When: Thu., July 25, 7:30 p.m. 2013
“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been,’” Kurt Vonnegut famously wrote in Cat’s Cradle. It’s a sentiment that has particular relevance to Andrew Sean Greer’s fifth book, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. The story opens with the title character, who has just witnessed the death of her beloved twin brother and broken up with a longtime lover, leaving her adrift in a sea of her own depression. After agreeing to undergo a radical psychiatric treatment, she finds herself cycling between her own life and two others: one as a bohemian adulteress in 1918, and another as a devoted mother and wife in 1941. What she discovers is that each reality contains its own unique failures and losses — each an expression of Greta herself — and as she spins a web of her own “what ifs,” she nearly loses herself along the way. Join Greer on Thursday at Mrs. Dalloway’s (2904 College Ave., Berkeley), as he reads from the novel.