Pen Parentis with Julia Fierro, Mira Jacob, David Gilbert, and Jess DeCourcy Hinds
The first thing you notice when you enter a Pen Parentis reading is the wine. There is a LOT of wine.
Which to me signals a wonderful time. After chatting with M.M. De Voe, founder of the series, it became clear that these events are meant to be rather festive—and friendly. M.M., a parent herself, started Pen Parentis after realizing the unique challenges that writer/parents face: juggling writing/kid responsibilities, the difficulties going away for residencies or tours, and the fears that if they write about parenting, they might be deemed mommy (or daddy) bloggers.
On Tuesday night, in a posh space within the Andaz Hotel, four parents gathered to read from their works. I had originally envisioned this as a short post, but everyone’s stories (read and/or related) were just too good not to share…
Chelsea Cain encountered a strange phenomenon after her Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series started coming out. At events, women would approach her to say, quite earnestly, “I find Gretchen Lowell so inspiring.”
I’m back from Montana! Good lord, it’s beautiful there. There are the lush forests, mountains, and rivers, of course, but the hot springs and geysers also make for some crazy, moon-like landscapes. Here are some pix from my stay in Big Sky:
MONDAY: Books Beneath the Bridge: Celebrate the release of Kate Bernheimer’s newest collection: HOW A MOTHER WEANED HER GIRL FROM FAIRYTALES. With Genevieve Valentine (THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB). [WORD, Brooklyn Bridge Park]
TUESDAY: Launch for Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIAN’S LAND. With fellow fantasy writers Michelle Hodkin (the MARA DYER trilogy), Lauren Oliver (BEFORE I FALL and the DELIRIUM trilogy), Margaret Stohl (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES), Erin Morgenstern (THE NIGHT CIRCUS), and Lev’s twin brother Austin Grossman (SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE, YOU). [Greenlight, St. Joseph’s College]
Well this is a heartwarming lit tale: Edan Lepucki’s novel CALIFORNIA debuted at #3 on the NYT bestseller list, after Stephen Colbert showcased it as a way to fight back against Amazon’s recent tactics against Hachette. When on the show, she, in turn, bumped Stephan Eirik Clark’s SWEETNESS #9.
I haven’t yet the book, but it sounds fascinating: in a post-apocalyptic LA, a pregnant couple who’s been surviving in the woods decides to return to (a potentially dangerous) civilization. Last Wednesday, Greenpoint’s WORD hosted the book’s Brooklyn launch. Edan’s hilarious, self-deprecating, and straightshooting Q&A answers made me like her even more.
MONDAY: Franklin Park: Travels and Journey edition. Featuring Emma Straub (THE VACATIONERS), Tiphanie Yanique (LAND OF LOVE AND DROWNING), Courtney Maum (I AM HAVE SO MUCH FUN WITHOUT YOU), Boris Fishman (A REPLACEMENT LIFE), and Aaron Burch (BACKSWING). [Franklin Park]
TUESDAY: Real Characters with Alena Smith (TWEEN HOBO: OFF THE RAILS), Jen Doll (SAVE THE DATE: THE OCCASIONAL MORTIFICATIONS OF A SERIAL WEDDING GUEST), Paul Laudiero (SH*T ROUGH DRAFTS), and George Gordon (Bridgetown Comedy Fest). [McNally Jackson]
WEDNESDAY: Sean Wilsey (MORE CURIOUS, OH THE GLORY OF IT ALL) in convo with editor Matt Weiland. [Greenlight]
MONDAY: Franklin Park with Shane Jones, Porochista Khakpour, Amy Sohn, Julia Fierro, Juliet Escoria, and Edward Kearns. [Franklin Park]
TUESDAY: Alexi Zentner (THE LOBSTER KINGS) in convo with Tea Obreht (THE TIGER’S WIFE). [McNally Jackson]
WEDNESDAY: Flavorwire + Melville House Present: The Legacy of James Agee’s LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, hosted by Elisabeth Donnelly and featuring three writers inspired by Agee’s legacy: Leslie Jamison (THE EMPATHY EXAMS), Scott Korb (LIGHT WITHOUT FIRE), and Jen Percy (DEMON CAMP). [594 Broadway]
THURSDAY: Susan Choi (MY EDUCATION) in convo with Sarah McCarry (DIRTY WINGS). [WORD]
FRIDAY: Genevieve Valentine (THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB) in convo with her editor. [BookCourt]
TUESDAY:To Grad School or Not to Grad School? A panel with Simon Critchley (STAY, ILLUSION!), NYT reporter Amy O’Leary, and Nikil Saval (CUBED: A SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORKPLACE). Moderated by Jessica Loudis, editor of SHOULD I GO TO GRAD SCHOOL? [The Strand]
WEDNESDAY: First installment of Quarterly Conversation, presented by Guernica and Flavorwire and featuring NBA winner Jesmyn Ward (SALVAGE THE BONES) in convo with poet Saeed Jones (PRELUDE TO BRUISE). [594 Broadway]
THURSDAY: Tumblr Writers BEA Party with John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats, forthcoming author of WOLF IN WHITE VAN), Rainbow Rowell (FANGIRL, LANDLINE), and Catherine Lacey (NOBODY IS EVER MISSING). [Housing Works]
FRIDAY: Two-Book Minimum with Dan Wilber and Ross Hyzer, featuring Paul Laudiero (SH*T ROUGHT DRAFTS), Doug Smith (MONTREAL’S JUST FOR LAUGHS), and Robert Dean (NY’s Funniest Competition). [Community Bookstore]
MONDAY: A whole bunch of people will be participating in Graywolf Press’s 40th Anniversary Event, including Leslie Jamison (THE EMPATHY EXAMS), Tracy K. Smith (LIFE ON MARS), and Mary Szybist (INCARNADINE). [Housing Works]
*BONUS*: Senator Elizabeth Warren (A FIGHTING CHANCE) will be at the Strand from 4:30—5:30, pre-Colbert! [Strand]
TUESDAY: On Shirley Jackson: Victor LaValle (THE DEVIL IN SILVER) in convo with Sarah Weinman (TROUBLED DAUGHTERS, TWISTED WIVES). [McNally Jackson]
WEDNESDAY: In convo: Francine Prose (LOVERS AT THE CHAMELEON CLUB, PARIS 1932) and Rivka Galchen (AMERICAN INNOVATIONS). [Center for Fiction]
THURSDAY: Pitchapalooza: American Idol for books, with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, co-founders of The Book Doctors. [WORD]
FRIDAY: An Evening with the One Story Literary Debutantes, hosted by One Story founding editor Hannah Tinti and featuring readings by award-winning debut authors Molly Antopol, Rachel Cantor, Amelia Kahaney, Celeste Ng, David James Poissant, James Scott, and Ben Stroud. [Greenlight]