The White Swallow Reading Series: Michael Cunningham reads with writers B.C. Edwards, A.M. Homes, and Justin Torres
The White Swallow, a queerish reading series in Manhattan’s West Village, features emerging and established poets and fiction writers.
Hosted monthly by Angelo Nikolopoulos.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham reads with queer writers B.C. Edwards, A.M. Homes, and Justin Torres.
B.C. Edwards is a producer at The Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York. He was awarded the 2011 Hudson Prize for fiction and is the author of the collected stories The Aversive Clause (Fall 2012) as well as two collections of poetry To Mend Small Children, (February 2012) and From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes (Fall 2013).
A.M. Homes is the author of the novels, We Must Be Forgiven, This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short-story collections, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, the travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill.
Justin Torres is the author of the novel We the Animals. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is a recipient of the Rolón Unied States Artist Fellowship in Literature, and the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University.
29 Cornelia Street (between 4th Street and Bleecker)
Subways: A, C, E, B, D, F, V, to West 4th Street/Washington Square
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm
$8 cover includes a drink
Batman and Robin, a couple? Jase Peeples sure thinks so. Check out a couple of strips that expose this “more than friendly” friendship between the two.
Author Michael Cunningham (Pulitzer Prize winner) & poet CA Conrad to read from new works at East Village’s Phoenix Bar
WHAT: LITTER a queer reading series welcomes author Michael Cunningham, poet CA Conrad and more. Cunningham, author of The Hours (winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award), will read from a novel in progress. Conrad (The Book of Frank), will read from his recently published book of poems, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon – New (Soma)tics. (more…)
PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature Dispatch: Three Encounters with Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham didn’t take the stage right away at the Museum of Modern Art. This event, billed as a celebration of Diane Arbus, started with a talk by Arbus herself (originally recorded in the 1970s), and a slide-show of her work as well as archival clippings, snapshots and ephemera from her collection. She discussed her focus on marginal communities, including transvestite prostitutes, nudist colonies, and circus sideshows. “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do,” Arbus said. “That was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” Her intention, she explained, wasn’t for the viewer to gawk at these people, but rather to enter their lives.
When Cunningham took the stage with fellow novelist Francine Prose, and Arbus’ daughter, Doon Arbus, the panelists read from Diane Arbus: A Chronology, a compilation of her writings, journals and letters. Cunningham chose a selection in which Arbus interpreted her own photograph, a portrait of a suburban family, the mother and father in cushioned lawn chairs, soaking up the sun, the father covering his eyes with his hand, and their son, in the background, bent over a kiddie pool in the lawn, seemingly ignored.
“All families are creepy in a way,” he read, connecting the photograph to his own writing: “We’re all trying to penetrate and respect the mystery of imaginary people.”
For a while, Michael Cunningham was, to me, imaginary. I had read The Hours and his story, “White Angel,” but Cunningham, as a person, was nebulous, a name on a book, a byline, an author photograph on the flap jacket. When he came to Houston, where I was studying, to give a reading, I was worried: what happens when the imaginary person in my head meets the real thing? Do they cancel each other out, like doppelgangers? Do they wrestle for supremacy?
I needn’t have worried, of course: the mental Michael was easily supplanted by Cunningham qua Cunningham. At the reading, he spoke in a deep, sonorous voice, and afterwards he was affable, even signing a copy of his first, disavowed novel, Golden States. I wondered: why do we think we can know who an author is by reading his work? There’s always—perhaps necessarily—a separation between the author and his work, in the same way that the camera intermediates between the photographer and the photograph.
I got my picture taken with Cunningham. We stood side-by-side, and my hand is pressed against his chest, as if to ensure he’s real. Though to someone else looking at the photograph, it may seem as if I’m being naughty.
At his second PEN World Voices Festival event, Cunningham was on-stage with Deborah Eisenberg, Edmund White, and Austrian novelist Daniel Kehlmann to discuss Gregor von Rezzori’s ‘Bukovina Trilogy’: the novels Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, An Ermine in Czernopol, and the memoir, The Snows of Yesteryear. After each panelist read a selection from von Rezzori’s work, they expanded upon why they had chosen that passage.
“Reading for relevance,” Eisenberg said, “is a crummy way to read. What these books do is examine what prejudice and xenophobia are, and how they’re cultivated. They’re anatomies of the psyche, and they point out what we should be scrutinizing in ourselves.”
For Cunningham, that scrutiny went further: “I discovered,” he said, “that Cunningham is an invented name.” His grandfather, upon immigrating to the United States from Croatia, changed the family name from Grig to Cunningham. And it was only after reading von Rezzori that Cunningham decided to search for his roots.
After the talk, Cunningham didn’t sit at the signing table with the other authors. Instead, he snuck into the May sunshine for a cigarette. I caught up with him there, outside the Museum of Jewish Heritage, smiling and laughing with two young women. Former students, I assumed. Maybe current ones. I brought out some books for him to sign, and he did so, as gracious as ever.
“I should be inside with the others,” he said, taking a drag. “But I’m being naughty.” And as Arbus pointed out, maybe that was one of his favorite things about it.
From Precious to Richard Brown
When the HIV pandemic began to garner national attention in the early 1980s, it was met with general hysteria. Tenants believed to have AIDS were evicted from their homes and the Social Security Administration interviewed patients by phone, fearing the virus would be passed to employees through face to face meetings. A decade later, the Center for Disease Control finally ended its silence on the issue by launching a series of advertisements for preemptory measures against HIV and AIDS.
Today, though HIV and AIDS have yet to be eradicated, the fear and misinformation have lessened as a global campaign to end stigma surrounding the virus has grown in strength. And books dealing with issues surrounding it have played a significant role in educating society about the daily struggles faced by people with HIV or AIDS.
Charlaine Harris, author of the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series, has been honored for her work as a straight ally at the Straight for Equality Awards, a yearly event sponsored by PFLAG. Harris, who was presented with the first ever Straight for Equality in Literature award, wrote on her blog:
When I began to write the Sookie series, over a decade ago, I made a conscious decision to parallel the struggle of vampires with the struggle of gay people to gain basic rights. I also realized that a lot of people wouldn’t care about the subtext of the books, and that’s okay, too. I’m not trying to preach. I just wanted to make a point in my own way. DaemonBooks
Michael Cunningham Elected Into Arts Academy: The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced 10 new members, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove. The new inductees will be honored in a ceremony to be held this May. YahooNews
Dan Savage Adaptation Scores Major Grant: Michael Zam, Andy Monroe and Jack Lechner won a Jonathan Larson Grant for their musical, “The Kid”, based on the book by Dan Savage. The grants are awarded each year to those who demonstrate talent and innovation in theatre. Zam, Monroe, and Lechner seek to accomplish just that:
We want to make musical theatre history. We want to tackle subject matter that no one else has touched; to break ground in formal,
structural, and musical ways; and leave our audiences challenged and entertained. We can’t understand why anyone would work in musical theater with any other goals than these. AmericanTheatreWing
Jodi Picoult’s Son Came Out As She Was Writing New Novel: Jodi Picoult, whose new novel, Sing You Home, recently debuted at No. 1 on USA Today’s best seller list, says she was in the midst of researching and writing the novel when her then 17-year-old son, Kyle, came out to her and her husband. Picoult’s new novel explores the issue of gay rights and the meaning of family by telling the story of a divorced woman who develops romantic feelings for another woman. At a recent promotional event for her book, Picoult said:
I actually started writing about this because it was so upsetting to me personally that gay rights is even an issue in this country. I travel enough to know that it just isn’t an issue anywhere else. And they wonder why Americans are so hung up on it. I have so many gay friends and I’ve known so many gay people over the years. I have gay relatives. USAToday
Joan of Arc Playwright Performs Her Work: Carolyn Gage, a respected lesbian playwright from Maine, has recently performed her one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, at the University of Victoria. Cage has authored seven books on lesbian theater and has produced more than 50 plays, musicals and shows. Gage depicts Catholic saint Joan of Arc as a teenaged lesbian runaway. Gage first performed the piece 22 years ago in a storefront women’s theater. TimesColonist
Event Type: Reading; $7 cover (includes house drink)
Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Location: Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street (between 4th Street and Bleecker)
Subways: A, C, E, B, D, F, V, to West 4th Street/Washington Square
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone contact: 212-989-9319
Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. His most recent novel is By Nightfall.
Edmund White is the author of eleven novels, including A Boy’s Own Story, the biographies of Jean Genet, Marcel Proust, and Arthur Rimbaud, and most recently the memoir, City Boy. He teaches writing at Princeton University.
The White Swallow, a queerish reading series in Manhattan’s West Village, features emerging and established poets and fiction writers. Hosted monthly by Angelo Nikolopoulos.
Last night “Over the Rainbow Book List” from the American Library Association’s GLBT Round Table announced their Top 11 of 2011 books along with their inaugural list of 108 books published in 2010 and 2009.
The Top 11 list includes a diverse assortment of titles (poetry, illustrated, essays, anthologies), a few LLF favorites like Lambda Literary Award Finalist Sarah Schulman’s Ties that Bind (New Press), and one book we didn’t even know about (!!): Page Hodel’s Monday Hearts for Madalene (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).
In her only New York City appearance, Emma Donoghue discusses her extraordinary new novel with author Michael Cunningham.
Monday, December 6 @ 7:30PM
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
Tickets: $25; 30 AND UNDER $15
Call: (212) 864-5400
Lambda users can get $12 tickets using the code: ROOM
Code must be in ALL CAPS to work
Yesterday, the industry pub, Library Journal announced their first ever “Top Ten Best Books List.”
And we weren’t surprised to see two Lambda favorites on this list — Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall (reviewed by June Thomas last month) and Emma Donoghue’s Room — since these are two books we’ve followed over the past year.
The list was compiled with the input of librarians and LJ‘s book reviewers and includes both fiction and nonfiction titles.
“We can guarantee that each of these books offers a tremendous reading experience, says Brian Kenney, Editorial Director, Library Journal.
“Librarians—and booksellers—should feel confident in recommending them to their readers, suggesting them to book groups, and promoting them through a variety of venues. These are the books Americans will enjoy reading-and discussing.”