“Location, Location, Location”: A conversation about the role of place and sitting in fiction, from a New York City hospital (in Eleven Hours, by Yours Truly) to Rikers Island in Sergio De La Pava’s Lost Empress, to the islands of Maine in Estep Nagy’s We Shall Not All Sleep. Moderated by Alice Elliott Dark, author of In the Gloaming and Think of England. At First Congregational Church (sanctuary), 40 Sth Fullerton Ave, Montclair, New Jersey. More festival events can be found here (calendar will continue to be updated).
I'll be speaking with Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs and The Emperor's Children, about her powerful new novel, The Burning Girl. The event is part of the all-day Maplewood-South Orange Book Festival. At the Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood.
Long Eddy, New York (formerly Douglas City) is 150 years old this July! In celebration, there will be all kinds of activities in town July 14 through 16, including kayak and canoe races on the Delaware River, art and historical exhibits, music, games for kids . . . and a reading with local (including part-time local) authors, of which I'm one. With Darcey Steinke, Douglas A. Martin, and Mike Hudson. Basket Historical Society, Route 97, Long Eddy; more details at (845) 887-6703.
"Motherhood in Fiction: The Joys and Sorrows," with Lauren Grodstein, moderated by Elizabeth Trundle. A panel at the first annual Maplewood/South Orange, NJ book festival! A chance for my town to show off how very much we have going on lit'rachur-wise. Other festival authors include Mary Roach, Ada Calhoun, Dale Russakoff, D.T. Max, Marina Budhos, Tina Kelley, Caroline Leavitt, Julia Fierro, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Christina Baker Kline, and Marcy Dermansky. At the Woodland (parlor), 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood, NJ. Festival kickoff party and reading with Mary Roach is 6 p.m. on Friday, June 9, South Orange Performing Arts Center (Loft), 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ. Call (973) 313-2787 for tickets for the Roach event (everything else is free). Festival venues for Saturday are the Woodland and the Bergdoff Center in Maplewood.
I'll be reprising my fall Tin House class, a three-hour afternoon workshop on "Setting the Clock: Manipulating Past, Present, and Pace in Fiction." We'll be doing some close reading and talking about how monkeying with time registers can help writers achieve the emotional effects they're looking for. Generative exercises will be included. Check out the other teachers and classes on the spring roster here! Application deadline for all classes is March 20. Location: Tin House Magazine office, 126 13th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), #4R, Brooklyn, NY (Gowanus neighborhood).
I'm delighted to be receiving this award in my hometown of Maplewood, NJ, at the conclusion of its annual Ideas Festival. The event will include an interview with Sarah Lester, director of the Maplewood Memorial Library, followed by an audience Q & A and a book signing. At the library, 51 Baker Street, Maplewood, NJ. 973-762-1622.
The Ideas Festival is a great two-week event and I want to give a shout-out to its sponsors and supporters: The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Friends of the Maplewood Library, The Maplewood Library Foundation, The Maplewood Woman’s Club, and Words Bookstore.
I'll be visiting Siena College in Loudonville, NY, courtesy of the Greyfriar Living Literature Series, to do a reading and a workshop with students. The reading, which is open to the public, will be on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boland Room of the Fr. Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M., House. Siena College is at 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY. For any further information, call (518) 783-4278.
Five authors, five volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard's opus My Struggle (the sixth and final volume has yet to be translated into English from the Norwegian). Each of us has chosen one volume to discuss with participants at the Center for Fiction. I'll be doing Volume 2, which dives deep into the early years of Knausgaard's second marriage and fatherhood. Discussions of other volumes will be led by Roxana Robinson, Matthew Thomas, Ed Park, and Rebecca Mead. Follow this link to sign up: http://centerforfiction.org/for-readers/join-reading-groups/novelists-read-knausgaard/. Center For Fiction, 17 E. 47th Street, New York, NY (212.755.6710).
I'll have the pleasure of Q-and-A-ing with Marcy Dermansky, the author of the feted new novel The Red Car, at my neighborhood indie. Marcy will read from the novel as well. Here's what The New York Times reviewer (Daniel Handler!) said about this book: "There is, now, a literary term for a book you can’t stop reading that makes you stop to think. It is `The Red Car.'" Words Bookstore, 179 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood, NJ.
"What It Means to Be a Mother": panel discussion. From the festival website: "What do we picture when we picture motherhood in 2016? A doting, softly frazzled woman with a full time job and dinner on the table every night? A loving spouse pitching in beside her? Or is the vision something darker? The truth of modern mothering is at the heart of the new novels by Pamela Erens (Eleven Hours) and Gayle Forman (Leave Me). Join them as they take a literary approach to what it really means to be a mother—loneliness, longing, warts and all." Moderated by Rose Smith.
The panel will be in Capitol Extension Room E2.026, with a book signing afterwards at the Main Book Signing Tent (Congress near 10th Street). I'm told that this festival, which runs all day Saturday and Sunday, is ginormous and wonderful.
I'll be teaching a three-hour afternoon craft workshop in the terrific Tin house Craft Intensive Series (see the full roster of classes here). My topic: "Setting the Clock: Manipulating Past, Present, and Pace in Fiction." We'll be doing some close reading and talking about how monkeying with time registers can help writers achieve the emotional effects they're looking for. Generative exercises will be included. Tin House office, 543 Union Street, Unit 2B, Brooklyn (Gowanus neighborhood).
It's my pleasure to be talking to author Anuk Arudpragasam at the launch of his stunning debut novel, THE STORY OF A BRIEF MARRIAGE, about a young man and woman toward the end of Sri Lanka's civil war. Powerhouse, 28 Adams St., Brooklyn, NY.
I'll be a guest all week at this workshop at Reed College in Portland, OR.
Reading: Sunday, June 10, 8 p.m., Reed College Amphitheater. With Melissa Broder and Luis Alberto Urrea.
Craft lecture, "Use Your Inside Voice: Representing the Unspoken Interior Life in Fiction": Tuesday, June 12, 9 a.m., Vollum Lecture Hall, Reed College.
For the new anthology The House That Made Me: essays by writers about their childhood homes. Edited by Grant Jarrett; contributors (other than myself) include Antonya Nelson, Porochista Khakpour, Jeffrey Renard Allen, Tim Johnson, Ellen Meister, and Roy Kesey. Appearing at this event will be Grant Jarrett, Tim Johnson, and me. Address: Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Ave, Astoria, NY.