On Saturday, July 24 at 7 p.m., Left Bank Books will host an evening with Richard Russo and Hal Crowther reading from their contributions to the new literary journal, Granta 111: Going Back. The event will be preceded by a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception for the authors at the Carriage House Inn in Searsport from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both events are free and the public is warmly invited.

The latest issue of Granta offers a thematic backward look at ourselves and our world. Camden’s Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russo returns to Left Bank Books to share his autobiographical “High and Dry.” This compelling essay takes him back to his childhood in Gloversville, N.Y., where fine leather gloves were once produced by “men mangled by machines, men slowly poisoned, men killed in accidents.” He recalls his mother’s determination to show him another world, one week spent in the genteel leisure of Martha’s Vineyard, and her fierce insistence that he break free of Gloversville’s dying atmosphere by heading west to college. But his experience of industry-based towns is a powerfully recurrent theme in all his acclaimed novels.

Crowther, whose brilliant essays have won him the H.L. Mencken Award and the National Book Critics Circle Prize, shares his serious concerns about the computer age in “One Hundred Fears of Solitude: The Greatest Generation Gap.” His well-researched essay focuses on the effects of our addictive embrace of technology – the ensuing loss of solitude, leisure, individuality, privacy, quality education, even physical and mental health. As he writes in reference to cell phones, Blackberries and iPods, “No one denies the impact of these devices, or their usefulness … But with truly revolutionary technology no one stops to factor in the human cost.”

Granta was founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University as a periodical of student politics and literary works. It had a long and distinguished history, publishing the early work of such writers as A.A. Milne, Michael Frayn, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. During the 1970s it struggled with dwindling money and mounting apathy, but was rescued in 1979 by a small group of postgraduates who successfully relaunched it as a journal of new writing. Since then, Granta has published many of the world’s finest writers, including Saul Bellow, Bruce Chatwin, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie Bill Bryson and Sadie Smith. Granta has introduced events and topics as diverse as the fall of Saigon, the mythology of the Titanic, adultery, psychotherapy and Chinese cricket fighting.

The evening at Left Bank, 21 East Main St./Route 1, begins at 7 p.m. with an introduction by Granta editor John Freeman, followed by short readings and a chance to have Granta 111 signed by two engaging authors. No tickets are necessary for the event, but space is limited and early attendance is advised.

For more information or to reserve books in advance, call Left Bank Books at 548-6400.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.