Brooklyn

upcoming events

  • Sarah Blake: Naamah

    With the coming of the Great Flood—the mother of all disasters—only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake …

    With the coming of the Great Flood—the mother of all disasters—only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own—questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.

    In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.

    Sarah Blake is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Threepenny Review, Slice, and elsewhere.

    This event is free! Let us know you're coming on Facebook.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Rachel Cline: The Question Authority w/ Lisa Miller

    A middle-aged woman enters into a negotiation with her childhood best friend and confronts the damage done by their eighth grade teacher, who molested them both. Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke—would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her…

    A middle-aged woman enters into a negotiation with her childhood best friend and confronts the damage done by their eighth grade teacher, who molested them both.

    Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke—would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eighth grade teacher Beth's lover or her rapist? Where were the grown-ups? What should justice look like, after so much time has passed? And what can Nora do, now?

    Nora’s memories, and Beth’s, and those of their classmates, their former teacher, and members of his family, bring to light some of the ways we absorb and manage unbearable behavior. From denial to reinvention, self-pity to self-righteousness, endless questioning to intransigent certainty, readers will recognize the ripples sent into the lives of others by one broken man.

    Rachel Cline, author of the novels What to Keep and My Liar, has written for the New York Times, New York, More, SELF, and Tin House magazines, and is a produced screen and television writer. For five years, she was a screenwriting instructor at the University of Southern California and has taught fiction writing at New York University, Eugene Lang College, and Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a resident at Yaddo, a fellow at Sewanee, and a Girls Write Now mentor. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, a few blocks from where she grew up.

    Lisa Miller is a contributing editor at New York magazine, covering politics, culture, education, mental health, parenting, and gender, among other topics. She writes features for the magazine, and regular columns for New York’s women’s site The Cut. She is the former religion columnist for the Washington Post and a former senior editor of Newsweek magazine, and author of Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife. In 2014, she was nominated for a National Magazine Award and featured in Best Magazine Writing, and in 2017 she was on the team that produced the ASME-award winning video "Guns and Empathy." She is a three-time winner of the New York Newswomen's award for feature writing and has won the prestigious Wilbur Award for religion reporting numerous times. She has appeared on MSNBC, CBS This Morning, Nightline, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Colbert Report, among other outlets, and has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, Columbia University, Syracuse University, and Emory University. She graduated from Oberlin College and lives in Brooklyn.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Jennifer Epstein: Wunderland w/ Chris Bohjalian

    nspired by a true story, Jennifer Cody Epstein’s Wunderland is an ambitious, multigenerational saga that crosses decades, borders, and warzones. Drawn together by shared idealism and mutual bookishness, Ilse Fischer and Renate Bauer form a passionate friendship that will be ripped apart by Germany’s…

    nspired by a true story, Jennifer Cody Epstein’s Wunderland is an ambitious, multigenerational saga that crosses decades, borders, and warzones. Drawn together by shared idealism and mutual bookishness, Ilse Fischer and Renate Bauer form a passionate friendship that will be ripped apart by Germany’s race laws—and a shocking betrayal. Three decades later, struggling East Village artist Ava Fisher receives her estranged mother Ilse’s ashes in the mail—along with a trove of unsent letters to a woman named Renate Bauer. It’s a discovery that will launch Ava onto the gritty streets of 1980’s New York City—and on a collision course with a dark revelation about both her mother’s hidden past that will shake her to her very core.

    Hailed as “a devastating tale bound for bestseller lists,” “a vividly written and stark chronicle of Nazism and its legacies” and “an absorbing exploration of friendship, betrayal, and coming to terms with the past” in starred reviews by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, Wunderland draws readers into the lives of complex, flawed characters whose worlds intersect in ways both life-affirming and tragic, right up until the novel’s stunning conclusion. The result is a propulsive, page-turning narrative that deep-dives into the secrets we keep from others, the lies we tell ourselves, and humanity’s potential for both unspeakable evil and immense goodness….and a story that resonates startlingly amid today’s troubled world.

    Jennifer Cody Epstein is the author of the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai, and The Gods of Heavenly Punishment, and winner of the 2014 Asian Pacific Association of Librarians Honor award for outstanding fiction. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Self, Mademoiselle, and many others. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and an MA in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

    Chris Bohjalian is the author of twenty books, including The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. Chris's work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). Chris lives in Vermont and can be found at www.chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads.

    This event is free! Let us know you're coming on Facebook.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Leanne Shapton presents Guestbook: Ghost Stories

    What haunts us? What can’t we let go of? A tennis prodigy collapses after his wins, crediting them to an invisible, not entirely benevolent presence. A series of ghosts appear at their former bedsides, some distraught, some fascinated, to witness their unfamiliar occupants. A woman returns from a …

    What haunts us? What can’t we let go of? A tennis prodigy collapses after his wins, crediting them to an invisible, not entirely benevolent presence. A series of ghosts appear at their former bedsides, some distraught, some fascinated, to witness their unfamiliar occupants. A woman returns from a visit to Alcatraz with an uncomfortable feeling. The spirit of a prisoner has attached himself to you, a friend tells her. He sensed the empathy you had for those men.

    In more than two dozen stories and vignettes accompanied by an evocative curiosity cabinet of artifacts and images—found photographs, original paintings, Instagram-style portraits—Guestbook beckons us through the glimmering, unsettling evidence that marks our paths through life.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Camonghne Felix: Build Yourself a Boat

    “Camonghne Felix is a brilliant writer, thinker, imaginer, builder—a young leader who shifts and opens the possibilities for a more just, better lit world, with each step, each word, each question.” —Kathy Engel This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look…

    “Camonghne Felix is a brilliant writer, thinker, imaginer, builder—a young leader who shifts and opens the possibilities for a more just, better lit world, with each step, each word, each question.” —Kathy Engel

    This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look at what might come after. A view of what floats and what, ultimately, sustains.

    Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.

    Camonghne Felix, M.A. is a poet, a writer, speaker, & political strategist living in New York City. She received an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU, an MFA from Bard College, & has received Fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo & Poets House. Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, was a 2017 University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham & Pollak Prize finalist, a 2017 Fordham University Poets Out Loud semi-finalist, & is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in 2019. The author of the chapbook Yolk, she was recently listed by Black Youth Project as a "Black Girl From the Future You Should Know." Felix's work has been published in BuzzFeed, Poetry Magazine,Apogee, The Offing, the Academy of American Poets website, & more. She's also been featured in New York Women's Foundation Magazine, Brooklyn Poets, Politico, Teen Vogue digital, Huffington Post & more.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Erika Swyler: Light From Other Stars w/ Maris Kreizman

    Erika Swyler: Light From Other Stars w/ Maris Kreizman Thursday May 02 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM Eleven-year-old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In 1986 in Easter, a small Florida Space Coast town, her dreams seem almost within reach—if she can just grow up fast enough. Theo, the scientist…

    Erika Swyler: Light From Other Stars w/ Maris Kreizman

    Thursday May 02 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM

    Eleven-year-old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In 1986 in Easter, a small Florida Space Coast town, her dreams seem almost within reach—if she can just grow up fast enough. Theo, the scientist father she idolizes, is consumed by his own obsessions. Laid off from his job at NASA and still reeling from the loss of Nedda’s newborn brother several years before, Theo turns to the dangerous dream of extending his living daughter's childhood just a little longer. The result is an invention that alters the fabric of time.

    Amidst the chaos that erupts, Nedda must confront her father and his secrets, the ramifications of which will irrevocably change her life, her community, and the entire world. But she finds an unexpected ally in Betheen, the mother she’s never quite understood, who surprises Nedda by seeing her more clearly than anyone else.

    Decades later, Nedda has achieved her long-held dream, and as she floats in antigravity, far from earth, she and her crewmates face a serious crisis. Nedda may hold the key to the solution, if she can come to terms with her past and the future that awaits her.

    Erika Swyler’s writing has appeared in Catapult Story, VIDA, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Her bestselling first novel, The Book of Speculation, was one of BuzzFeed’s 24 Best Fiction Books of 2015, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. She lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and a mischievous rabbit.

    Maris Kreizman has hosted readings and moderated literary panels at various bookstores, conferences, and festivals across the country. She is the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and book (Flatiron Books, 2015) that celebrates the intersection of literature and pop culture. A former book editor (Free Press/S&S) and former editorial director of Book of the Month, she is also an essayist and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, Publishers Weekly, The Ringer, The Toast, The Hairpin, The Cut, Vulture, Glamour, Esquire, GQ, OUT Magazine, and more.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Juliet Grames: The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna w/ Amor Towles

    Juliet Grames: The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna w/ Amor Towles Tuesday May 07 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from …

    Juliet Grames: The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna w/ Amor Towles

    Tuesday May 07 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM

    In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father, Antonio, a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

    When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side by side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

    In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.

    Juliet Grames was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in a tight-knit Italian-American family. A book editor, she has spent the last decade at Soho Press, where she is associate publisher and curator of the Soho Crime imprint. This is her first novel.

    Amor Towles was born and raised in the Boston area. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University. An investment professional for more than twenty years, he now devotes himself full time to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Lara Prior-Palmer: Rough Magic w/ Josephine Rowe

    At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she …

    At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her.

    Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their Jeeps.

    Lara Prior-Palmer was born in London in 1994. She studied conceptual history and Persian at Stanford University. In 2013, she competed in the 1,000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia, sometimes described as the world’s toughest and longest horse race, and became the first woman to win the race, and the youngest person ever to finish. Rough Magic is her first book.

    Josephine Rowe was born in 1984 in Rockhampton, Australia, and grew up in Melbourne. In the United States, her writing has appeared in Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Iowa Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Common, and Freeman’s. She holds fellowships from the Wallace Stegner program in fiction at Stanford University, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the Omi International Arts Center, and Yaddo. She was the winner of Australia’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize in 2016 and has been named one of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists. Her debut novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal, was long-listed for the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award and selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice.

    This event is free! Let us know you're coming on Facebook.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere w/ Mira Jacob

    In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is …

    In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

    Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

    When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

    Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere. Her writing has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. She earned an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about her and her work, visit celesteng.com or follow her on Twitter (@pronounced_ing).

    Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in

    Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to

    Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for

    India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary

    Eagles Prize. It was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus

    Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Tin House, Literary Hub, Guernica, Vogue, the Telegraph, and Buzzfeed, and she has a drawn column on Shondaland. She currently teaches at The New School, and she is a founding faculty member of the MFA Program at Randolph College. She is the co-founder of Pete’s Reading Series in Brooklyn, where she spent 13 years bringing literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to Williamsburg. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, documentary filmmaker Jed Rothstein, and their son.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Rachel Kushner: The Mars Room

    It’s 2003 and Romy Hall, named after a German actress, is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: her young son, Jackson, and the San Francisco of her youth.…

    It’s 2003 and Romy Hall, named after a German actress, is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: her young son, Jackson, and the San Francisco of her youth. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, portrayed with great humor and precision.

    Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room is “wholly authentic…profound…luminous” (The Wall Street Journal), “one of those books that enrage you even as they break your heart” (The New York Times Book Review, cover review)—a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined and “affirms Rachel Kushner as one of our best novelists” (Entertainment Weekly).

    Rachel Kushner is the bestselling author of The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top Ten Book of 2013; Telex from Cuba, a finalist for the National Book Award; and The Mars Room. She lives in Los Angeles.

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Kathleen Alcott: America Was Hard to Find

    Ecuador, 1969: An American expatriate, Fay Fern, sits in the corner of a restaurant, she and her young son Wright turned away from the television where Vincent Kahn becomes the first man to walk on the moon. Years earlier, Fay and Vincent meet at a pilots’ bar in the Mojave Desert. Both seemed poised…

    Ecuador, 1969: An American expatriate, Fay Fern, sits in the corner of a restaurant, she and her young son Wright turned away from the television where Vincent Kahn becomes the first man to walk on the moon.

    Years earlier, Fay and Vincent meet at a pilots’ bar in the Mojave Desert. Both seemed poised for reinvention—the married test pilot, Vincent, as an astronaut; the spurned child of privilege, Fay, as an activist. Their casual affair ends quickly, but its consequences linger.

    Though their lives split, their senses of purpose deepen in tandem, each becoming heroes to different sides of the political spectrum of the 1960s and ’70s: Vincent an icon with no plan beyond the mission for which he has single-mindedly trained, Fay a leader of a violent leftist group whose anti-Vietnam actions make her one of the FBI’s most wanted. With her last public appearance, a demonstration that frames the Apollo program as a vehicle for distracting the American public from its country’s atrocities, Fay leaves Wright to contend with her legacy, his own growing apathy, and the misdeeds of both his mother and his country.

    Born in 1988 in Northern California, Kathleen Alcott is the author of the novels Infinite Home and The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets. Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in Zoetrope: All Story, ZYZZYVA, The Guardian, Tin House, The New York Times Magazine, The Bennington Review, and elsewhere. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award; her short fiction has been translated into Korean and Dutch. She divides her time between New York City, where she teaches fiction at Columbia University, and Vermont, where she serves as a 2018-2019 visiting professor at Bennington College

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
  • Thomas Page McBee: Amateur w/ Darnell Moore

    In this “refreshing and radical” (The Guardian) narrative, Thomas McBee, a trans man, sets out to uncover what makes a man—and what being a “good” man even means—through his experience training for and fighting in a charity boxing match at Madison Square Garden. A self-described “amateur” at masculinity,…

    In this “refreshing and radical” (The Guardian) narrative, Thomas McBee, a trans man, sets out to uncover what makes a man—and what being a “good” man even means—through his experience training for and fighting in a charity boxing match at Madison Square Garden. A self-described “amateur” at masculinity, McBee embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of gender in society, examining sexism, toxic masculinity, and privilege. As he questions the limitations of gender roles and the roots of masculine aggression, he finds intimacy, hope, and even love in the experience of boxing and in his role as a man in the world. Despite personal history and cultural expectations, “Amateur is a reminder that the individual can still come forward and fight” (The A.V. Club).

    “Sharp and precise, open and honest,” (Women’s Review of Books), McBee’s writing asks questions “relevant to all people, trans or not” (New York Newsday). Through interviews with experts in neuroscience, sociology, and critical race theory, he constructs a deft and thoughtful examination of the role of men in contemporary society. Amateur is a graceful and uncompromising look at gender by a fearless, fiercely honest writer.

    Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender man to ever box in Madison Square Garden. He is the author of Amateur and an award-winning memoir, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man, which was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. Thomas’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Pacific Standard, The New York Times, Playboy, and Glamour. He lives in Brooklyn.

    Darnell L. Moore is the head of Strategy and Programs at BreakthroughUS. He is also a columnist at LogoTV.com and NewNowNext.com, and a former editor at large at CASSIUS and senior editor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. His writings have been published in Ebony, Advocate, Vice, Guardian and MSNBC. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University, has taught at New York University, Rutgers, Fordham, and Vassar, and was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2016 and 2018, he was named one of The Root 100, and in 2015 he was named one of Ebony magazine's Power 100 and Planned Parenthood's 99 Dream Keepers. Darnell divides his time between Brooklyn and Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter: @Moore_Darnell

    MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT
Advertisement