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This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: Celebrate National Coming Out Day with contributors of THIS IS A BOOK FOR PARENTS OF GAY KIDS: A QUESTION & ANSWER GUIDE FOR EVERYDAY LIFE, featuring Dannielle Owens-Reid, Kristin Russo, Liam Lowery, Broderick Greer, and Jenny Owen Youngs. [Housing Works]

TUESDAY: The Center for Fiction presents Writing Gothic: A Celebration of the Macabre with Edward Carey and Shelley Jackson, moderated by A.N Devers. [Community Bookstore]

WEDNESDAY: Book launch for feminist anthology ICON, featuring Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre) and Kate Zambreno (GREEN GIRL) reading essays about Andrea Dworkin and Kathy Acker. [Bluestockings]

THURSDAY: National Book Award-winning author Alice McDermott will read from her newest work, SOMEONE. [Community Bookstore]

Harper Perenniel’s 50th Anniversary with Roxane Gay, Kate Zambreno, Marcy Dermansky, Simon Van Booy, Darragh McKeon, and Ben Greenman


On Tuesday night I stopped by Housing Works for Harper Perennial’s 50th  anniversary, featuring Roxane Gay, Kate Zambreno, Marcy Dermansky, Simon Van Booy, Darragh McKeon, and author and moderator Ben Greenman. Each brought an “enduring” book with them to share, and it felt rather like a writerly show and tell. It was delightful. I’ve named each book and picked a random choice quote from each author (which may or may not be about their book):

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Hail Beyoncé. Our queen and goddess. Amen. Did you see the concert last night? I mean, goddam.

—Roxane Gay in answer to the panel question: “Beyoncé: discuss.”

This feminist panel—also featuring Leslie Jamison (THE EMPATHY EXAMS) and Elissa Schappell (BUILDING BLUEPRINTS FOR BETTER GIRLS), and moderated by Feminist Press’s Jennifer Baumgardner, was outstanding. Regarding Roxane’s pro-Beyoncé stance, she spoke more about her appreciation of B bringing the topic of feminism to her huge fanbase of younger girls and women. (“It takes guts. Never in history has feminism been a marketing tool. We cannot underestimate the impact.”) Other topics discussed included:

—LEAN IN (Roxane: “I loved it. It’s not for everyone, but why does it have to be? If you’re Jack Welch and you’re publishing all these business books, you’re not thinking about the working class man.”)

—The ”plague of relatability” in both life and fiction

—Whether or not women should have to offer up their personal stories to inspire change (Jennifer, Leslie and Elissa all spoke about the weirdness of talking about their abortions, but also the necessity of destigmatizing them)

—The difficulties of being a female writer (Elissa spoke about being insecure and unable to call herself a writer until Toni Morrison gave her permission)

—Other writers they’re into (Merritt Tierce, Ashley Ford, Rachel Urquhart, Claudia Rankine, Lindsay Hunter, Saeed Jones)

—What they’re feeling hopeful about. (Roxane: “Feminism! Look how many people are in this room.”)


Tumblr Takes The Brooklyn Book Festival!

This Sunday, 9/21, hundreds of authors and plenty of your favorite publishers, bookstores, and librarians will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival. If you can be there, you totally should. But if not, our team of Tumblr Correspondents will be able to make you feel like you are with photos, gifs, drawings, quotes, writing tips, advice, reviews and more.

Follow this ace team at lastnightsreading, bookstalker, pith, yeahwriters, brooklynbook, jenhedonia, brooklynbrooke, and twentysomethingvagabond, or stick to where we’ll post their highlights all day long.

Are you coming too? Share your coverage with the #BKBF tag.

Sweet. I’ve always wanted to be part of an ace team!