Justin Taylor and Jess Row Talk About Place

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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 | 1 views

Justin Taylor’s new collection of stories, Flings, traverses the globe with disconnected characters. Jess Row’s new novel, Your Face in Mine follows the story of Kelly Thorndike’s return to his hometown of Baltimore where he meets a former childhood friend who has undergone racial reassignment surgery, becoming a black man. The two met up at […]

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Vanessa Manko reads The Invention of Exile with Salman Rushdie

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 | 149 views

Vanessa Manko and Salman Rushdie discuss her debut novel, the invention of Exile at Powerhouse books in Brooklyn

Vanessa Manko’s debut novel, The Invention of Exile, explores the life of a man in exile. Russian national Austin Voronkov is deported from the United States during the first red scare and spends a lifetime trying to return. Manko launched the book, with help from H.I.P. Lit, at Powerhouse Arena, discussing the novel and what it means to be American with Salman Rushdie.

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Matthew Thoms Reads We Are Not Ourselves

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 | 222 views

Matthew Thomas reads We Are Not Ourselves

Matthew Thomas read from his debut novel We Are Not Ourselves, an family novel based around Irish immigrants in New York City, at BookCourt in Brooklyn. Thomas was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, but he says his grandmother lived in an apartment in Brooklyn not far from BookCourt until the 1990s. Then she paid, he estimated, a mere $170 a month. In college at the time, he had begged his family to hold onto the apartment. Now he figures the apartment is probably closer to $4,000. “Brooklyn is so different in general,” he muses.

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Solitude and the Proximity to Infinite Things

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | 396 views

One of the worst things in the world is when I decide that it is now— this instant— a perfect time to sing. The song is “Cuckoo.” The song is warm, short and sweet. Heated honey roasted peanut butter in a warm bowl. It is solitary. As it plays, nostalgia boils inside my body, caves […]

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In Defense of Rejection

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 | 1,362 views

Rejection has always been a part of being a writer, of being an artist. There is something heroic in the idea of the writer who persists in the face of crushing rejection, and it’s perhaps why famous writers seem to love talking about the rejection they suffered before finally breaking through.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King describes using a railroad spike to pin his numerous rejection letters to the wall. Sylvia Plath’s surprisingly optimistic take on rejection letters was that they “show me I try,” while Isaac Asimov said that they “are lacerations of the soul…but there is no way around them.” Writers bond over rejection like soldiers in trenches. In “The Eleventh Draft,” an essay published in a collection of the same name, novelist and short story writer Chris Offutt describes his goal as an MFA student at the University of Iowa of accumulating a hundred rejection letters in a year. Rejection, because it was inevitable, became a badge of honor.

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Mark Chiusano Reads Marine Park with Dave Daley

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | 413 views

Mark Chiusano and Dave Daley discuss the story collection Marine Park

Mark Chiusano’s debut collection of stories, Marine Park, chronicles the lives of the often overlooked Brooklyn neighborhood by the same name. The characters populating Chiusano’s world sometimes leave, but in the end, all are tied to the place. Salon editor Dave Daley joined Chiusano at McNally Jackson Books for a discussion of the collection, the neighborhood, and Brooklyn.

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Marie-Helene Bertino Launches 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 | 359 views

Marie-Helen Bertino launched her debut novel,2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas last night at Greenlight Bookstore

Marie-Helene Bertino launched her debut novel, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas last night at Greenlight Bookstore. Vintage jazz band Lapis Luna began the evening setting the mood for Bertino’s novel that takes place in The Cat’s Pajama’s, a Philadelphia jazz club. Bertino, who previously published the short story collection Safe as Houses (2012), celebrated the novel’s launch with a reading that included a dozen guest readers each sharing a portion of the opening chapter.

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Brick City Speaks, So Listen Up

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Monday, August 4th, 2014 | 632 views

Brick City Speaks, a Newark, New Jersey reading series

Although we often focus on New York City’s literary scene, countless events occur elsewhere. Newark, New Jersey is home to Brick City Speaks (BCS), a new series hosted on the second Monday of every month, one of many exciting readings that take place in that city. Like other Newark series, BCS creates a community for writers and linguaphiles. BCS also links the students and instructors of Rutgers University with the City of Newark. BCS takes place in Hell’s Kitchen Lounge, located on Lafayette Street, concurrent with Margarita Monday. Hell’s Kitchen is a popular bar in Newark and frequently hosts various events, including comedy and burlesque shows. It was an ideal choice for reading series co-founders, Ines Lopes and Marina Carreira.

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