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This Week’s Readings

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]

Cheryl Strayed, Elissa Schappell, and Sweet Soubrette

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Cheryl Strayed has become a bonafide feminist guru.

Last Thursday I waited in line for fifteen minutes at Public Assembly to get into a sold-out Largehearted Lit event featuring Cheryl, Elissa Schappell and musical act Sweet Soubrette. Inside, it was so packed that I could barely make my way to friends.

Sipping drinks, the mostly female and twenty-somethings in the crowd waited with giddy anticipation. They weren’t just there to see an author—they were there to meet someone they felt they already knew. As I mentioned the last time I saw Cheryl, her memoir Wild made even her (male) New York Times reviewer weep. Cheryl has an uncanny ability to connect through her words (see: her collection of advice columns Tiny Beautiful Things) with a combo of searing honesty and an insistence that people lift themselves up.

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This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: LA on the Hudson: A Night of Readings will feature Jim Krusoe (Iceland), Dylan Landis (Normal People Don’t Live Like This), and Janice Shapiro (Bummer and Other Stories). [BOOKCOURT]

TUESDAY: Celebrate Springsteen Night with authors Marc Dolan (Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and Caryn Rose (Raise your Hand: The Adventures of an American Springsteen Fan in Europe). Free Sixpoint beer, holla. [WORD]

WEDNESDAY: John Kenney (Truth in Advertising) will chat with Jami Attenberg (The Middlesteins). [GREENLIGHT]

THURSDAY: Photographer and filmmaker Bill Hayward will discuss his latest book, Bad Behavior, with Coffin Factory editor Laura Isaacman. [HOUSING WORKS]

FRIDAY: Musician Ian Svenonius (The Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up Chain and the Gang) will share tips on forming a kick-ass band from his book True Rock ‘n’ Roll Secrets Revealed. [LE POISSON ROUGE]

Heidi Julavits and Hari Kunzru

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There’s nothing better than going to readings of authors whose prose you admire and finding out that they’re even smarter, cooler, and funnier than their writing suggests. (Something I wish would happen more often in the online dating world…but I digress.) At WORD on Wednesday night, I found this to be true for both authors celebrating their books’ paperback release: Heidi Julavits (The Vanishers/co-editor of The Believer) and Hari Zunzru (Gods Without Men/essayist/social media extraordinaire).

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BookStalked: Jenn Northington of WORD

I went to my first reading in New York (where I awkwardly accosted Jami Attenberg) at WORD about four years ago. These days, I find myself there multiple times a month, due to the event coordinating efforts of Jenn Northington. Both coordinator and bookseller, Jenn has cemented WORD’s reputation as a Brooklyn institution due to the consistently awesome quality of its events. In her “free time,” Jenn co-founded Bookrageous, a Twitter hashtag that has morphed into a popular podcast and site. She also writes for Book Riot, and has quite the following on Twitter. I knew Jenn would have some great tales—but couldn’t have guessed that one of them would involve knife-throwing at a children’s event. More after the jump!

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Sara Levine

Treasure Island!!!

If you had to choose one book to model your life after, what would it be?

The unnamed female protagonist in Sara Levine’s debut novel, Treasure Island!!!, shapes hers after Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic. Though the woman’s friends denigrate it as a book for children—specifically, boys—she argues that it clearly shows how everyone can be separated into two categories: those who work on the ship (pirates, cabin boys), and those who cling to its sides (barnacles).

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This Week’s Readings

So, I just started watching Downton Abbey. Thought you all should know that. Props to my gif-happy friend Kate (and her more Masterpiece Theater-reluctant roomie Brenna) for the screening because after only one episode I’m completely hooked. It’s funny to me that a niche-seeming show could amass such wide appeal (I mean, see Downton Abbeyonce), but Kate made the point: if you make a high-quality, character-driven, intriguing show, people will watch.

Let’s dig into the lit scene this week. There are some great events coming up, including readings by Alan Lightman, Sara Levine, Shalom Auslander, Colson Whitehead and Andre Dubus III.

 

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