Steve Martin frustrated the crowd at the 92nd Street Y earlier this month by disuccsing his new novel, An Object of Beauty, at the expense of what the audience wanted to hear about—his wild and crazy days in show business. He had a considerably better time at a recent appearance on The Colbert Report, a tour-de-force of performance art and comedy featuring artists Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey, and Andres Serrano.
The New Yorker’s Book Bench has a nice roundup of liquor books, just in time for the holidays. We’d add one more to the list: David Wondrich's festive and wry volume Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl.
Laura Albert, the author who made her big splash by posing as a former teen drug-addict and prostitute-tuned-writer named J. T. Leroy, is suing her publisher, Bloomsbury, for blowing “a golden opportunity to promote her work following a 2007 fraud trial.” Though Albert is not known for her honesty, she is apparently very meticulous: She’s asking for $131,573.60.
Graywolf Press will publish a bilingual edition of poetry by 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is currently serving a prison sentence in China for “inciting subversion of state power.”
At the Awl, Miles Klee has almost outdone David Shields. Klee has constructed a surprisingly lucid story—fittingly named “Ibid”—made completely out of sentences from other works; the narrative contains eighty-five footnotes, including sources as diverse as Dante, Susan Sontag, and Jim Thompson.
The blizzard of literary events continues unabated this weekend. Two of the best are n+1’s reading tonight, featuring ten quick appearances by contributors including Caleb Crain, Keith Gessen, and Carla Blumenkranz at Brooklyn’s cozy BookCourt; and Saturday’s Moonlighter Presents series, which “encourages the public presentation of secret hobbies, passions, thoughts, opinions, and research,” with readings by Triple Canopy’s Sam Frank, as well as Sean Tommasi, and Cecily Swanson.