Author Colin W. Sargent will read from and discuss his new novel, “The Boston Castrato,” Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Firehouse Gallery, 5 Bristol Road, Damariscotta. Hosted by BookSpeak, a new literary program in Maine, the event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception with the author.

Sargent’s publisher, Barbican Press in the UK, calls the book “a modern classic in the making.”

Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of “Orphan Train,” said “in exuberant and yet precise prose, Colin Sargent conjures a sweeping tale of love, murder and revenge.”

Bookspeak’s founder Nicole Olivier describes the central character of “The Boston Castrato” as “a self-cast entertainer, wishful lover, savior, and server; desperate to outrun an inevitable fate. Heartbroken, he weaves his melancholy way through the lives of others from mobsters to financiers to fellow immigrants and castrati, poets and painters, finding beauty in the eyes of the blind, the transexual, and the lost.”

Sargent is a poet, playwright, novelist and founding editor and publisher of Portland Magazine. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he has an M.F.A. from Stonecoast and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. “Museum of Human Beings” was his first novel. He currently divides his time between the coasts of Maine and Virginia.

BookSpeak is a new literary non-profit organization that celebrates authors and their books, sharing their voices with readers in Maine communities. This event is sponsored in part by First Advisors of Damariscotta. For more information, call Nicole at (207) 350-6823.

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