Sophie Ratcliffe presents Loss, A Love Story: Imagined Histories and Brief Encounters, Adam Gopnik presents All That Happiness Is

May 3rd
McNally Jackson Seaport
4 Fulton St.
RSVP Required — see below

Join beloved writers Sophie Ratcliffe and Adam Gopnik to celebrate the release of their new books!

About A Love Story by Sophie Ratcliffe

“With this voyage into grief, longing, eros, and art, Sophie Ratcliffe offers us an intimate, beautifully curated exhibit of history, imagination, revelation, and consolation.” —Margo Jefferson, author of Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir

A journey with the novels that shape our emotions, our romances, and ourselves.

Part memoir, part imagined history, this unique personal essay depicts the intimate experience of childhood bereavement, lost love affairs, and the complicated realities of motherhood and marriage. Framed by an extended train journey, author Sophie Ratcliffe turns to the novels, novelists, and heroines who have shaped her emotional and romantic landscapes. She transports us with her to survey the messiness of everyday life, all while reflecting on steam propulsion and pop songs, handbags and honeymoons, Anna Karenina and Anthony Trollope, former lovers and forgotten muses.

Frank, funny, tender, and transporting, Loss, A Love Story asks why we fall in, and out, of love—and how we might understand doing so amid the ongoing upheavals and unwritten futures of the twenty-first century.   

“A book as much about time and technology as it is about love and grief, Loss, A Love Story is a feat of personal narrative. Sophie Ratcliffe crosses genre borders and traverses boundaries, both imagined and real, reminding us with each movement that a lived life is less a framed photograph than it is a moving train, ferrying us forward in space while also pulling us back in time. This book swept me away.”  —Sarah Viren, author of To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories 

About All That Happiness Is by Adam Gopnik 

From New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, a slim, elegant volume presenting a radical alternative to our culture of relentless striving.

Our society is obsessed with achievement. Young people are pushed toward the next test or the “best” grammar school, high school, or college they can get into. Adults push themselves toward the highest-paying, most prestigious jobs, seeking promotions and public recognition. As Adam Gopnik points out, the result is not so much a rat race as a rat maze, with no way out. Except one: to choose accomplishment over achievement. Achievement, Gopnik argues, is the completion of the task imposed from outside. Accomplishment, by contrast, is the end point of an engulfing activity one engages in for its own sake.

From stories of artists, philosophers, and scientists to his own fumbling attempts to play Beatles songs on a guitar, Gopnik demonstrates that while self-directed passions sometimes do lead to a career, the contentment that flows from accomplishment is available to each of us. A book to read and return to at any age, All That Happiness Is offers timeless wisdom against the grain.

"Happiness is found not in ‘something gained but in something lost—the loss of ourselves in something ‘other,’’ according to this concise and elegant meditation from New Yorker staff writer ... a thought-provoking look at an eternally fascinating topic." —Publisher's Weekly



Sophie Ratcliffe is a professor of literature and creative criticism at the University of Oxford. Her previous books include On Sympathy and Wodehouse: A Life in Letters and her essays can be found in The Guardian, New Statesman, and the Times Literary Supplement.  



Adam Gopnik is a staff writer at the New Yorker and has written for the magazine since 1986. He has three National Magazine awards for essays and for criticism. The author of numerous best-selling books, including The Real Work, he lives in New York City.




RSVP Below

In order to keep our events program running in uncertain times, we're asking attendees to hold their place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the event on any product in store or in our bar & café. If you have a change of heart or plans, write to and we'll gladly refund you and release your spot, up to 24 hours before the event. Thanks for understanding, and for supporting your local bookstore.