MTH&M and Winchester Mystery House present THE CHERRY ROBBERS with Sarai Walker and Janan Boehme (VIRTUAL)

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May 26, 2022 • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Mark Twain House & Museum and the Winchester Mystery House are excited to present Sarai Walker on her highly anticipated second novel THE CHERRY ROBBERS – a feminist gothic about the lone survivor of a cursed family of sisters, whose time may finally be up. Sarai is joined in conversation by Janan Boehme, historian for the famous Winchester Mystery House. Please note that this program is at 7pm EST.  

New Mexico, 2017: Sylvia Wren is one of the most important American artists of the past century. Known as a recluse, she avoids all public appearances. There’s a reason: she’s living under an assumed identity, having outrun a tragic past. But when a hungry journalist starts chasing her story, she’s confronted with whom she once was: Iris Chapel. 

Connecticut, 1950: Iris Chapel is the second youngest of six sisters, all heiresses to a firearms fortune. They’ve grown up cloistered in a palatial Victorian house, mostly neglected by their distant father and troubled mother, who believes that their house is haunted by the victims of Chapel weapons. The girls long to escape, and for most of them, the only way out is marriage. But not long after the first Chapel sister walks down the aisle, she dies of mysterious causes, a tragedy that repeats with the second, leaving the rest to navigate the wreckage, to heart-wrenching consequences. 

Ultimately, Iris flees the devastation of her family, and so begins the story of Sylvia Wren. But can she outrun the family curse forever? 

FREE virtual event, although donations are gratefully accepted. Donations will be split evenly between The Mark Twain House & Museum and the Winchester Mystery House. REGISTER HERE. 

Copies of THE CHERRY ROBBERS signed by the author are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so. 



Sarai Walker is the author of THE CHERRY ROBBERS (May 2022) and DIETLAND (May 2015). DIETLAND has been published in more than a dozen countries and was adapted as a television series for AMC.  

Sarai has lectured on feminism and body image internationally and has spoken about these topics widely in the media. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and elsewhere, and she worked as a writer and editor on an updated version of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from the University of London. 


A lifelong love affair with Sarah Winchester’s amazing mansion led Janan Boehme to her current position as Historian and Special Projects Specialist at the famous Winchester Mystery House. Leading tours of the eccentric residence in the late 70s, Janan’s road to her current post was not a direct one. As a foreign language major, she spent time working and studying in Germany, France, and Belgium and later sharpened her communication skills as a financial writer and editor for The Benham Group and American Century Investments. But time and again, Sarah’s house has drawn her back, and she feels that her job as Historian— researching and sharing Sarah Winchester’s story and helping to restore and preserve her legacy, is the perfect fit. Her intimate knowledge of the house over four decades allowed her to create a brand-new tour that debuted in 2017 and explores large portions of the mansion never before seen by the public. 


Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from CT Humanities; the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign; The Hartford; The Mark Twain Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and Travelers.


May 26, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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