Tonight’s author is Shehan Karunatilaka, whose debut novel about cricket and history and Sri Lanka just earned him the Commonwealth Prize. The book sounds amazing, a little like The Art of Fielding but with less academia and flatter sticks and, like, trying to knock over a stake or something? I’m unsure. Anyhow Karunatilaka himself assures us
“If you’ve never seen a cricket match; if you have and it has made you snore; if you can’t understand why anyone would watch, let alone obsess over this dull game, then this is the book for you.”
Also there will be drinks and snacks.
That’s right, we are using handsome young bearded authors and cake to bring you to our events. We are without shame. See you at seven.
Hey, let’s talk about events. We have two you should know about. I mean, you could probably live a long and fulfilling life without knowing about them. Should is a pretty strong word. Don’t let me tell you what to know. Then again, I don’t know, these seem like they are going to be great, the sort of events that might shake you up a bit. The sort of events that might be remembered. Maybe one day your child with a weirdly detailed knowledge of literary events in downtown New York in the second decade of the twenty-first century [that will never not sounds like the future to me] will ask you where you were when these events went down and then what will you say? At home? Sitting somewhere with a faceful of pho that is satisfying for the first few bites but then is really way too much hot broth and you begin to feel gross but you already paid for it so you’re going to just eat it and regret it on your sad train ride home while somebody at the end of the car shouts about Jesus or whatever? You should come, is my point.
Tonight, Wednesday 5/30 at 7pm we host Austin Kleon, artist, poet, almostdad and author of the new Steal Like an Artist. He’ll be here talking about creativity and curation with Maris Kreizman of Slaughterhouse 90210 fame, critic and litblogger Maud Newton and Maria Popova of Brainpicker. A large slice of the bookish reaches of the internet will be in our store, basically.
Thursday, 5/31 at 7pm, three incredible and often incredibly strange writers join us. We’ll be hosting Brian Evenson, in my mind one of the great and certainly most prolific American story writers of our time, with Brad Morrow, Pushcart and O Henry winning author and editor of the essential litmag Conjunctions, and Tim Horvath, whose debut collection Understories is full of the best sort of weird. I’ve been looking forward to this one for months.
I’ll see you there. Don’t let your strange futurekid down.
This week, as with every week, we have some great events lined up for you. Or, well, for us. We mostly schedule these things for our own enjoyment. It’s a nice surprise if other people come, I guess, and nicer still if they decide to buy books, but I try not to plan for it. Just me alone in a room in a single folding chair, is always what I imagine, clapping slowly, waving my arm trying to be called on for questions. But on to the list!
*Dave Hill and Ira Glass will be hanging out in front of microphones and an audience. I will be hanging out alphabetizing the russian novelists, probably. But we will both be in the same building so ‘with’ is fair, right? Right?
Wednesday, 7pm: The formidable Maud Newton just twoted: “Can’t wait to talk superstition, Carolina parakeets, and wartime atrocities with Ron Rash (The Cove, Serena) at @mcnallyjackson Wed night.” She can’t wait. And neither can you wait, to hear them, now that you know that it’s happening.
Tonight, 7pm: It just occurred to me, even though she’s a big time store favorite regular customer, that I’ve never heard Molly Crabapple say “Crabapple”—and maybe she pronounces it like Mrs. Crabapple from the Simpsons. Except I just googled it, and she’s Krabappel. If you come tonight, which you should, don’t ask Molly that.
Wednesday, 7pm: Real Characters—our regular hilarity bomb for your face—is back with God, or rather David Javerbaum, plus Cambri Crews, Blaise Allysen Kearsley, and Shelly Gossman.
Thursday, 7pm: I liked writing the events copy for Peter Cameron’s Coral Glynn because I got to use the word “manse.” Why use “mansion” when you can use “manse”? Answer: Use manse. And get a load of this Justin Torres blurb for Forgotten Country: “I was left utterly devastated by the wonder and heartbreak captured in these pages. Forgotten Country is overflowing with folktales and family secrets, with American and Korean traditions, with haunting prose and mathematical beauty. Here is a book to cherish, and to celebrate. When I finished the last page I made a promise to myself to be more fearless and fierce with my love; it’s that kind of book.”
Monday (that’s tonight), 7pm: The Bridge is our ongoing series about literature in translation—near and dear to our hearts, this series is. This time it’s about translating from the Japanese: Michael Emmerich, who puts Banana Yoshimoto (among others) into American, and Ted Goossen, one of the forces behind Monkey Business, are here.
Tuesday, 7pm: Hari “The Funzru” Kunzru is here to talk about Gods Without Men. BYOUFO.
Wednesday, 7pm: We got the old Groff-Bergman double whammy. Birds of Lesser Arcadia. Arcadias of a Lesser Bird. Barcadia of a Lesser Paradise (that’s a bar in West Bushwick).
Your week at McNally Jackson is short, except for all those times you’re going to come and sit in our extremely pleasant cafe which has its windows open because Sarah McNally says winter is over:
Tonight: Eleanor Henderson is here, and Guy Gugliotta is there.
Wednesday: Real Characters—the monthly comedy bonanza or “comanza” that happens here, well, every month—is back, this time with Simon Doonan, Mike Doughty, Jullianne Smolinski (aka @boobsradley), Steve Zimmer and Cole Nissan.
Tonight!: Dueling bookclubs! The brand new essay book club will be discussing Pulphead. Is it pronounced “pullfeed”? Find out tonight! (It’s not, you guys, duh.) Sarah’s literature club will be talking about Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, which we are wholly responsible for putting into innumerable hands from here to Greenpoint. Probably.
Tonight!: Granta shows up to talk about Exit Strategies.
Tomorrow: I joked, while Dustin was building our Valentine’s Day display, that we should have all these lovely red love books about love and smooching, and then next to it, on a bare table, one lonely copy of Singular Pleasures. That has nothing to do with tomorrow’s event, which is in Spanish.
Wednesday: A conversation on Black Cool with Rebecca Walker, Margo Jefferson, and Miles Marshall Lewis.
Thursday: Stewart O’Nan will be here talking about his new novel, The Odds, which is about gambling and love. Also Niagara Falls. He’ll be talking to Ed Champion.