Book 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.
Book Launch: Lloyd Handwerker presents Famous Nathan
June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street
It’s summertime and for many New Yorkers that means a trip to Coney Island and a taste of one of the city’s finest living legends– Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs (or if you’re a real pro, a chance for glory at their annual hot dog eating contest). Now you can hear the real-deal story behind Nathan’s humble beginnings and ultimate wiener dominance from his grandson, Lloyd Handwerker, in his new book: Famous Nathan: A Family Saga of Coney Island, The American Dream, and the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog. (There’s also a documentary of the same name.) He’ll discuss his grandfather’s remarkable immigration story and his business savvy with Kevin Baker, author of several fiction and non-fiction books based on New York history. Of course, the reception will feature Coney Island Lager.
The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine
June 23 at 7 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway
Ben Ehrenreich, an American journalist, spent three years traveling, living and writing in the West Bank, observing the effects of nearly half a century of occupation. His new book, The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, shares his intimate reporting on the daily lives and resistances of Palestinians caught in a seeming perpetual conflict zone. This bleak telling of their struggles and heartbreaks may not lead to any feel-good easy answers for ending the conflict that defines their landscape, but Ehrenreich’s work digging past the usual signals of the occupation adds to a richer understanding of its ugly effect.
Ina Yalof with Charlie Sahadi & Wilson Tang
June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Berg’n, 899 Bergen Street
Long hours, demanding customers, crushing rents and thin profits–what gets restaurant owners though the days and how on earth do food-biz hopefuls keep coming back for more? New York City is a famously tough landscape for the food business, but also wildly rich, diverse and passionate. Ina Yalof’s new book, Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It, investigates the city’s love affair with food culture through interviewing those who keep the food scene’s wheels spinning, from humble food carts to five-star restaurants. She’ll be joined by two owners of food-dynasty legends featured in the book: Charlie Sahadi, the second-generation Lebanese American owner of the iconic Brooklyn grocer Sahadi’s, established in 1948, and Wilson Tang, who left a career in finance to revive the longstanding Nom Wah Tea Parlor, first opened in 1920. Enjoy samples from the panelists and a special happy hour with purchase of the book (20 percent off).