The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and posted by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30 pm, and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to Ms. Cerand at lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication. Due to the volume of submissions, events cannot be considered unless the date appears in the subject line of your message.
MON OCT 20: Brooklyn Independent presents another perfectly of-the-moment line-up, pairing the short film Bloodsucker (“a unique look at the collateral damage caused by California’s massive foreclosure crisis”) with the feature Liberty Kid (“Mainly filmed in a five block section of East Williamsburg… a surprising and subtle story about two young men trying to survive after losing their Statue of Liberty jobs due to 9/11”). At Barbes. 7PM, FREE.
TUE OCT 21: “Barney Rosset, the legendary publisher recently featured in the documentary Obscene, will be discussing his career at The General Society and The New York Center for Independent Publishing [as part of]… Labor, Landmarks, and Literature, hosted annually by The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in midtown Manhattan, and is the first of four lectures co-curated by Dan Simon of Seven Stories Press and Peter Kaufman of Intelligent Television comprising the Literature component of the series. This year’s theme is ‘Which Publishing Future?’ and the first lecture, entitled ‘Pioneers,’ will feature Mr. Rosset, founder of the ground-breaking Grove Press, speaking about using the lessons of the past as a predictor of the future… Mr. Rosset is a tireless champion of free speech, and fought multiple landmark court battles in order to publish uncensored versions of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and William H. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. Grove Press became one of the bellwether cultural institutions of the 1950s and 1960s, introducing Americans to the writings of Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet, and many of the American Beats, as well as radical political thinkers including Malcolm X and Regis Debray.” Highly recommended, this time, although not in the future because all of the speakers in the rest of the series are men and not that interesting anyway. 6PM, $15.
WED OCT 22: Essential (as in, I am already working on my outfit and also all the cool people in town are going which means also you, probably, right?). Housing Works Bookstore Café presents Witches, Demons, and Thieves, a Puritan Halloween celebration featuring the acclaimed debut novelists Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief) and Kathleen Kent (The Heretic’s Daughter), and artist Michael Aaron Lee, with readings, a lecture, a themed quiz, prizes, and pumpkin pie. The event is hosted by Maud Newton! Followed by a book signing and reception. 7PM, “Admission is free, donated books are welcome and encouraged.”
THU OCT 23: “The Asian Women Giving Circle is sponsoring a flight of short documentaries at the South Asian International Film Festival… ‘Up Close and Personal: Shorts’ on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 7:00pm at The Rubin Museum of Art. This selection of shorts includes: A Drop of Life, Healthy.Happy.Holy, Kerala Brides, Lalbati, and Holding Fast.”
SAT OCT 25: Any reason to check out the best new book-to-film as of late,Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, is a good one, but especially go if you have ever been the recipient, or better, creator of a mix called “The Road to Closure, Volume 12.” Yessssssssss.
SUN OCT 26: Roxana Robinson (Cost) and Todd Hasak-Lowy (Captives) read from their new novels at KGB [Full disclosure, as always: I helped to publicize Cost when it was published earlier this year]. 7PM, FREE.