The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays 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 firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday prior to publication, with the eventÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s date in the subject line.
MONDAY, 2.27: Laila Lalami reads from her Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, along with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (fansite!) and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor. At The Graduate Center of the City University New York, Skylight Room 9100. Highly recommended — no, essential (if I weren’t here, I’d be there in a heartbeat). 6:00pm, FREE.
TUESDAY, 2.28: Simon Reynolds, music critic and author of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984, hosts a panel discussion of the era and its effects, with “James Chance (Contortions, James White & The Blacks), Steven Daly (Orange Juice), and Vivien Goldman (NME, Melody Maker)-with more guests TBA.” (That’s a relief… if it were still punk, it would obviously be TBD — and then, who knows?). At Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction. A must-do. 7:00pm, $8.
WEDNESDAY, 3.1: There’s one place to be on Wednesday evening (that is, if you buy a ticket, like, this minute): The Tibet House Annual Benefit Concert. And if that fails, there’s always happy hour at the Thirsty Scholar.
THURSDAY, 3.2: We luck out as Portland-based Ms. Moorish Girl reads again in New York this week, this time with ‘Little Bitches‘ author Jessica Treat. At The Women’s Center of Brooklyn College. Also highly recommended. 5:00pm, FREE.
FRIDAY, 3.3: The new and very well-curated series at “Paragraph, A Workspace for Writers” presents an evening of storytelling with “bohemian roughneck” David Gates (who, nonetheless, looks great in a tux) and Jonathan Ames. 8:00pm, FREE.
SATURDAY, 3.4: At Scandinavia House: Frozen Land (Paha maa) — “Directed by Aku Louhimies (Finland. 2005)…
With intersecting stories a la Robert AltmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Short Cuts, the main narrative follows Tuomas, a young computer hacker who wants to make something of his life and marry his girlfriend Elina, a young student activist. His best friend Niko leads a more hedonistic life in a world of drugs and alcohol. When Niko forges a 500 euro note, a chain reaction of fateful events is set in motion. Episodic and fast-paced, the filmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s depiction of contemporary Finnish society is both realistic and dramatically satisfying.” 3:00pm, $8.
A special pick for our readers in the South: Rob Walker sends word of “an actual Letters From New Orleans event, by way of the Savannah College of Art and Design.”
And an ongoing opportunity for authors in New York: The Writers Working Series at The Drama Book Shop.