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  • THE TENDER HOUR OF TWILIGHT, by Richard Seaver

    Join us for an evening of tribute to legendary editor, translator and publisher, Richard Seaver. Richard Seaver was at the center of literary life in 1950s Paris, establishing the magazine Merlin, and publishing Eugene Ionesco and Jean Genet. He championed Samuel Beckett in an essay that got the …

    Join us for an evening of tribute to legendary editor, translator and publisher, Richard Seaver.

    Richard Seaver was at the center of literary life in 1950s Paris, establishing the magazine Merlin, and publishing Eugene Ionesco and Jean Genet. He championed Samuel Beckett in an essay that got the attention of Barney Rosset, the editor of Grove Press, which helped bring Beckett to American audiences. It also got Seaver a job at Grove. The book follows Seaver from Paris to New York when, as a top editor at Grove Press in the 1960s, he went on to publish books with content that challenged censorship laws— including William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn Son; and the French erotic novel The Story of O, written under a pseudonym. Seaver died in 2009 and The Tender Hour of Twilight is his memoir, condensed by his wife from 900 pages of notes he wrote over the course of his life.

    “It was Seaver who manned the barricades so that the rest of us could read. He was also, as anyone who reads The Tender Hour of Twilight will discover, quite a formidable writer himself.”—Jane Kramer

    “This book reminds us how much Dick Seaver is missed, and lucky we—publishers, writers, readers, literature itself—were to have had him in our lives. The Tender Hour of Twilight is as fascinating, as insightful, and as generous as the man himself.”—Daniel Okrent

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  • Andre Dubus III in conversation with John Burnham Schwartz

    Townie: A Memoir, by Andre Dubus III I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures, than "Townie." It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers,…

    Townie: A Memoir, by Andre Dubus III

    I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures, than "Townie." It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers, Andre Dubus III and his famous, much revered father. You'll never read the work of either man in quite the same way afterward. You may not view the world in quite the same way either.—Richard Russo, author of "Empire Falls."

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  • Reinventing the Past

    Chris Adrian, Catalin Dorian Florescu, Inka Parei and Linda Stift in conversation with Daniel Kehlmann Literature is often a delving into the past, made all but involuntary because the past has returned to haunt the present. Whether the history in question is familial, political or ancient, traces…

    Chris Adrian, Catalin Dorian Florescu, Inka Parei and Linda Stift in conversation with Daniel Kehlmann

    Literature is often a delving into the past, made all but involuntary because the past has returned to haunt the present. Whether the history in question is familial, political or ancient, traces of old trauma can cast the present in a new light. This panel explores the different ways in which the past can be put to work in the name of storytelling.

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  • Reading: Kevin Rashid Johnson’s “Defying the Tomb” Featuring John “Mac” Gaskins

    Soledad Brother-esque, “Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin Rashid Johnson” is a collection of letters between revolutionary New Afrikan prisoner Johnson and a fellow prisoner, Outlaw, as well as essays written by Johnson discussing Marxism and Maoism, the Five-Percenters, …

    Soledad Brother-esque, “Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin Rashid Johnson” is a collection of letters between revolutionary New Afrikan prisoner Johnson and a fellow prisoner, Outlaw, as well as essays written by Johnson discussing Marxism and Maoism, the Five-Percenters, Dialectical Materialism, Dead Prez, Capitalism, Racism, Imperialism, Class Struggle, and more. Johnson’s book will be read by John “Mac” Gaskins was in a neighboring cell with Johnson, and was recently released from the tombs of Wallins Ridge State Prison in southwest Virginia. Original artwork produced by Johnson will be displayed.

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  • A conversation on Black Cool with Rebecca Walker, Margo Jefferson, and Miles Marshall Lewis

    Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, by Rebecca Walker Black Cool explores the ineffable state and aesthetic of Black Cool. From the effortless reserve of Miles Davis in khakis on an early album cover, to the shock of resistance in black women's fashion from Angela Davis to Rihanna, to …

    Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, by Rebecca Walker

    Black Cool explores the ineffable state and aesthetic of Black Cool. From the effortless reserve of Miles Davis in khakis on an early album cover, to the shock of resistance in black women's fashion from Angela Davis to Rihanna, to the cadence of poets as diverse as Staceyann Chin and Audre Lorde, Black Cool looks at the roots of Black Cool and attempts to name elements of the phenomena that have emerged to shape the global expectation of cool itself. Rebecca Walker, editor of the anthology, will be joined by Margo Jefferson and Miles Marshall Lewis, contributors to the book.

    Rebecca Walker is the author of the memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love and the editor of the anthologies To Be Real, What Makes a Man, and One Big Happy Family. Her writing has appeared in Bookforum, The Washington Post Book World, Newsweek, Glamour, Vibe, and Interview among other publications.

    Margo Jefferson is a New York–based cultural critic. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 and published On Michael Jackson in 2006. She’s written and performed two theater pieces and is working on a second book. She teaches writing at Columbia University and Eugene Lang College. Looking back, she feels she has spent too much time being a Good Negro Girl and not enough being a Willful Negro Eccentric.

    Miles Marshall Lewis has been an editor at Vibe, XXL, and BET and written for the Huffington Post, Salon, Essence, the Believer, and many other publications. He is the author of the novel Irrésistible; a biography on Sly and the Family Stone, called There’s a Riot Goin’ On; and Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don’t Have Bruises, a collection of essays. He lives in Manhattan. Instead of the more predictable Coltrane, Lewis named his youngest son Kalel, after Superman, the last son of Krypton. MML blogs at his site, www. furthermucker.com.

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  • Brandon Downing & Aaron Kunin

    Brandon Downing is a writer and visual artist originally from California. His books of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002) and Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005); a monograph of his literary collages from 1996-2008, Lake Antiquity, was released by Fence Books in late 2009. A long …

    Brandon Downing is a writer and visual artist originally from California. His books of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002) and Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005); a monograph of his literary collages from 1996-2008, Lake Antiquity, was released by Fence Books in late 2009. A long poem, AT ME, is just out from Octopus Books, while his next collection, Mellow Actions, will be published by Fence in 2012. In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of collaged digital shorts, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, with a 2nd volume forthcoming next year. You can see some at www.youtube.com/user/bdown68, along with his photographic and other work at www.brandondowning.org.

    Aaron Kunin is the author of The Sore Throat and Other Poems (Fence Books, 2010). His other books, also from Fence, include a poetry collection, Folding Ruler Star (2005), and a novel, The Mandarin (2008). Grace Period, a collection of aphorisms, sketches, and fragments, is forthcoming. He lives in Los Angeles.

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  • DISCUSSION

    Writers Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet) and Joshua Cohen (Witz) in conversation As audiences anxiously await the release of The Hunger Games film, Marcus and Cohen, two prominent Jewish writers with a taste for the apocalyptic, explore how the Holocaust informs their recent works. $10, $7 …

    Writers Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet) and Joshua Cohen (Witz) in conversation

    As audiences anxiously await the release of The Hunger Games film, Marcus and Cohen, two prominent Jewish writers with a taste for the apocalyptic, explore how the Holocaust informs their recent works.

    $10, $7 students/seniors, $5 members

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  • Kathryn Harrison, Enchantments

    Enchantments is a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire, in St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay …

    Enchantments is a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire, in St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal. Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand. Mesmerizing, haunting, and told in Kathryn Harrison’s signature crystalline prose, Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart.

    Kathryn Harrison is the author of the memoirs The Kiss and The Mother Knot. She is also author of the novels, Envy, The Seal Wife, The Binding Chair, Poison, Exposure, and Thicker Than Water; a travel memoir, The Road to Santiago; a biography, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux; and a collection of essays, Seeking Rapture. She lives in New York City.

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