Wellesley Historical Society

Join Us for a Free Virtual Book Talk

In Bohemia with Katie Swenson
Thursday, November 12th at 7pm

Join the Wellesley Historical Society on Thursday, November 12 at 7pm for a free virtual book talk on In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness (Schiffer Publishing 2020) by and with Katie Swenson.

Please be sure to grab a copy of the book in advance of this event:

The book is available for purchase at Wellesley Books, on Amazon and at Schiffer Publishing for $24.99. Visit katieswenson.com. 

Advanced registration required. Space limited

About the Book: In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness (Schiffer Publishing 2020)

After raising three girls, Swenson was amazed to find love again. It was years in the making, but all the pieces fell into place. Within a year of dating, Swenson and partner Tommy Niles were building a life and home together, blending lives, dreams, health, design skills, and families. Shortly before their wedding date, Niles died suddenly in her arms. 

This is a story about writing through grief and finding peace in chaos, loss, and sadness. Swenson and Niles were also building their dream home together in the Scarab, formerly the home of Wellesley College faculty Katherine Bates and Katherine Coman. Swenson and Niles uncovered the “two Katies” histories, lives, and loves together as they renovated the home together. 

During 2020, a year of fear, loss, distance, and reflection, Swenson hopes that In Bohemia can provide lessons in how to support each other in grief, mourning, and recovery using writing, or other forms of creativity and curiosity, as therapy. 

About the Author:

Katie Swenson always believed in the home as a place of safety and care, where dreams can flourish and memories are preserved. She credits her mom with this. Through architecture, she wanted to design and provide homes for all. 

After architecture school, Swenson became an Enterprise Rose Fellow. From 2001-2004, Swenson spent her fellowship in Charlottesville, Va., at Piedmont Housing, a regional nonprofit that creates housing and community development opportunities for very low to moderate-income families and individuals. The organization taught financial literacy, home-buying, and homeownership skills, and advocated for affordable housing policies and programs. She was responsible for the design and construction of the 10th and Page Street Neighborhood Revitalization Project, adding 31 new and restored affordable homes to a neighborhood between the University of Virginia and downtown Charlottesville. 

Swenson’s previously authored book is the co-authored, “Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model,” with William Morrish and Susanne Schindler, based on her time and work in Charlottesville. She has also published, “Design with Love: At Home in America” this fall with Schiffer Publishing.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California-Berkeley and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. Swenson was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2018-2019. Swenson taught at the Boston Architectural College and Parsons School of Design at The New School and lectured extensively on sustainable community development and affordable housing. 

For more: katieswenson.com