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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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4 Readings: Nathan’s Hot Dog History, Palestinian Struggles, and a Father’s Transition

WEDNESDAY

faludiBook Launch: In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi
June 22 at 7 p.m. at The Powerhouse Arena. 37 Main Street (DUMBO)
Is identity something you choose, or is it actually the very thing you can’t escape? This is the question Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi poses in her most personal work yet, In the Darkroom. In 2004 Faludi went in search of her estranged 76-year-old father, a man who had been an elusive and sometimes violent presence in her childhood and then all but disappeared from her life. When Faludi discovered he had undergone sex reassignment surgery and was now living in Hungary, her whole frame of reference was shaken to the core. Her book is an effort to unpack her father’s transition and her own questions of identity, while traveling through a country in the midst of its own dangerous project of refashioning its nationhood.

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3 Readings and an Open Air Book Fair

WEDNESDAY

Huang, EddieEddie Huang presents Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China 
June 1st at 7:30 p.m. at Berg’n Beer Hall, 899 Bergen Street, Sponsored by Greelight Books.
You probably know Eddie Huang as the creator of EV fave Baohaus– or maybe from his R-rated culinary travelogues on his Huang’s World show on Viceland or even for his first successful memoir Fresh off the Boat, about growing up Chinese in suburban Florida (but hopefully not the eponymous show based on it, which Huang says he doesn’t watch). Whatever he does, you know it’s gonna be juicy. Now everyone’s favorite no-holds-barred gourmand is out with Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in Chinaa funny and poignant memoir about his search for identity. This story meets Huang when his star is already rising as a restaurant entrepreneur and budding media personality with a steady all-American girlfriend. But something’s missing–and you can follow Huang to China to find out. He’ll be joined by Elena Bergeron, executive editor at SB Nation and Eddie’s co-host on the MSG podcast.

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4 Talks: Biblical Prosties, a Mag for Dads, and Edward Mapplethorpe’s Cute Babies

TUESDAY

MARY-WEPT_NYWORD Presents: Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus with Chester Brown
April 26 at 7 p.m. at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street
Comics, prostitution and the Bible. What better combination? Cartoonist Chester Brown is known for his 2011 graphic novel, Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John. Now he returns with Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesusa controversial look at biblical women and representations of prostitution, from Bathsheba to the Virgin Mary. By re-examining the Bible’s moral code in comic strip format, it’s bound to raise some eyebrows. Brown will be joined by Dr. Melissa Ditmore (Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work) and Ceyenne Doroshow (Cooking In Heels).

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4 Talks: Yoga-Class Erotica, Jack Bender’s ‘Picture Book for Adults,’ and More

TUESDAY

KuntaliniLove Thyself, Kunt: A Night with Badlands Unlimited
April 12 at 7 p.m. at KGB Bar, 85 East Fourth Street.
When Badlands Unlimited’s “New Lovers” series is involved, you know what to expect: no-holds-barred erotica with a surreal or even sick twist. Tamara Faith Berger will read from her new novel, Kuntalini, a story about a young woman named Yoo-hoo who experiences sexual awakening in her yoga class and embarks on a wild journey from there. Michael Robbins, author of poetry collection Alien vs Predator and Lynne Tillman, whose sixth novel Men And Apparitions is out next year, will also read.

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Talks, Readings and Questions Galore This Week

TUESDAY

Question Bridge: Black Males in America Visual presentation and panel
question bridgeMarch 22 at 7 p.m. at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street.
Greenlight Books is collaborating with BRIC for a visual presentation and panel about black men in America. The Question Bridge project includes a video installation, book, and website that facilitates a dialogue between black men from all different backgrounds, hoping to redefine black male identity in America. At the panel, Bayeté Ross Smith, multimedia artist and filmmaker, will moderate a discussion between different generations of black men who have participated in the project.

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4 Talks: Learn Your Socialist History and Get A.O. Scott’s Take on Criticism

TUESDAY

singhRanbir Singh Sidhu and Tanwi Nandini Islam in conversation
March 15 at 7 p.m. at WORD Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street
The immigrant narrative is a continually evolving touchstone to American fiction, gaining richness and depth. The debut novels from Ranbir Singh Sidhu and Tanwi Nandini Islam both attempt to re-invent the handling of that cross-cultural narrative using first-generation protagonists that defy stereotypes and expectations. In Sidhu’s Deep Singh Blue, a young man escapes his family by falling desperately in love with an older married woman. But things quickly spin out of his control, culminating in the devastating consequences of racism. Islam’s Bright Lines begins with an orphan’s move from Bangladesh to live with her family in Brooklyn, and follows the new family as they attempt to reckon with their secrets and past.

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Men With Cats, and 3 More Talks and Readings Not to Miss This Week

TUESDAY

kiaKia Corthron + Robin D. G. Kelley
Feb. 9 at 7:00 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway
Kia Corthron, playwright and writer for The Wire, tackled an American saga for her debut novel. The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter begins on the eve of WWII with two white brothers coming of age in the rural Alabama klan, and two black brothers preparing to navigate the country’s shifting civil rights era in Maryland. The two narratives continue into the 21st century, culminating in a devastating encounter between the two families.  Corthron will discuss with Robin D. G. Kelley,  expert on African American studies.

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Talks + Readings: Internet, City and Ocean – Approaches to the Commons

The Idealist by Justin Peters

The Idealist by Justin Peters

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet
Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway 
When 26-year-old computer prodigy Aaron Swartz committed suicide in 2013, the tech community was shocked. A founding developer of Reddit and the Creative Commons, Swartz was an important figure for those who supported open information online over an increasingly atomized and commercial internet model. In the aftermath of his death, Slate’s Justin Peters traces the history of the Internet free culture movement and examines Swartz’s legacy as a “data moralist.” 

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