Blake Butler with Colin Winnette / Molly

The Booksmith

1727 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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Booksmith is thrilled to host Blake Butler in conversation with Colin Winnette for Blake's new memoir, Molly. Join us!

About the book:

Blake Butler and Molly Brodak instantly connected, fell in love, married and built a life together. Both writers with deep roots in contemporary American literature, their union was an iconic joining of forces between two major and beloved talents.

Nearly three years into their marriage, grappling with mental illness and a lifetime of trauma, Molly took her own life. In the days and weeks after Molly’s death, Blake discovered shocking secrets she had held back from the world, fundamentally altering his view of their relationship and who she was.

A masterpiece of autobiography, Molly is a riveting journey into the darkest and most unthinkable parts of the human heart, emerging with a hard-won, unsurpassedly beautiful understanding that expands the possibilities of language to comprehend and express true love.

Unrelentingly clear, honest and concise, Molly approaches the impossible directly, with a total empathy that has no parallel or precedent. A supremely important work that will be taught, loved, relied on and passed around for years to come, Blake Butler affirms now beyond question his position at the very top rank of writers.

Praise for Molly:

“The most immediate feeling of life I've ever had reading a book—a life lived at the desk and out in the world, a life of openness and secrets. "Make art for me," Molly wrote to Blake. "I will read it all." I breathed along with every word.” – Patricia Lockwood

"How to praise a book of such wounded beauty as Blake Butler's phenomenal Molly? The same way one would a life lost early: with love and sincerity and anger and wonder and lithely elegant and observant insights that remind us and inspire us, as Butler precisely does, to live and to love ourselves." – John D'Agata

“Molly is a brilliant and brutal book. Blake Butler fearlessly takes on love and grief and the mysteries of this world and the next.” – Emma Cline

“A dark miracle—actual evidence that what we can never know, what we could never imagine about the one we love, is what binds us to them, beyond death.” – Michael W. Clune

"I was gripped from the start by this memoir's urgent honesty. Blake Butler turned a story that was almost unspeakable into a narrative at once brutal and loving, broken and solid." – Catherine Lacey

About the authors:

Blake Butler is the author of nine book-length works, including Alice Knott (Riverhead), 300,000,000 (Harper Perennial), Sky Saw (Tyrant Books), There is No Year (Harper Perennial), Scorch Atlas (Featherproof Books), and Ever (Calamari Press), as well as the nonfictional Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia (Harper Perennial). His short fiction, interviews, reviews, and essays have appeared widely, including in The Believer, The New York Times, Bomb, Bookforum, and as an ongoing column at Vice. In 2021, he was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He is a founding editor of HTMLGIANT. Photo by Molly Brodak.

Colin Winnette is the author of several novels and collections. His latest novel Users was a New York Times "Editor's Choice", among New Yorker "Best Books of 2023," and called "The First Great Novel About Virtual Reality" by The Nation. His writing has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including McSweeney's, Playboy, and Gulf Coast Magazine. Photo by Jennifer Yin.

Please note:

  • Masks will not be required for this event, but we are limiting capacity somewhat. For that reason, we can't guarantee we'll have space for walk-ins. The best way to ensure you’ll get a seat is to order the Book + Seat ticket. Free seats for this event have all been reserved, but if we do not sell out in advance any remaining tickets will be available at no charge on a first come, first served basis, with walk-ins having no guarantee of admission. To be the first to know about our events, sign up for our newsletter.
  • We are happy to offer *signed copies* of Molly: order a Book + Seat ticket bundle if you'd like to pick up a signed copy at the event, or order here if you just want a signed copy and no admission.
  • Safety protocols are subject to change. If we feel it is not safe to gather, as the event gets closer, we will pivot to a virtual event and your registration will remain valid.
  • Questions? Write [email protected].


Refund Policy:

No refunds or returns.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of cancellation, you will be refunded the price of your ticket within 4 business days.

Blake Butler with Colin Winnette / Molly poster
The Booksmith
1727 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117