talks + readings

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Meryl Meisler and A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick!

Meryl Meisler worked as a school teacher in cracked-out, riot-prone 80s Bushwick—but she also carried a medium format camera everywhere she went, snapping epic photos of the ‘hood. Now, she’s collected those pictures, and placed them alongside her photographs of disco-fevered Manhattan in the same era. Together, the two sets of images offer a riotous portrait of two different universes in one city—at once hopelessly divided, and disconcertingly similar. Join Meisler for a special presentation of her work. She’ll also be signing copies.

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Book reading and signing: Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China with Leta Hong Fincher

Leta Hong Fincher is a sociologist at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, and has written for the likes of The New York Timesand Dissent. Her new book explores the effects of sustained governmental campaigns that encourage women to marry young, in order to cut down the surplus of single men in the country. Fincher argues that women—terrified of becoming old maids at 27—are being shamed into matrimony (an institution which in China does little to protect women’s rights). In the process, female home-ownership and participation in the labor force has declined, while gendered wealth inequality is increasing. Contrary to the popular myth that women have fared well in China’s economic boom, Fincher highlights gender-based structural discrimination, and in doing so elucidates over-arching problems with China’s economy, politics and development. Join the author for a discussion of her work.

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Brooklyn Launch: Edan Lepucki and California

Imagine the end of the world is nigh, and you’re pregnant. Now imagine you have fungi growing rampant on your body. All this, and more, happens to Frida—the protagonist of Edan Lepucki’s debut post-apocalyptic California. Set, you guessed it, in a future, blighted West Coast, the novel is already garnering high praise. According to Jennifer Egan, “Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities.” Expecting a child, Frida and husband Cal must leave their defensive isolation and attempt to enter a nearby settlement—forcing them to choose whom they can trust. Join Lepucki, a staff writer for The Millions, for a reading and discussion of the epic, disquieting work.