ZYZZYVA East Coast Celebration
March 9 at 7:00 p.m. at McNally Jackson, 52 Prince Street
The San Francisco-based literary magazine is flirting with the opposite coast this week, promoting its most recent issue at the close of ZYZZYVA’s 30th anniversary year. ZYZZYVA managing editor Oscar Villalon will emcee the event, which, true to form, includes a mix of writers at different points in their careers. Speakers include: April Ayers Lawson, whose first collection of stories Virgin: Stories and a Novella, is forthcoming; Kristopher Jansma, fresh off publishing his second novel Why We Came to the City; Sonya Cheuse, director of publicity for Ecco Books, who will read a story by her father, Alan Cheuse; and Henri Lipton whose story in ZYZZYVA’s Winter issue marks his first time in print.
A. Igoni Barrett & Chinelo Okparanta
March 9 at 7:30 at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street
Blackass is a modern-day Metamorphosis satire set in Lagos. Furo, a black Nigerian, suddenly wakes up to find he has been transformed into a white redhead. Stuck in this new body, he re-learns how to navigate his sociocultural environment, often the only white face in the room. A. Igoni Barret’s prose is, by turns, light, biting and piercing, inviting readers to reassess the cultural cues governing their world. Nigerian-American author, Chinelo Okparanta (Under the Udala Trees; Happiness, Like Water), will join in conversation.
Elias Khoury in conversation with Eric Banks
March 10 at 7:00 p.m, at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street.
Born in Lebanon, Elias Khoury is one of the most celebrated novelists and intellectuals of today, bringing vibrancy and nuance to Arabic culture, politics and history. His thirteenth novel, Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol, follows a Lebanese doctor settled in France who returns to his roots in Beirut, dealing with the after effects of the country’s civil war. His search for the phantom Sinalcol provides a backdrop for Khoury to unpack the country’s cycles of violence and fragmentation. Eric Banks, former editor-in-chief of Bookforum and president of the National Book Critics Circle, will join him.
March 12 at 7:00 p.m, at Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street
Bri Barton’s self-published coloring book takes death as its subject, exploring funeral rites from around the world, soil biology, decomposition, and the mourning of loved ones for deeply absorbing color sessions. It sounds almost gothic, if it weren’t for the the exclamation marks and riot of colors signaling this book is meant for enjoyment instead of morbidity. Barton says she was motivated to create the book after six of her loved ones passed away over eight months. “What surprised me was this: every time I began to explore a part of dying, I inevitably was brought face-to-face with the immense wonder it is to be alive” she writes.