Ron Maclean and Marjan Kamali

From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate

There are stories and then there are Ron MacLean stories—the ones that seem almost impossible to believe, the ones that dig deep into layers of truth, the ones you simply can’t get out of your head. In prose that crackles like high-tension wires in the night, MacLean probes the mysterious center of life where things happen without explanation and where we’re brought together by our hunger for meaning. There are stories about the ambiguities and ironies permeating our lives, like “Night Bus,” where a young American traveler feels increasingly alienated among his Finnish tour group even as they seem to welcome him. There are stories of existential drift, such as “Unfound,” where a community grapples with the helplessness of not knowing as severed human feet wash onto their shore. And there are stories like “What Remains,” which bring us face to face with the dual invitation and burden of the past. Stretching the boundaries of narrative, pushing the prose into new directions, MacLean never loses sight of the complexities of love and desire and the question of doing good. Whether his stories embrace traditional narrative forms, mixed modes, or revel in postmodern uncertainty, they unfailingly speak to deep human needs—and the world’s refusal to grant them. You won’t soon forget them.

Ron MacLean is author of the novels Headlong and Blue Winnetka Skies, and the story collection Why the Long Face?. His short fiction has appeared widely in magazines including GQ, Narrative, and Fiction International. MacLean is a recipient of the Frederick Exley Award for Short Fiction and a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee. He holds a Doctor of Arts from the University at Albany, SUNY, and teaches at Grub Street in Boston. Learn more



Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.

Marjan Kamali, born in Turkey to Iranian parents, spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in two anthologies: Tremorsand Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been. An excerpt from The Stationery Shop was published in Solstice Literary Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel Together Tea was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Marjan lives with her husband and two children in the Boston area.

Event date: 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

79 Leonard St
Belmont, MA 02478

Ticketed Event: 

The Stationery Shop Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982107482
Availability: Available from Warehouse
Published: Gallery Books - June 18th, 2019


From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.