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Harvard Book Store Virtual Event: Cecily Strong

August 10, 2021 @ 8:00 pm


August 10, 2021
8:00 pm
Event Category:


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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presenting This Will All Be Over Soon: A Memoir
in conversation with CHANEL MILLER

Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes actress, comedian, and Saturday Night Live cast member CECILY STRONG for a discussion of her debut memoir, This Will All Be Over Soon. She will be joined in conversation by CHANEL MILLER, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award–winning memoir, Know My Name. This event is co-presented by our indie bookseller partners Politics and Prose, Books & Books, and Semicolon Bookstore.


All tickets include a hardcover copy of This Will All Be Over Soon.

Books bundled with tickets will be shipped out after the event. Please note: we are unable to ship internationally.

About This Will All Be Over Soon

Cecily Strong had a special bond with her cousin Owen. And so she was devastated when, in early 2020, he passed away at age thirty from the brain cancer glioblastoma. Before Strong could attempt to process her grief, another tragedy struck: the coronavirus pandemic. Following a few harrowing weeks in the virus epicenter of New York City, Strong relocated to an isolated house in the woods upstate. Here, trying to make sense of Owen’s death and the upended world, she spent much of the ensuing months writing. The result is This Will All Be Over Soon—a raw, unflinching memoir about loss, love, laughter, and hope.

Befitting the time-warped year of 2020, the diary-like approach deftly weaves together the present and the past. Strong chronicles the challenges of beginning a relationship during the pandemic and the fear when her new boyfriend contracts COVID. She describes the pain of losing her friend and longtime Saturday Night Live staff member Hal Willner to the virus. She reflects on formative events from her life, including how her high school expulsion led to her pursuing a career in theater and, years later, landing at SNL.

Yet the heart of the book is Owen. Strong offers a poignant account of her cousin’s life, both before and after his diagnosis. Inspired by his unshakable positivity and the valuable lessons he taught her, she has written a book that—as indicated by its title—serves as a moving reminder: whatever challenges life might throw one’s way, they will be over soon. And so will life. So make sure to appreciate every day and don’t take a second of it for granted.

Praise for This Will All Be Over Soon

“I really liked Cecily Strong before, from her work on SNL. But after reading This Will All Be Over Soon, I want to be president of her fan club. This is a brilliant book: funny, of course—but also poignant, lyrical, searing. Not only is it difficult to put it down; it’s impossible to forget.” —Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Half a Life and The Queen of Tuesday

“With wit and heart and honesty and conversational approachability, this book is an intimate portrait of a very funny person’s very sad year. Her cousin Owen was a gift to this world, and so is this tribute to him. I laughed and cried, sometimes at the same time. This book is like splitting a bottle of wine and weeping with Cecily Strong, my dream scenario.” —Bess Kalb, bestselling author of Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A true (as told to me) story

This Will All Be Over Soon is a radically intimate memoir of love and grief, its narrative stitched together from journal entries, personal anecdotes, even text messages. Cecily Strong’s comedic impulse comes through in her storytelling, but the heart of this book is her vulnerability and brave willingness to see her life clearly, to speak her own truth, and ‘to keep [her] grief as full of love as possible.’ As she writes, ‘the worst year of your life could turn out to be the best year of your life.’ That’s something we all need to hear right now.” —Maggie Smith, author of Goldenrod and the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change