Beach Reads

Join Author Judith Newman for Writers Speak Wednesdays on Feb 21

Following Sam Sax’s incredible reading, Writers Speak Wednesdays continue with Judith Newman, author of the bestselling book To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and The Kindness of Machines. Newman will read excerpts from her book and share insights into its stories on Wednesday, February 21, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge located on the second floor of Stony Brook Southampton’s Chancellors Hall.

Described as “one of the most successful freelance journalists today,” Newman’s work has appeared in over fifty publications, including Harper’s, Allure, People and The New York Times. She is well-versed in writing a wide range of content for newspapers and magazines, from book reviews to sex columns, and she’s also written a few books herself.

She wrote her first book, Bath (Chic Simple), in 1993, followed by Body (Chic Simple) the following year. Her writing has continued with Tell Me Another One: A Woman’s Guide to Men’s Classic Lines, Parents from Hell: Unexpurgated Tales of Good Intentions Gone Awry and Just Between Us Girls: Secrets About Men from the Madam Who Knows, a collaboration with “Mayflower Madam” Sydney Biddle Barrows. In 2004, Newman published her memoir You Make Me Feel Like An Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother, which sheds light on the challenges of trying to get pregnant at age 40, while keeping the tone of the book light and downright hilarious at times.

In October 2014, she wrote a column for The New York Times called “To Siri, With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri.” The piece, just as the name implies, details the charming relationship between her young son Gus and his personal assistant friend. Gus has autism and often finds it more difficult to converse with people than with inanimate objects, which makes Siri the perfect fit for a best friend and confidante.

After the success of her column, Newman published a collection of stories titled To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and The Kindness of Machines. The book also went on to gain much success, becoming a New York Times Notable Book of 2017. To Siri With Love shares a multitude of stories about her extraordinary child as he learns to understand the world from an AI’s perspective.

Writers Speak Wednesdays are free and open to the public, no registration necessary. The evenings take place in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Stony Brook Southampton’s Chancellors Hall located at 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton. There will be a brief reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reading and Q&A with the author from 7 to 8 p.m.

Following Newman, the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series will continue with Lee Clay Johnson on March 7, Jericho Brown on March 21, Daniel Alercón and Debora Kuan on April 18, and Melissa Febos and Alex Gilvarry on April 25. On May 2, the evening will include readings by students currently enrolled in Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information about this event, call 631-632-5030 or visit stonybrook.edu.

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