Wednesday April 01, 2020 @ 04:21PM - Friday October 01, 2021 @ 04:21PM
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Halimah Marcus: Horse Girls w/ T Kira Madden & Maggie Shipstead
Thursday August 05, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
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A compelling and provocative essay collection that smashes stereotypes and redefines the meaning of the term “horse girl,” broadening it for women of all cultural backgrounds.
As a child, horses consumed Halimah Marcus’ imagination. When she wasn’t around horses she was pretending to be one, cantering on two legs, hands poised to hold invisible reigns. To her classmates, girls like Halimah were known as “horse girls,” weird and overzealous, absent from the social worlds of their peers.
Decades later, when memes about “horse girl energy,” began appearing across social media—Halimah reluctantly recognized herself. The jokes imagine girls as blinkered as carriage ponies, oblivious to the mockery behind their backs. The stereotypical horse girl is also white, thin, rich, and straight, a daughter of privilege. Yet so many riders don’t fit this narrow, damaging ideal, and relate to horses in profound ways that include ambivalence and regret, as well as unbridled passion and devotion.
Featuring some of the most striking voices in contemporary literature—including Carmen Maria Machado, Pulitzer-prize winner Jane Smiley, T Kira Madden, Maggie Shipstead, and Courtney Maum—Horse Girls reframes the iconic bond between girls and horses with the complexity and nuance it deserves. And it showcases powerful emerging voices like Braudie Blais-Billie, on the connection between her Seminole and Quebecois heritage; Sarah Enelow-Snyder, on growing up as a Black barrel racer in central Texas; and Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, on the colonialist influence on horse culture in Pakistan.
By turns thought-provoking and personal, Horse Girls reclaims its titular stereotype to ask bold questions about autonomy and desire, privilege and ambition, identity and freedom, and the competing forces of domestication and wildness.
Halimah Marcus’s short stories and essays have appeared in One Story, BOMB, the Literary Review, Amazon Original Stories, the Out There podcast, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, the Southampton Review, and elsewhere. She is the executive director of Electric Literature, an innovative digital publishing nonprofit, and the editor in chief of its weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, which she cofounded. She has an MFA from Brooklyn College and lives in the Catskill region of New York.
T Kira Mahealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer, and amateur magician. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Tin House, MacDowell, and Yaddo—where she was awarded the Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award—she serves as the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is the author of the 2019 New York Times Editors’ Choice memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, which is now being developed as a feature film. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award John Leonard Prize, and the winner of the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz LAMBDA Literary Award, she has facilitated writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals, and will join the Department of English at College of Charleston in Fall 2021.
Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Seating Arrangements, Astonish Me, and Great Circle, and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in many places, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, Departures, Condé Nast Traveler, Outside, The Best American Short Stories, and The Best American Sports Writing. She lives in Los Angeles.
Mona Awad: All's Well w/ Dana Spiotta
Monday August 09, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a dazzling and darkly funny novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost?
YZ Chin: Edge Case w/ Pitchaya Sudbanthad
Tuesday August 10, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
When her husband suddenly disappears, a young woman must uncover where he went—and who she might be without him—in this striking debut of immigration, identity, and marriage
After another taxing day as the sole female employee at her New York City tech startup, Edwina comes home to find that her husband, Marlin, has packed up a suitcase and left. The only question now is why. Did he give up on their increasingly hopeless quest to secure their green cards and decide to return to Malaysia? Was it the death of his father that sent him into a tailspin? Or has his strange, sudden change in personality finally made Marlin and Edwina strangers to each other?
As Edwina searches the city for traces of her husband, she simultaneously sifts through memories of their relationship, hoping to discover the moment when something went wrong. All the while, a coworker is making increasingly uncomfortable advances toward her. And she can’t hide the truth about Marlin’s disappearance from her overbearing, eccentric mother for much longer. Soon Edwina will have to decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to stay in her marriage and in America.
YZ Chin is the author of the story collection Though I Get Home (Feminist Press, 2018) which won the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize and the Asian/Pacific American Award For Literature Honor Title. Her writing has been published in Harvard Review, Gulf Coast, Somesuch Stories, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Malaysia, she now lives in New York, where she worked for most recently as a software engineer.
Pitchaya Sudbanthad is the author of Bangkok Wakes to Rain. The novel, published by Riverhead Books (US) and Sceptre (UK), was selected as a notable book of the year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. He has received fellowships in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, and currently splits time between Bangkok and Brooklyn.
Charlotte Nicole Davis: THE SISTERS OF RECKONING & Bethany C. Morrow: A CHORUS RISES
Wednesday August 11, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
About The Sisters of Reckoning:
A stunning sequel to Charlotte Nicole Davis's alternate Wild West-set commercial fantasy adventure
The good luck girls are free. They all crossed the border to freedom in Ferron. All, except Aster, who stayed behind to help more good luck girls find their freedom. But news of a new welcome house opening and the surprise return of an old friend fill Aster with a need to help all good luck girls. And from there, grows a wildly ambitious plan to free all dustbloods, who live as prisoners to Arketta's landmasters and debt slavery.
After Clem and the others return from Ferron, they become the heart of a vibrant group of fearless fighters, working to unite the various underclasses and convince them to join in the fight. Along the way, friendships will be forged, lives will be lost, and love will take root even in the harshest of circumstances, between the most unexpected of lovers. But will Arketta's dustbloods finally come into power and freedom, or will the resistance just open them up to a new sort of danger?
Charlotte Nicole Davis is the critically acclaimed author of The Good Luck Girls. Her latest book in the duology Sisters of Reckoning is on-sale this week.
About A Chorus Rises:
Meet Naema Bradshaw: a beautiful Eloko, once Portland-famous, now infamous, as she navigates a personal and public reckoning where confronting the limits of her privilege will show Naema what her magic really is, and who it makes her.
Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous, stylish, gorgeous — and she’s an Eloko, a charismatic person gifted with a melody that people adore. Everyone loves her. Until she's cast as the villain who exposed a Siren to the whole world.
Dragged by the media, and canceled by her fans, no one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, not even her fellow Eloko. Villified by those closest to her, Naema heads to the Southwest where she is determined to stage a comeback... to her family, her real self, and the truth about her magic. What she finds is a new community in a flourishing group of online fans who support her. But when her online advocates start targeting other Black girls, Naema will realize that - for Black girls like her - even the privilege of fame has its limits. And only Naema can discover the true purpose of her power, and how to use it.
Bethany C. Morrow is the bestselling author of A Song Below Water, Take the Mic, and Mem. Her latest book A Chorus Rises is on-sale now.
Nick Flynn: This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire w/ Terrance Hayes
Thursday August 12, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
A searing memoir on how childhood spills into parenthood from the critically acclaimed author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
When Nick Flynn was seven years old, his mother set fire to their house. The event loomed large in his imagination for years, but it’s only after having a child of his own that he understands why. He returns with his young daughter to the landscape of his youth, reflecting on how his feral childhood has him still in its reins, and forms his memories into lyrical bedtime stories populated by the both sinister and wounded Mister Mann.
With the spare lyricism and dark irony of his classic, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Flynn excavates the terrain of his traumatic upbringing and his mother’s suicide. This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire unravels the story of the fire that Flynn had to escape, and the ways in which, as an adult, he has carried that fire with him until it threatens to burn down his own house. Here Nick confronts his failings with fierce candor, even as they threaten to tear his family apart. His marriage in crisis, Flynn seeks answers from his therapist, who tells him he has “the ethics of a drowning man.”
Nick Flynn is the author of This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire and three previous memoirs, including the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award–winning Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and four volumes of poetry. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Terrance Hayes is the author of six poetry collections: American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin, a finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and TS Eliot Prize; How to Be Drawn; Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; Muscular Music, recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; Hip Logic, winner of the 2001 National Poetry Series, and Wind in a Box. His prose collection, To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. Hayes has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, and Whiting Foundation, and is a professor of English at New York University.
Eleanor Henderson: Everything I Have Is Yours w/ Nina Renata Aron
Monday August 16, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
From New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Henderson comes a turbulent love story meets harrowing medical mystery: the true story of the author’s twenty-year marriage defined by her husband’s chronic illness—and a testament to the endurance of love
ELEANOR MET AARON when she was just a teenager and he was working at a local record store—older, experienced, and irresistibly charming. Escaping the clichés of fleeting young love, their summer romance bloomed into a relationship that survived college and culminated in a marriage and two children. From the outside looking in, their life had all the trappings of what most would consider a success story.
But, as in any marriage, things weren’t always as they seemed. On top of the typical stresses of parenting, money, and work, there were the untended wounds of depression, addiction, and childhood trauma. And then one day, out of nowhere: a rash appeared on Aaron’s arms. Soon, it had morphed into painful lesions covering his body. Eleanor was as baffled as the doctors. There was no obvious diagnosis, let alone a cure. And as years passed and the lesions gave way to Aaron’s increasingly disturbed concerns about the source of his sickness, the husband she loved seemed to unravel before her eyes. A new fissure ruptured in their marriage, and new questions piled onto old ones: Where does physical illness end and mental illness begin? Where does one person end and another begin? And how do we exist alongside someone else’s suffering?
Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. An assistant professor of fiction writing at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons. Photo credit: Emily Merrill.
Nina Renata Aron is a writer and editor based in Oakland. She is the author of Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love. She recently served as editorial director for the relaunch of Playgirl magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, The New Republic, Elle, Jezebel, Eater, and elsewhere. Photo credit: Tai Power Seeff.
Nichole Perkins: Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be w/ Ashley C Ford
Tuesday August 17, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
“Hear the dark liquor of her laughter rippling behind her sentences” in this magnetic memoir as it explores a journalist’s obsession with pop culture and the difficulty of navigating relationships as a Black woman through fanfiction, feminism, and Southern mores (Saeed Jones).
A Roxane Gay Audacious Bookclub November Pick
Named "Most Anticipated Books of 2021" by Buzzfeed and Lithub
Nichole Perkins is a writer from Nashville, Tennessee. She examines the intersections of pop culture, race, sex, gender, and relationships. Nichole is a 2017 Audre Lorde Fellow at the inaugural Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat and a 2017 BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellow. She is also a 2016 Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow for poetry. She hosts “This Is Good For You,” a podcast that highlights the pleasures of life, formerly co-hosted “Thirst Aid Kit,” a podcast about pop culture and desire, with Bim Adewunmi, a producer at "This American Life," and was also a co-host of “The Waves” podcast at Slate, which looked at news and culture through a feminist lens. Her first collection of poetry, Lilith, but Dark, was published by Publishing Genius in July 2018.
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, host, and educator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy. Her memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, will be published by Flatiron Books on June 1, 2021. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, seasons one & three of MasterCard’s Fortune Favors The Bold, as well as the video interview series PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show, 112BK.
Amber McBride: Me (Moth) w/ Mahogany L. Browne
Wednesday August 18, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
A debut YA novel-in-verse that is both a coming-of-age and a ghost story.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.
Amber McBride is an English professor at the University of Virginia and holds an MFA in poetry from Emerson College. Her poetry has been published in several literary magazines including Ploughshares and The Rumpus. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her dog, Shiloh. You can find her on twitter: @ambsmcbride and Instagram: @ambsmcbride and amber-mcbride.com. This is her young adult debut.
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, & Black Girl Magic. As the founder of the diverse lit initiative, Woke Baby Book Fair, Browne is excited to release her newest poetry collection responding to the impact of mass incarceration on women and children: I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
IN-PERSON: Katie Kitamura & Hari Kunzru @ Books Beneath the Bridge
Monday August 23, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
This event will be held outdoors at the Granite Prospect at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Click here for directions!
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Books Are Magic presents readings by Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies, and Hari Kunzru, author of Red Pill, at Books Beneath the Bridge!
About the authors:
Katie Kitamura's most recent novel, A Separation, was a finalist for the Premio von Rezzori and a New York Times Notable Book. It was named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications, translated into 16 languages, and is being adapted for film. Her two previous novels, Gone To The Forest and The Longshot, were both finalists for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and Santa Maddalena, Katie has written for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, BOMB, Triple Canopy, and Frieze. She teaches in the creative writing program at New York University.
Hari Kunzru is the author of six novels: White Tears, The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions, Gods Without Men, and most recently, Red Pill. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages, and his short stories and journalism have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library, and the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo credit: Clayton Cubitt
Molly Wizenberg: Fixed Stars w/ Catherine Newman
Tuesday August 24, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
From a bestselling writer, an intense and moving memoir about changing identity, complex sexuality, and enduring family relationships—now in paperback
At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but she felt that something inside her had changed irrevocably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe.
Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are.
Molly Wizenberg is the author of two bestselling books, A Homemade Life and Delancey, and the James Beard Award–winning blog Orangette. She has written for the Washington Post, the Guardian, Saveur, and Bon Appétit, and she also cohosts the podcast Spilled Milk. With chef Brandon Pettit, Wizenberg cofounded the award-winning Seattle restaurants Delancey and Essex.
Catherine Newman is the author of the memoirs Catastrophic Happiness and Waiting for Birdy, the middle-grade novel One Mixed-Up Night, the kids’ craft book Stitch Camp, and the how-to books for kids How to Be a Person and What Can I Say? (forthcoming). She edits the non-profit kids' cooking magazine ChopChop, writes the etiquette column for Real Simple magazine, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents magazine, Cup of Jo, and many other publications. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.
Kat Chow: Seeing Ghosts w/ Chanel Miller
Wednesday August 25, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
This event is presented in partnership with our friends at the Asian American Writers Workshop. Learn more and check out all of their upcoming programming here!
For readers of Helen Macdonald and Elizabeth Alexander, an intimate and haunting portrait of grief and the search for meaning from a singular new talent as told through the prism of three generations of her Chinese American family.
Kat Chow has always been unusually fixated on death. She worried constantly about her parents dying---especially her mother. A vivacious and mischievous woman, Kat's mother made a morbid joke that would haunt her for years to come: when she died, she'd like to be stuffed and displayed in Kat's future apartment in order to always watch over her.
After her mother dies unexpectedly from cancer, Kat, her sisters, and their father are plunged into a debilitating, lonely grief. With a distinct voice that is wry and heartfelt, Kat weaves together a story of the fallout of grief that follows her extended family as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America. Seeing Ghosts asks what it means to reclaim and tell your family’s story: Is writing an exorcism or is it its own form of preservation? The result is an extraordinary new contribution to the literature of the American family, and a provocative and transformative meditation on who we become facing loss.
Kat Chow is a writer and a journalist. She was a reporter at NPR, where she was a founding member of the Code Switch team. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic and on RadioLab, among others. She's one of Pop Culture Happy Hour's fourth chairs. She's received residency fellowships from the Millay Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She lives near Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Ariel Zambelich.