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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

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.

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.

February 2015 Book Clubs

Community Bookstore Book Club

Led by Stephanie Valdez

Wednesday, February 11th, 7:30pm

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes


Non-Fiction Book Club

Led by Philipp Goedicke

Monday, February 9th at 7:30 PM

When We Were the Kennedys by Monica Wood