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Pop-up: Rumaan Alam

Sat, Nov 10, 2018 from 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm
1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Rumaan Alam pops-up with his new novel, That Kind of Mother.

Alam is paired with One and Another by Hugo Robus; found in the Modern American Realism exhibit on the 2nd floor of the Portland Art Museum. Please reference the Portland Art Museum Map to find this location.


Like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, she reaches out to the only person at the hospital who offers her any real help—Priscilla Johnson—and begs her to come home with them as her son’s nanny.

Priscilla’s presence quickly does as much to shake up Rebecca’s perception of the world as it does to stabilize her life. Rebecca is white, and Priscilla is black, and through their relationship, Rebecca finds herself confronting, for the first time, the blind spots of her own privilege. She feels profoundly connected to the woman who essentially taught her what it means to be a mother. When Priscilla dies unexpectedly in childbirth, Rebecca steps forward to adopt the baby. But she is unprepared for what it means to be a white mother with a black son. As she soon learns, navigating motherhood for her is a matter of learning how to raise two children whom she loves with equal ferocity, but whom the world is determined to treat differently.

Written with the warmth and psychological acuity that defined his debut, Rumaan Alam has crafted a remarkable novel about the lives we choose, and the lives that are chosen for us.

Rumaan Alam / CANCELED

Rumaan Alam had to cancel his appearance at this year's festival. We apologize for any disappointment. Rumaan Alam is the author of Rich and Pretty and That Kind of Mother. His writing has appeared in the New York TimesElleNew York Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, The Rumpus, Buzzfeedand elsewhere. He studied at Oberlin College, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit him online at rumaanalam.com
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