'In my favorite fiction about us, I would see you and some bell within me would toll—the way an elephant will walk over the bones of its own kind, know it instantly, and fall down and mourn. Instead, I looked away. What struck me was not like lightning or love, and so I wept.'
Rumaan Alam reads from his new book Rich and Pretty: A Novel (HarperCollins 2016) in conversation with novelist Mira Jacobs. Mention AAWW when you check out at this special B&N book fair event and we’ll receive 10% of your purchase as a donation!
Rumaan’s Rich and Pretty is an irresistible debut set in contemporary New York that focuses on how the relationship between two best friends (Sarah and Lauren) changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives. He’ll be interviewed by Mira Jacob, the author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (Random House 2014), named one of 2014’s best books by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, and The Millions. Sleepwalker is—in the words of Jim Shepard—“a time-traveling multigenerational saga that still remains intimate in its feel and central focus.”
Photo Credit: Jim Pennucci..
Come through for a special event on ruminating on failure and celebrating the new book by Hua Hsu, A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure across the Pacific. The book takes its title from a lost manuscript by H. T. Tsiang, an oddball early Chinese immigrant experimental writer whose dismal literary career led him to self-publish his own visionary novels. We’ll start the event with short talks on failure by Jon Caramanica of the New York Times, former Das Racist member Ashok Kondabolu, novelist Kiese Laymon, Jezebel Culture Editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, music journalist Dave Tompkins, and Buzzfeed Fellow Esther Wang.
New Yorker contributor and AAWW Board Member Hua Hsu’s new book A Floating Chinaman (Harvard University Press 2016) explores how Twentieth Century American authors and intellectuals talked about and imagined China. Influenced by a fascination by hip hop beefs, Hua tells the story of the winners (like Pearl Buck and Henry Luce) and the losers, most notably H.T. Tsiang, the avant-garde author of The Hanging on Union Square (read an excerpt in The Margins), who wrote himself into his novels as a pathetic loser and ended up playing a character in a movie based on a novel by his nemesis, Pearl Buck. Hua is an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College and Fellow at the New America Foundation. Read Ashok Kondabolu’s interview with Hua in The Margins.
Jon Caramanica writes about music for the New York Times. The former music editor of Vibe, he's written for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and XXL.
Ashok Kondabolu was the hypeman “Dap” of the now-defunct rap-group Das Racist. He is also the creator of the art gang and radio show “Chillin’ Island” and is a DJ on the Know-Wave show of the same name. Check out his interviews with Randall Park, Annie Ling, Prashant Bhargava, and others in The Margins.
Kiese Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division (Agate Bolden 2013)and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate Bolden 2013). Winner of the Saroyan International Writing Award, Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Crunk Feminist Collective. A columnist for The Guardian and previously picked for the Root 100 and Ebony Magazine Power 100, he is an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College.
Jezebel Culture Editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd also contributes to Rookiemag.com and is a professor of music writing at NYU Tisch. Former Executive Editor of the FADER, she has worked for MTV and VIBE and written for the New York Times, SPIN, and Rolling Stone. She hosts Universópolis, a show focusing on new music from Latin America and the diaspora, every Saturday on East Village Radio.
Dave Tompkins, a former columnist for The Wire, writes frequently about hip-hop and popular music. His work has appeared in Vibe, The Village Voice, The Believer and Wax Poetics. As a child growing up in North Carolina, he wrote stories about Mud Men, shot football cards with his dad’s .38, and was forced into speech therapy. His grandfather ate the microfilm, somewhere over Moscow.
BuzzFeed Emerging Writers fellow Esther Wang formerly worked as part of the digital communications strategy team at Caring Across Generations, a community organizer at CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, and a 2013 AAWW Open City Fellow. Check out her pieces in Open City here.
$5 suggested donation
Open to the public
RESERVE A SEAT!
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Photo Credit: Tom Newby..