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March 2015 Events

Tuesday, March 3, at 7pm
A Celebration of Sybille Bedford’s A Legacy

 A Legacy, by the late Sybille Bedford, is the tale of two very different families-one Jewish, from Berlin’s upper bourgeoisie, the other landed Catholic aristocracy-whose fortunes will be strangely, and sometimes fatally, entwined. Set in Germany before the First World War, A Legacy is the book Nancy Mitford called, “One of the very best novels I have ever read.” Bedford’s masterwork now finds new life in a NYRB Classics edition. Brenda Wineapple, who wrote the introduction to A Legacy, will be in conversation with Daniel Mendelsohn.

Thursday, March 12, 7pm
Norman Manea in conversation with Edward Hirsch
Acclaimed Romanian writer Norman Manea introduces three characters in Captives, his 1970 masterwork finally translated into English: an alienated piano teacher, an engineer reflecting on his youth, and a suffering veteran of World War II. Narrated with kaleidoscopic complexity, Captives explores the loss of identity, complicated feelings of guilt, and the social and psychological conditions of postwar Romania. In conversation with Edward Hirsch.


Tuesday, March 17, 7pm

J.C. Hallman in conversation with Paul LaFarge

B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal is JC Hallman’s description of his engagement with the writing of the complicated and controversial Nicholson Baker. Baker, not coincidentally, broke the ground for books like Hallman’s in U and I, describing Baker’s own, sometimes difficult engagement with the work of John Updike. In conversation with novelist Paul LaFarge.



Brooklyn By the Book
Thursday, March 19 at 7:30pm at Congregation Beth Elohim
Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with John Freeman

Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried Giant is an Arthurian tale, mythic and mysterious, a reflection on love, aging, courage, and the rewards and punishments of memory. In the first novel in a decade from the Booker Prize-winning author of Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, a mist has settled over medieval Britain, making it impossible to remember anything more than fragments of the past. The elderly couple Axl and Beatrice, tantalized and tormented by these bits of memory, set off on a journey that turns into an heroic trek to find the son they barely remember. John Freeman joins him in conversation.

Tickets are $15 ($12 for BPL and CBE members) which can be redeemed in full for (1) copy of The Buried Giant. Purchase tickets here.



Saturday, March 21, 4pm
Gotham: New York City’s Best Writers: Phil Klay
Brooklyn Public Library

In 2014, Phil Klay‘s short story collection Redeployment was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize and won the National Book Award for Fiction.  He was also named a National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35′ honoree. His story ‘Redeployment’ was originally published in Grantland and is included in Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. His writing has appeared in The New York Times,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Tin House, and elsewhere. He joins Gotham series host Rob Spillman at Brooklyn Public Library for a reading and discussion of his work. RSVP here.


delicious foods

Sunday, March 22, 1pm
Reinventing the Southern Gothic: James Hannaham
Brooklyn Public Library

In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Held captive by her employers-and by her own demons-on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival. RSVP here.


Tuesday, March 24, 7pm
Joel Agee

Who should we look to for guidance? Man or God? Joel Agee discusses his new translation of Prometheus Bound, attributed (though hotly debated) to Aeschylus (525-456 BC). Considered the starkest and strangest of the classic Greek Tragedies, Prometheus Bound famously tells how Prometheus is shackled and tortured for giving the gift of fire to man and thwarting Zeus’s decision to exterminate the human race. Though his pain is unceasing, Prometheus refuses to recant his commitment to humanity.


Thursday, March 26, 7pm
David Shields in conversation with Amy Fusselman
Rescheduled from January!

In I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, David Shields and Caleb Powell retreat into a cabin for four days to argue about art and the merits of their respective life choices: as a writer and professor (Shields), and as a stay-at-home dad (Powell). The result is a provocative examination of ego, power, intellectual pursuit, and other of life’s large questions. Shields will be joined by author Amy Fusselman.


Friday, March 27, 7pm

Thomas Pierce in conversation with Halimah Marcus

Bone collectors, woolly mammoths, and endangered species ooze from the primordial soup in Thomas Pierce’s short story collection, The Hall of Small Mammals (a reference to the gallery at the Museum of Natural History). Pierce’s stories delve into our wonder at both the absurdity of existence and the animals of the world, living and extinct. In conversation with Electric Literature‘s Halimah Marcus.

April 2015 Events


Tuesday, April 14 at 7pm
Jeffrey Rotter in conversation with Hannah Tinti

In his darkly comic second novel, The Only Words Worth Remembering, Jeffrey Rotter explores a near-future America where human knowledge has devolved to a Pre-Copernican state. The trouble-making Van Zandt family must flee from the law against this dystopian backdrop where science and religion are diminished to fairy tales, and earth once again occupies the lonely center of the universe.  In conversation with novelist and One Story editor-in-chief Hannah Tinti.


Euphoria by Lily King cover

Wednesday, April 15 at 7pm
Lily King in conversation with Stephanie Valdez

Lily King’s beautifully constructed novel, Euphoria, tells the story of three gifted young anthropologists and the love triangle that threatens their bonds, careers, and ultimately, their lives. The winner of the first annual Kirkus Prize for Fiction was inspired by the life of Margaret Mead. She will be in conversation with Community Bookstore co-owner Stephanie Valdez.


jazz palace

Thursday, April 16 at 7:30pm
A Jazz Age Party for Mary Morris’s The Jazz Palace

Don your best flapper wear for a Jazz Age-themed book party for Mary Morris’s The Jazz Palace, a novel about the high hopes and heartbreak of Chicago’s jazz scene in the roaring twenties. Festivities marking the launch of Morris’s 13th book include costumes, drinks, and music.



Saturday, April 18 at 7pm
Brooklyn Public Library

Gotham: New York City’s Best Writers: Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty discusses The Sellout, a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. The novel challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. RSVP here.



Wednesday, April 22 at 7pm
Congregation Beth Elohim
Brooklyn By the Book presents Christopher McDougall

Christopher McDougall, who famously described Native-Mexican ultra-marathoners in Born to Run, turns his gaze to Crete and daring World War II resistance fighters in Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance. McDougall’s new book is both a thrilling story and a description of what it takes physically and mentally to attempt the heroic. Tickets are on sale soon!



Friday, April 24 at 7pm
Maureen Gibbon in conversation with Brigid Hughes

Maureen Gibbon’s Paris Red tells the story of Victorine Meurent, a poor young woman who becomes Édouard Manet’s favorite model and muse. Victorine is awakened to the beauty of the artist’s world at the same time that she is exposed to the penchant for scandal in Parisian society in the mid-19th century. In conversation with A Public Space editor Brigid Hughes.



Monday, April 27 at 7pm
Jón Gnarr

Jon Gnarr, author of The Indian, is not just an actor and comedian but also the ex-mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland, elevated to office in 2010 in an electoral upset as the candidate of the satirical Best Party. The Indian is Gnarr’s memoir about his chaotic childhood as a bullied young boy once diagnosed as severely mentally retarded.



Tuesday, April 27 at 7pm
Congregation Beth Elohim
Lawrence Wright in conversation with George Packer

Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David is a gripping narrative of how peace was forged in 1978 between the bitter enemies Israel and Egypt. Lawrence Wright, author of Going Clear and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, draws vivid portraits of a persistent president and his Israeli and Egyptian guests, all within the context of the complex issues underlying conflict in the Middle East. In conversation with New Yorker writer George Packer. Tickets are on sale soon!



Thursday, April 30 at 7pm
A Celebration of Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages In A Hurry

The nine stories in Time Ages in a Hurry, by the late, celebrated Italian writer Anthony Tabucchi, are imaginative inquiries into things hidden or disguised. Each protagonist must confront phantoms from the past, misguided beliefs, and puzzles of identity. With translators Martha Cooley, author of The Archivist, and Antonio Romani.