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Richard Mirabella

4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 29, 2024

Recital Hall, UAlbany Performing Arts Center
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222 

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Free and open to the public. No registration required.

Richard Mirabella is the author of the debut novel, Brother & Sister Enter the Forest (2023), a queer coming-of-age novel about a young man’s relationship with a violent older boyfriend—and how he and his sister survive a terrible crime.

The book was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Washington Post Noteworthy Book, and a Harper’s Bazaar Best New Book of 2023.

The Vulture reviewer said, "Mirabella writes about the strange land between fable and reality…. Part fantastical horror, part road trip narrative… [it’s] an uncanny portrait of the lengths we go to protect the people we love." A member of the UAlbany community, Mirabella works for the University in the High School Program (UHS).


“[A] stunning debut . . . [Mirabella] is a brave writer . . . His prose—which could be described as plain or simple by someone who doesn’t understand its power—is controlled. Mirabella’s sentences ache in their simplicity . . . Mirabella delicately portrays the after effects of trauma, and one of those traumas is a disturbing act of violence that defines the plot. But Mirabella also goes to that brave place: He shows readers the trauma of a mother who is quiet, even patient, in her homophobia. Of classroom bullies who are still around today. Of building a chosen family that disappoints. Of remembering—and not.” —Marissa Higgins, The Rumpus

“[B]y turns contentious and tender . . . A gripping […] meditation on the difficulties of youth and the salvation that can be found in family.” — Publishers Weekly

“There are so many things to love about Richard Mirabella’s outstanding Brother & Sister Enter the Forest but what I love best is its meticulous attention to atmosphere, by which I mean the music of the book, the soul of it, expressed in its incisive descriptions, its cadence, its dark and tender heart. It’s what revives me every time I pick it up, and it will keep me coming back again and again.” — Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

“Told with an incredibly steady hand, this novel dissects a tense sibling relationship. Carefully detangling life-shattering events from the pair’s past, the book manages to look straight at its characters and show the shadows behind them. Like the careful dioramas that the sister makes in her spare time, this book is an exquisite creation, made carefully and precisely.” — Bustle, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year

“By weaving together two timelines, literary star-on-the-rise Richard Mirabella delivers a powerful reckoning with past trauma, and the connections we forge amidst it all.” — Stylecaster

Cosponsored by the University at Albany’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council and the English Department’s Creative Writing Program and Young Writers Project.


(Photo credit: Danielle Stevens

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