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.
Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White
August 23, 7pm at Barnes and Noble Union Square
Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has retired from his legendary baseball career to pursue a writing career, specifically focusing on cultural commentary. His newest book, which was co-written with Raymond Obstfeld, explores the binary labels often used to split America in two: whether it’s “black versus white,” “young versus old,” or “men versus women,” Abdul-Jabbar questions how these often artificially constructed binaries create a pervading atmosphere of racism, sexism, and economic inequality. The writing on the wall is not all pessimistic though: each of the book’s chapters ends with a suggestion, ranging from the practical to the aspirational, on how these problems could potentially be addressed and overcome.
Necessary Trouble with Sarah Jaffe, Nelini Stamp, Mary Clinton, and Nastaran Mohit
August 25, 7pm at Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street.
Journalist Sarah Jaffe’s new book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, explores what seminal events have galvanized ordinary Americans into becoming activists on both sides of the political spectrum. Whether it’s the emergence of the Tea Party, the fight for minimum wage, the Black Lives Matter movement, or Occupy Wall Street, Jaffe delves deeply across the entire country to discover why people, many of them with stable jobs and lives, decide to “stir up trouble.” She will be joined in conversation by the activists Nelini Stamp, Mary Clinton, and Nastaran Mohit, who are all actively known for their in the Occupy movement.
Release Party for Tobias Carroll’s Transitory with Lynn Steger Strong, Robert Lopez and Tracy O’Neill
August 25, 7pm at Word Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street.
Transitory, Tobias Carroll’s newest collection of stories, trace the trajectory of a disparate cast of characters in familiar surroundings who are all driven by singular obsessions. There’s a man seeking forgiveness for a decades-old crime, a group of students obsessed over a mysterious short film, the crew of a vessel in the North Atlantic seeing bizarre visions in the sky, and more. Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn, and will be joined in conversation by Strong, the author of Hold Still and a professor at Columbia University; Lopez, an author who just released the story collection Good People; and O’Neill, the author of The Hopeful.