Rob Spillman’s All Tomorrow’s Parties Launch
March 29 at 7 p.m, at Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street
Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House magazine, has written a memoir coming-of-age story about his rebellious pursuit of artistic authenticity. The son of two musicians born in divided Germany, Spillman spent his childhood in West Berlin’s artistic community. He moved around and eventually dipped into New York’s literary milieu in the ’80s, but after the wall came down, at age 25, he returned to East Berlin, searching for the bohemian lifestyle he’d always been inspired by. The book, filled with intimate and sometimes humorous personal stories, is also a spirited journey through Berlin’s shifting transformation in the midst of a cultural renaissance.
Katie Roiphe – The Violet Hour
March 29 at 7 p.m, at BookCourt, 163 Court Street (Cobble Hill)
Great writers are often examined for how they lived their lives, but Katie Roiphe (a faculty member of NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, which produces Bedford + Bowery) narrows the window to re-tell how they dealt with the end. In The Violet Hour she takes us to Susan Sontag’s struggle with rational thinking during her third bout with cancer, Sigmund Freud’s self-destructive smoking habit, and Maurice Sendak’s life-long obsession with death. By looking to the writings and experiences of creative geniuses at the end of their lives, the book provides powerful insights into the questions and thoughts that arise when we stare death in the face. As Roiphe writes, “If it’s nearly impossible to capture the approach of death in words, who would have the most hope of doing it?”
Election Fever Kickoff: The Contenders
March 31 at 7 p.m., at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street
Wait, election fever is just starting now? How much more of this madhouse carnival can we take? (And will we ever wake up to find out South Park creators engineered all of it?) Well, apparently some people want more of this election and for them, Housing Works has just launched the new Election Fever series of non-partisan discussions with journalists and campaign watchers. The first panel, picking apart how the tone of the presidency might be affected by this no-holds-barred election cycle and what America may look like in 2020, features a roster from top publications, including Matt Katz (WNYC), Annie Karni (Politico), Adam Serwer (BuzzFeed), Micah Cohen (fivethirtyeight), and Suki Kim (The New Republic).
Islands of Decolonial Love – Reading and Discussion with Leanne Simpson
April 2 at 7 p.m. at Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street
For her debut collection of short stories, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson writes about (and for) her own Nishnaabeg nation, in an effort to profile how an indigenous culture struggles to shrug off the legacy of the past. The characters in Islands of Decolonial Love navigate their modern environments while still trying to respect traditional practices, always defying expectations and simple narratives. Touchingly and sometimes heartbreakingly, they try to preserve their innocence in the face of a cynical world.