Overcoming the past is a key theme in young authors’ Edan Lepucki and Mira Jacobs debut novels, both published last year to great acclaim, so it seems natural that they would celebrate their paperback release with a discussion on the topic. Lepucki’s California tells the story of a couple living in the ruins of a dystopian America who must choose between freedom and security when they discover they are expecting a child. “Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future,” said Jennifer Egan (Welcome to the Goon Squad). Jacob’s The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is about a daughter who returns to her childhood home to help with her unwell father, only to find herself confronted with strange looks from the hospital staff and a series of puzzling items buried in her mother’s garden. “When her plot springs surprises, she lets them happen just as they do in life: blindsidingly right in the middle of things,” said the Boston Globe.
Tuesday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).
For decades Kate Walter has been chronicling religion and new age spirituality, urban gardening, neighborhood gentrification, and life in an artists’ housing project in downtown Manhattan. Now in her debut book, the memoir Looking for a Kiss, she tackles her own life. The book recounts her journey as she recovers from the end of a 26-year relationship, finding hope in love again and embarking on a hilarious romp through lesbian dating. According to Bluestockings, it’s like the queer Eat Pray Love, set in the Lower East Side.
Tuesday, July 14, at 7 p.m. Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street (LES).
Discover an Andy Warhol who is “anything but the removed observer of most popular accounts” with critic, poet and CUNY professor Wayne Koestenbaum, whose writing style has been described as “an impossible lovechild from a late-night, drunken three-way between Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.” He’ll be joined by Stephen Koch, author of Stargazer: The Life, World and Films of Any Warhol, for an in-depth discussion about the enigmatic pop artist.
Wednesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street (NoLIta).
What would you do if you believed you had only 10 days to live? Now, what would you do if your dad thought that and in response sent scathing emails to all his family members about how they should better live their lives? That’s the premise of Annie Liontas’ novel Let Me Explain You, told from the perspective of a proud Greek restaurant owner, his two daughters, and the many other voices that come together to create “a big, rollicking, tender novel with a truly original comic voice,” as described by celebrated short story writer George Saunders. Join Liontas for a conversation with Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia.
Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. Strand Books, 828 Broadway (East Village).
Whether you’re harboring literary ambitions or are just curious, “The Hustle” should be an entertaining glimpse into what its like to be a successful professional writer. The discussion includes authors Angela Flournoy, Leigh Stein and Jennifer Baker, who will delve right into the personal stuff like how they pay bills and how they get work done, and these guys know how to do it right; Flournoy’s book The Turner House was a Times Sunday book review editor’s choice, Baker does everything from writing restaurant reviews to hosting the new podcast “Minorities in Publishing,” and Stein’s recent collection of poetry was described by Publishers Weekly as “a mix both giddy and anguished that incorporates elements from fairy tale, pop-culture, ancient myth, and choose-your-own-adventure books.”
Sunday, July 19, at 2 p.m. WORD Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street (Greenpoint).