Tonight The Sellout, the latest novel by satirist Paul Beatty (The White Boy Shuffle), takes on some pretty big themes; it challenges “the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant,” according to the blurb on the website for St. Mark’s Bookshop, where Beatty will read from his novel tonight. Evidently you don’t have to read much of The Sellout to be hooked; aNew York Times review stated it contains “the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.” April 14 at 7 p.m. St. Mark’s Bookshop, 136 East Third Street (East Village).
This week: everything you generally avoid talking about gets talked about.
Monday, Sept. 15 Hot, Wet and Shaking: Talking About Sex with Kaleigh Trace
Kaleigh Trace is a disabled, queer, feminist sex educator with a mission: to promote “safe, shame-free and consensual sex people of all abilities, ethnicities, races, orientations, and gender identities.” Among other things, she co-wrote and appeared in the above music video in response to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” More →
Kaleigh Trace is a disabled, queer, feminist sex educator with a mission: to promote “safe, shame-free and consensual sex people of all abilities, ethnicities, races, orientations, and gender identities.” Among other things, she co-wrote and appeared in the above music video in response to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Now, Trace is down from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to promote her new book. Hot, Wet and Shaking: How I Learned to Talk About Sex is “a book about having sex by yourself, with one person, or with twenty people if everyone is down.” It’s a memoir-cum (ha!)-manual that doesn’t skimp on risqué detail. If you still feel like an awkward teenager when it comes to sex talk, or if (god forbid!) you were under the impression that disabled people aren’t fucking, come along and wise up.
Things you can learn at this weeks stellar readings and talks.
Thursday, August 28
That’s When the Knives Come Down with Dolan Morgan
Greenpointer Dolan Morgan will read on home turf for the Brooklyn launch of his debut collection That’s When the Knives Come Down. A surrealist glance at cities, relationships and lives gone awry, the stories are billed as simultaneously “absurd, harrowing, and inimitable.” According to Catherine Lacey, “Dolan Morgan queers the every day and leaves a sinister domestic scene behind.” He’ll be joined in discussion by B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause) and Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal). 7pm, WORD Books (126 Franklin St, Greenpoint), FREE, Facebook RSVP here More →
And if you thought fashion-talk might offer some light relief from the horrors of the death railway, think again. Tansy Hoskins’ recently released book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashiondelves into the grimy underbelly of the beauty-obsessed industry: exposing the class division, gender stereotyping and wasteful consumption plaguing the world of fashion. If you own a closet and keep garments in it, it behooves you to take note of this insightful indictment of the distorting priorities of capitalism.
Learn about the rise and fall and rise of hallucinogenic mushrooms, the fight for tenant rights in Poland, and re-appreciate the street art you no longer notice, with this week’s worthy readings and talks.
Thursday, August 14
Mmmmmmmushrooms (Photo courtesy of Flickr)
Psychedelic drugs reaching a hallucination-drenched, kaleidoscopically patterned saturation point in the 1960s and 70s, during the zenith of American and European counterculture movements. Sadly, peak-mushroom was unsustainable. More →
Things are getting hot and heavy at this week’s upcoming readings and talks, with historical badass battles, fictional prostitutes, sexy sex-ed films, and a look at why America insists on measuring stuff the way it does. Gallons of fun, ahoy.
Saturday, August 9
Ladies of the Night reading with Maggie McNeill
Maggie McNeill’s biography reads like the worst nightmare of every English major’s mother and/or the wet dream of every horny undergraduate male: a BA in literature, then a Masters of Library and Information Science and a brief stint as a suburban librarian, before economic imperatives compelled her to find work as a stripper, then a call girl, then a madam. This decade-long sex work stint ends happily (mothers, cue a sigh of relief) in the fairy-tale manner. Madam marries favorite client, moves to ranch, and is able at long last to combine both of her interests: writing and prostitution. More →
Barbara J. Taylor’s debut novel Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night draws the reader into Scranton, Pennsylvania, which aside from being the setting ofThe Office is America’s least happy region and the author’s hometown. Sing in the Morning is set in the early 20th Century, two months after a Fourth of July tragedy left little Daisy Morgan dead in a freak firework accident. Daisy’s parents are devastated, their marriage in tatters, while younger daughter Violet is weighed down by guilt; members of the small community believe that she is to blame for her sister’s untimely demise. Emotionally wrecked, Violet starts cutting school with older boy Stanley Adamski, whose own life was altered by a mining accident. Based on a true story, the haunting novel culminates in a blizzard and a birth. Taylor will read extracts, and participate in a discussion with publisher and novelist Kaylie Jones.
This week’s talks and readings: some heavy stuff, ending in laughs.
Wednesday, July 30
The Gatekeepers Screening
When The Gatekeepers was first released in 2012, NY Times film critic A.O. Scott recognized the Israeli documentary’s import. “It is hard,” he wrote, “to imagine a movie about the Middle East that could be more timely, more painfully urgent, more challenging to conventional wisdom on all sides of the conflict.” Several years later, as the war in Gaza stretches into its third week with no signs of abating, that urgency has if anything only become more pronounced. More →
From zines to graphic novels, poetry to ethical treatises on torture, this week’s talks and readings have you covered.
Friday, July 25
Pete’s Mini Zine Fest 2014
If you love zines and alcoholic beverages and eclectic chit-chat, then this is the event for you. This weekend, Pete’s Candy Store will yet again be hosting “the longest running zine fest in Brooklyn.” On Friday, the Fest kicks off with a reading to celebrate the latest issue of We’ll Never Have Paris, a zine of nonfiction memoir that’s been around since 2007. Curator and editor Andria Alefhi will be reading from the issue, as will other contributors. The festival proper will be held on Saturday, bringing together an array of zinesters, comic artists, publishers, and “amazing delicious snacks.” 7-8:30pm (also Saturday, 2pm-7pm), Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn), FREE.