Our Strategic Vision

The Parents’ Book Club Presents David Denby and Sherry Turkle in Conversation

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Time: 6pm for refreshments and 6:30pm for the program

Place: The 375 Pearl Street Meetinghouse

A bestselling author goes back to high school to find out whether books can still shape lives; can today’s screen-obsessed teenagers be turned on to serious reading?

A renowned media scholar investigates how our overuse of technology undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity—and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

In this BFS Parents’ Book Club event, David Denby and Sherry Turkle will each present from their new books, Lit Up and Reclaiming Conversation, respectively, and join in discussion about these and other questions most urgent to our time.

Please join us. Sponsored by the BFS Preschool and Lower School, this event will be open to the public. Childcare will be provided for BFS families. Please sign up before Tuesday (2/16) at 4pm with Cheryl at the front desk.


denby book   turkle book


More About the Books and Authors

In his new book, Lit Up, David Denby embeds in a tenth-grade English class in a  demanding New York public school for an entire year and makes frequent visits to a troubled inner-city school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester County. His dramatic narrative traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great literature.

David Denby


David Denby is the author of Great Books, American Sucker, Snark, and Do the Movies  Have a Future? He is a staff writer and former film critic for The New Yorker, and his reviews and essays have appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and New York magazine (where he was film critic from 1978 to 1998), among other places. He lives in New York City with his wife, writer Susan Rieger, and is a BFS grandparent.

Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Reclaiming Conversation argues that we must come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us. Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years, and was long an enthusiast for its possibilities. Here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity. But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures.



Sherry Turkle has spent the last 30 years studying the psychology of people’s relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. A licensed clinical psychologist, she is the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Turkle is the author five books and three edited collections, including a trilogy of three landmark studies on our relationship with digital culture: The Second Self, Life on the Screen, and Alone Together. A recipient of a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, she is a featured media commentator. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.