Michael Eric Dyson + Shaun King + Harry Belafonte Monday, June 4 at The New School, 7 pm to 8 pm.
Michael Eric Dyson joins The New School and The Strand to unveil his book What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America. The book follows his New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. Acclaimed singer and advocate Harry Belafonte, along with activist and The Intercept columnist Shaun King, join Dr. Dyson in conversation about his important and timely book. More →
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.
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. More →
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.
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.
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.
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. More →
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.
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.
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.