Literary Lunch Break: Michael Blanding

The Boston Literary District hates to see you eating alone at your desk. That’s why we’re putting on Literary Lunch Break! Come hear eight of Boston’s best authors speak, sign, and shmooze about their latest books right under South Station’s Destination Board. The roster includes three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Kurkjian, veteran journalist Dick Lehr, Omni Parker House historian Susan Wilson, and pediatrician and musician Lisa Wong. 

Michael Blanding 
The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps 

E. Forbes Smiley, a respectable antiquarian map dealer, spent years doubling as a map thief — until he was finally arrested one day slipping maps out of books in the Yale University Library. To write a full-length work about Smiley, investigative journalist Michael Blanding gained access to the man himself — no mean feat. No wonder The Minneapolis Star-Tribune calls Blanding’s much heralded work, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, nothing less than “a suspenseful tale of the theft of cultural heritage by a man who presented himself as one of the chief interpreters and safeguards of that heritage.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer says “Blanding’s numerous strengths” as a researcher and compelling storyteller “are on display here.” Within the story is the story of how maps went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. There is respect for cartographers as well. The Wall Street Journal comments that “Blanding’s most moving passages commemorate those who helped build and, bit by bit, envisage the world as we know it.” The Map Thief was named a New England Indie Bestseller by the New England Independent Booksellers Association. It comes out in paperback the very week Blanding will be speaking about it at Literary Lunch Break.

Coming Up:

Susan Wilson 
Omni Parker House: "Heaven, By Hotel Standards" 
June 19