The MacArthur foundation just named staff favorite Alison Bechdel one of this year’s official geniuses. See this short story at the New Yorker for evidence and proceed to our Graphic Novels section for more.
Authors with real clout forgo the back flap in favor of the whole damn back cover.
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ABOUT INK.ED: Ink.ed is a mixed-genre, citywide MFA reading series, workshop, and anthology. Ink.ed showcases the work of up-and-coming writers from the New York City MFA community alongside the work of more established writers. The aim is to create an inviting and warm atmosphere where ideas may be exchanged beyond the boundaries of individual university campuses, while providing an opportunity for writers to interact with a diverse literary audience. The Ink.edReading Series is unique in that the writers selected to participate will not only represent several writing programs but will represent a diversity of genre to include Non-fiction, Spoken Word Poetry, Fiction, Poetry and experimental forms. We will also be conducting workshops in creative writing, poetry, fiction, photography and screenwriting. WEBSITE: http://www.inkedmfa.com.
Join former New Yorker columnist and preeminent critic Daphne Merkin for a reading from The Fame Lunches, a fearless, darkly observant, refreshingly incautious collection of essays that examines faded icons, famous writers, and our collective fascination with celebrity. Merkin will be joined in conversation by Sasha Weiss, literary editor of newyorker.com.
"Daphne Merkin’s sparkling and unreasonably informed essays are about fame, yes, and lunches, somewhat. Above all, they are strikingly original takes on the human condition."—Woody Allen
Join Joseph O’Neill, author of the acclaimed Netherland, for a reading from his new Booker-nominated novel The Dog, which shifts Netherland's themes of alienation and rootlessness from post 9/11 Manhattan to Dubai. The Dog's narrator is an unnamed New York attorney who flees to the glittering emirate to work as a legal financial factotum for the wealthy Lebanese family of a college friend—and to get over a failed relationship. Weaved into a portrait of Dubai's gauche modernity is a novel of high comedy and dazzlingly compelling intelligence about servitude, loneliness, and cultural dislocation. Tues 9/16, 7pm.
We’re excited to have finally gotten in, after many, many entreaties and much finagling, CHIMURENGA CHRONIC, a pan-African gazette of the “now-now”. Internationally produced, its genesis is South African, with cultural funding from Germany. From their own lips:
"…a publication borne out of an urgent need to write our world differently, to begin asking new questions, or even the old ones anew. When will the new emerge – and if it is already here, how do we decipher it? In which ways do people live their lives with joy and creativity and beauty, sometimes amid suffering and violence, and sometimes perpendicular to it? How do people fashion routines and make sense of the world in the face of the temporariness or volatility that defines so many of the arrangements of social existence here? These questions loom over a contemporary Africa. Yet most knowledge produced on the continent remains heavily reliant on simplistic and rigid categories unable to capture the complexities that inflect so much of contemporary quotidian life here."
So, in addition to a robust book supplement insert, there are thoughtful pieces on Apartheid litigation (and its effects), the “throwing of shit” in protests, “critical futurity”, “philatelic time travel” (and postage stamps) in film, and a profound, blistering piece by Youssef Rakha on events in Egypt. And MORE, MORE, MORE. Read Chimurenga Chronic, do….
By now you know that Peter Mendelsund is visiting us on 9/15 as part of our Conversations on Practice series with Glenn Kurtz. In anticipation, Matt sought him out to ask him a few questions, and Peter graciously obliged. See below what he has to say about how visualize what we read, the humorous mistakes even a terrific designer can make, and what book cover has most grabbed his attention this year.
Join Ben Lerner to celebrate his new novel 10:04—about time travel, art-making, and how baby octopi can help us understand global capitalism. Of the book, Maggie Nelson writes: “A generous, provocative, ambitious Chinese box of a novel, 10:04 is a near-perfect piece of literature, affirmative of both life and art, written with the full force of Lerner’s intellectual, aesthetic, and empathetic powers, which are as considerable as they are vitalizing.” Lerner will be joined in conversation by Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review.