Critical Books Events in NYC: September is the month for new beginnings
Even though March is the considered month that spring starts, a season of birth and rebirth, perhaps it's September that is the real month for new beginnings -- at least in the literary world. From debuts to emerging writers to new sites to see, September surely has all of the hallmarks of a fresh start with these events.
Always known for its eclecticism, the Franklin Park Reading Series has certainly struck again with their theme-of-the-month, "Disorientation", and a line-up highlighting the genre-bending Brian Evenson (Fugue State) and the tender realist Joshua Henkin (Matrimony). Also featured are debut novelists Kathleen Alcott (The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets) and Courtney Elizabeth Mauk (Spark), as well as Critical Mob's own newbie intern J.E. Reich (excuse my fit of shameless promotion). Oh, and a $4 draft special? So there.
Okay, okay, we know that Zadie Smith also has a reading booked for this night, but how often do you get to see Ms. Pretty in Pink herself read from her debut fiction collection When it Happens to You -- which the Washington Post calls "gut-wrenching...an emotional drama"? Paired with the delightful Emma Straub (or, as many call her, "The Nicest Writer on Twitter"), who has just released her first novel Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, this event promises to do nothing but please.
New York is a city with a famous writer on every corner, and it's easy for new and emerging writers to get lost in the shuffle. Enter the Renegade Reading Series in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, which exclusively showcases budding talents. Curated by Catherine Elizabeth Harper and hosted in the community space LaunchPad, this series packs a wallop with poets, performers, and fictionauts of all shapes and sizes (this month's line-up includes Sonja Sharp, David Olesky, Akinfe Fatou, and Kashana Cauley, among others). A few other perks include free wine and treats baked by Harper herself. If you're looking for an intimate atmosphere chock-full of enthusiasm and sugar, Renegade is the place for you.
With the release of Telegraph Avenue, his first novel since the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, Michael Chabon will host a book-signing at the popular Barnes and Noble chain. Described as "a NorCal Middlemarch," Telegraph Avenue is about two co-owners of an independent record store located in Berkeley, CA who take on an ex-NFL megastore tycoon (Empire Records, anyone?). With one of the most important writers of our generation at the helm, this event is not to be missed.
No event list for September is complete without the notorious Brooklyn Book Festival. A New York literary staple for seven years running, the BBF features a number of "bookend events," including screenings, author appearances, and parties, culminating in an expansive street fair in Brooklyn Heights. A number of old hands (such as Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, Edwidge Danticat, Colson Whitehead, and Leela Corman) will be making appearances and leading panel discussions, along with a bevvy of new talents (Rivka Galchen, Danielle Evans, and others). Welcome to lit-nerd paradise.
Read on, lit-niks!
|Banned Books Virtual Read-Out at Brooklyn Book Festival 2011 -- Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"|