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Talks + Readings: Doulas, Post-Capitalism, and an After-Turkey GMO Lesson

(flyer via The Doulas / Facebook)

(flyer via The Doulas / Facebook)

The Doulas NYC Launch Party
Monday, November 21 at Bluestockings, 7 pm: FREE.

Bookstore, cafe, and activist space Bluestockings is fittingly the space for the NYC release event of The Doulas: Radical Care For Pregnant People. The book was written by Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell, founders of The Doula Project, a NYC-based organization founded in 2007 that works to provide care and support to pregnant people “across the spectrum of choice,” meaning they will be there for pregnant individuals “whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion.” Their new book acts as a history of the organization’s work thus far through individual anecdotes chronicling the decision-making that typically goes on behind closed doors, as well as a “guidebook for the future.” The event will feature readings from the book by the authors, and is co-sponsored by a variety of women’s and reproductive health organizations based in New York and elsewhere. Such an evening is unfortunately timely as the future of reproductive choice and health becomes more and more unclear, so there is no time like the present to familiarize yourself with workers and organizations such as this, while you still can.

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Reductress Has Literally Written the Book on Feminism, But They’d Still Like To ‘Do More’

REDUCTRESScover_HowToWinAtFeminism

(image courtesy of HarperOne)

For being a somewhat niche concept of a satirical women’s magazine, Reductress really runs the gamut when it comes to content. There’s been their acclaimed and biting homepage dedicated to sexual assault (headlines include: Man Who Sexually Assaulted You Likes Your Facebook Post About Sexual Assault and ‘Most Woman Lie About Rape,’ Says Man Lying About Rape), sadly relatable posts like Woman Thanks Boyfriend For Putting Up With Her Totally Reasonable Behavior, heavy hitters such as Six Thanksgiving Pies that Won’t Fix What Happened In Ferguson, and more absurd moments, like 10 Beautiful Red Carpets You Can’t See Because Blake Lively Is In The Way.

But for their new book How To Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide To Having It All— And Then Some!, they’ve focused on the topic that seems to be in everyone’s mouths lately: feminism, and how to get it “right.” Throughout six sections and 200 pages, punctuated by Plinky the Fairy Witch (a vibrator-wielding second-wave feminist who speaks in whimsical rhyme and turns out to be “an actual Feminazi”), Oprah, Lena Dunham, Beyoncé, and “Ruth Bader Ginsburg After She’s Had Her Wine,” among others, How To Win At Feminism is an exhaustive and silly exploration into the follies of feminism and the many, many ways to joke about it. And after last night’s news, jokes can help to ease the pain. God only knows how long we’ll have to poke fun at the state of women in this country before the absurd becomes reality. Keep Reading »

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How the Guerrilla Girls Used Ape Outfits to Expose the Art-World Patriarchy

Guerrilla Girl Aphra Behn faces off with a cop (Photo courtesy of Donna Kaz)

Guerrilla Girl Aphra Behn faces off with a cop (Photo courtesy of Donna Kaz)

“You know, after a while, wearing that rubber gorilla mask is really hard,” said Donna Kaz. She was describing one of the stranger realities of her double life. For the last 20 years, Kaz has worked as an artist/playwright deftly navigating the New York City theater world– this was the serious, successful woman I met at a coffee shop in Midtown last week. But for the rest of it, she’s donned a gorilla mask, deterred neither by sweat nor fear of suffocation. (Hell, even furries, the most diehard animal-suit lovers, agree that wearing such restrictive headgear can be punishing.)

The disguise has helped hide her identity, but it’s also served as a way for Kaz and an influential group of women artists known as the Guerrilla Girls, a “secret society” of activists, to assume new ones.

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Four Readings: Margo Jefferson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Americans in Revolt

TUESDAY

Photo © Michael Lionstar

Photo © Michael Lionstar

Margo Jefferson and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
August 23, 7pm at Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street.
Margo Jefferson’s acclaimed memoir Negroland, which The New York Times called “powerful and complicated,” explores her upper middle class childhood growing up in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s while deftly avoiding racial and socioeconomic landmines. She deftly describes the racial identity politics inherent in her community’s attempt to be considered the exception to how other blacks were viewed by the white elite of her Chicago milieu. In order to celebrate the release of the memoir’s paperback edition, Jefferson will be joined by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, a New York Times Magazine contributor and essayist whose writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, Bookforum, and more.

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Four Readings: Alt-Comedy Collective to Tear Up the Strand + Actor Winos, Winot?

TUESDAY

(Photo: Courtesy of Hyperallergic)

(Photo: Courtesy of Hyperallergic)

Hyperallergic IRL 2
August 16, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

The super stylish Hyperallergic, the online magazine for all your arts-and-culture-related thinkpiece needs, will come to life tonight at Housing Works for the second time as three Hyperallergic writers (Seph Rodney, Claire Voon, and Carey Dunne), as well as three editors (Elisa Wouk Almino, Jillian Steinhauer, and Hrag Vartanian) read from some of their pieces and bring your favorite self-proclaimed “Art Blogazine” to the masses.

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Kristin Dombek on to How to Write a Book About Narcissists Without Becoming One

"The Selfishness of Others" (Image via Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

“The Selfishness of Others” (Image via Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Kristin Dombek’s legendary essay “How to Quit,” published in the winter 2013 edition of n+1, garnered heated word of mouth and praise from the likes of Brooklyn Magazine’s Kristen Iversen, and that was before Dombek won a Rona Jaffe award, published “Letter from Williamsburg” in The Paris Review, and got a double book deal.

The first of those books has arrived, and it’s called The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism, out this week from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and while an essay might have a hard time making a splash in a media ocean churned by Trumpty Dumpty and the Olympics, the book has already drawn praise from the Times.
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Four Readings: Divine Microbial Power and Bad Women Mouthing Off

TUESDAY

(Photo: Courtesy of Barnes and Noble)

(Photo: Courtesy of Barnes and Noble)

James Andrew Miller in Conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin and David O’Connor
August 9, 7 pm at Barnes and Noble-Union Square
With his new book Journalist James Andrew Miller, who also moonlights as a media consultant, delves into the world of the Creative Artists Agency, a secretive conglomerate which controls the vast majority of the entertainment industry, whether it be music, television, or films. In Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency, Miller explores the origins of the CAA and its rapid rise to power.

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4 Readings: Coming of Age in Turbulent Egypt, Sustainable Fashion, and Dogs

(Photo: Courtesy of Greenlight Bookstore)

(Photo: Courtesy of Greenlight Bookstore)

TUESDAY

Nadja Spiegelman presents I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This in conversation with Molly Fischer
August 2, 7:30pm at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street at South Portland Ave, Brooklyn.
Nadja Spiegelman will be presenting her memoir I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This, which charts three generations of women in Spiegelman’s family and their struggles and perseverances, with the traumas experienced in a Nazi-occupied France constantly in the background. Speigelman is the daughter of Art Spiegelman, the cartoonist most known for his graphic novel series Maus. Spiegelman junior has also published graphic novels, although their audiences have been younger. Her first memoir explores the relationship between herself and her mother, The New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly, and in turn delves into Mouly’s own upbringing, and her complex relationship with her parents. Spiegelman will be joined in conversation with New York magazine’s Molly Fischer (from The Cut), and there will be a wine reception afterward to celebrate the launch.

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War Porn, Pottermania Redux, and Still More Talks and Readings

(Photo: Courtesy of Pete's Candy Store)

(Photo: Courtesy of Pete’s Candy Store)

TUESDAY

Cool as F••k Reading Series
July 26, 7:30pm at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street at Richardson Street, Williamsburg.
Pete’s Candy Store holds its monthly “Cool as F**k” reading series every fourth Tuesday. It’s billed as a show that combines stand-up and musical performances with a more traditional reading series format, where literary madness is accompanied by a live band and a number of surprise appearances. The series is hosted by Bill Lessard (McSweeney’s, NPR, Prelude) and Bud Smith (The Rumpus, Hobart, Vol. 1 Brooklyn), and includes a number of notable writers and musicians who appear alongside a “special guest” who will be profiled in a separate podcast.

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Four Readings: This Month’s Prose Bowl, Sarah Anderson’s Webcomics Come to Print, and a Road Trip Gone Wrong

TUESDAY

(Photo: Courtesy of The Prose Bowl)

(Photo: Courtesy of The Prose Bowl)

The Prose Bowl XII
July 19, 6:30pm at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street at Richardson Street, Williamsburg.
The Prose Bowl (billed as “one part literature, one part bloodsport, one part American Idol”) is a sort-of nerdy battle royale for writers to win fame, glory, recognition… or just a free drink. On the third Tuesday of each month, four writers compete to see who has the best short story. Since it’s an open-mic affair, the writers’s names are randomly picked from a hat beforehand and are then subjected to the scrutiny of a panel and the audience. Each story is about five minutes long, and can include poetry or prose. Then there’s the lightning round, where the panel picks two of the competing writers, who then have to come up with quick stories, after which a winner is selected. It’s rowdy, it’s fun, it’s often hilarious, and it’s during happy hour, if you need any other incentives.

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Four Readings: Growing Up in the Chelsea Hotel, Nerdy Road Trip, and Life in the Shadow of NASA

(Photo: Courtesy of Strand Books)

(Photo: Courtesy of Strand Books)

Tuesday

Nicolaia Rips: Trying to Float
July 12, 7pm at Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street.
The Chelsea Hotel is deeply entrenched in New York City folklore, and for good reason: basically anyone who’s ever made a name for themselves in the art, music, and literature scene of the 20th century has, at one point or another, set up camp there. Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, William S. Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, and Iggy Pop all enjoyed a stint in the famed hotel. The Chelsea also gained notoriety for less pleasant occurrences: Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of the Sex Pistol’s Sid Vicious, was found stabbed to death in one of the hotel’s rooms, and many have reported sightings of paranormal activities within its walls.

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Four Readings: Klingon Blood Wine, Abortion Stories, and Refugee Poems

(Photo: Courtesy of Word Bookstore)

(Photo: Courtesy of Word Bookstore)

THURSDAY

Ed Gross presents: The Fifty-Year Mission
July 7, 7pm at Word Bookstore, at Villain LLC at 50 N 3rd Street.
Trekkies, this one’s for you! Word Bookstore and the event space Villain LLC will be hosting a launch party to celebrate the release of Ed Gross’s The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years, which diligently tracks the history of the Star Trek franchise and offers behind-the-scenes peeks at the show’s production and its impact on current pop culture. With Star Trek-themed cocktails such as the Romulan Ale or Klingon Blood Wine, Trekkies and newbies alike are sure to have an enjoyable evening. Ed Gross will be joined in conversation by the science fiction critic Ryan Britt, who is the author of Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths. Tickets are $5 and can be used toward the purchase of the book.

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