Citywide Blackout

Anne Whitney Pierce takes us to Cambridge in the 1960s in new book

May 21, 2022

Author Anne Whitney Pierce has called Cambridge home for her entire life, and over the years has seen a lot happen in the 02138 zip code. In her new book, “Down To The River,” we see the lives of Boston elite as they begin to fade into obscurity. Stuck in a powerfully dysfunctional family, their children enter the world of Harvard Square at the height of the Vietnam era. As they cling together for comfort and support, they are pulled by the Cambridge undertow as politics, sex, drugs and rock and roll sound their siren call.


Anne has so many stories of Cambridge to share and in this episode, we see what the area was like—both through the eyes of the teenager she was then and the person she is now. Anne takes us through the character creation and how the environment of one of Boston's most notable neighborhoods shaped them. We look at what it's like to write for the market and how that can pose a challenge when it comes time to decide what the story will be.

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