series, featuring debut author Mark Cecil!

Learn more and register here!

About Bunyan and Henry or, The Beautiful Destiny

A large-hearted reimagining of beloved all-American legends, this epic debut novel brings men of myth Paul Bunyan and John Henry alive like never before, teaming up for an adventure quest with deeper interrogations of race, class, and industrialization.

Paul Bunyan—legendary larger-than-life American lumberjack—is a man down on his luck. With a load of family debts on his broad back, he ekes out a miserable miner’s life in Lump Town, a bleak hamlet controlled by famed industrialist El Boffo. When Bunyan's wife Lucette falls ill with a disease caused by the toxic mineral Lump, he embarks on a quest to save her. His only guide: the Chilali—a mysterious creature who speaks only in questions.

Bunyan’s path leads to The Windy City—and to John Henry. Henry is not yet the “steel-drivin’” man known to folklore, but a fugitive on the run from a rigged, racist prison system. As Bunyan and Henry strive to reunite with the families they love, they must work together to solve riddles, forge weapons, brawl with a behemoth, and confront at every turn the relentless, duplicitous El Boffo.

A richly imaginative reinvention of myth, Bunyan and Henry is at once a timeless quest, a fresh origin story, and an urgent modern fable that wrestles with the two sides of the American dream—its wild idealism and cruel underbelly—to inspire the awakening of the folk hero in us all.


Format/Location

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.