The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays at 12:30pm 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, 4.24: At McNally Robinson in SoHo, “Round About the Ballet, Author William Cubberley and photographer Roy Round – Featuring Dancers Wendy Whelan, Jennie Somogyi, Maria Kowroski, and Nikolaj Hubbe.” For another behind-the-scenes look at the world of ballet, see The Winger. 7:00pm, FREE.
TUESDAY, 4.25 Lisa Selin Davis hosts KGB’s Nonfiction Night, with an excellent edition featuring Maud Casey, whose Genealogy intrigues via The Old Hag, Lori Leibovich (first Indiebride, and then Maybe Baby) and Dani Shapiro. 7:00pm, FREE. Also, Dubravka Ugresic, “who resides in both Croatia and The Netherlands,” reads from The Ministry of Pain at 192 Books. 7:00pm, FREE. And PEN World Voices 2006 kicks off a full week of events.
WEDNESDAY, 4.26: Embrace your dirty thirties with a stylish paean to what may be the best years of your life. That’s the premise of The May Queen, a new anthology of essays featuring a range of voices including my pal, the v. chic Kim Askew. Editor Andrea Nicole Richesin, Kim, and a host of other contributors including Louise Jarvis Flynn, Heather Chaplin, Sara Woster, Ayun Halliday, Ivy Meeropol, Jennifer Baumgardner, and Heather Juergensen celebrate the book’s publication with a reading at BookCourt. Highly recommended. 8:00pm, FREE. And, on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, “the National Book Critics Circle, the PEN World Voices Festival and Picador host an evening of readings from Voices of Chernobyl,” “the first book to present personal accounts of what happened on April 26, 1986, when the worst nuclear reactor accident in history contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Svetlana AlexievichÃ¢â‚¬â€a journalist by trade who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this bookÃ¢â‚¬â€interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown.” At Housing Works Used Book Cafe, with readings by Gary Shteyngart, Ken Kalfus, Julie Otsuka, Jim Shepard, Martha Cooley, Lawrence Joseph, Lynne Tillman, Philip Gourevitch, and Tom Bissell. Also highly recommended. 6:00pm, FREE.
THURSDAY, 4.27: At The Strand, “Bruce Davidson speaks with photo historian Charlotte Cotton about his latest book of documentary photographs, England/Scotland 1960. Reception to follow.” 6:30pm, FREE. Meanwhile, The Casa Readings feature poets Eve Grubin (Morning Prayer) and Patrick Phillips at Casa Cupcake. 7:30pm, FREE. Additionally, at The Tank, PulseWave #2: “PulseWave is the first in series of events that highlight the raw and rude world of Chipmusic, Gameboy beat boxing, lo-fi electronics and raw 8bit rock. Watch a generation of dithered youths brought up on a healthy diet of Italian plumbers, spiky mammals, and gender bending space pirates warp a fascination with the tinny tones of the past into the touch tone pulse of today.”
FRIDAY, 4.28: I seriously heart Stain Bar; I would go to the opening of an envelope there. Fortunately, on Friday evening there’s perhaps a more enticing attraction: The MiPoesis Magazine Reading Series. Highly recommended, obvs. 7:00pm, FREE.
SATURDAY, 4.29: Acclaimed cartoonist Lauren Weinstein fetes her Girl Stories with friends, fans and admirers at Rocketship Comics in Brooklyn. Highly recommended. Meanwhile, at the Dahesh Museum of Art: “Stories to Tell features 90 masterworks drawn from the Kelly Collection of American Illustration, one of the most important private holdings of original oil paintings, watercolors, and pen-and-ink drawings by the most sought-after celebrities of American illustrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ‘golden age’ (1880s -1930s). The exhibition features works by Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, James Montgomery Flagg, Charles Dana Gibson, J.C. Leyendecker, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, Jessie Willcox Smith, and N.C. Wyeth, as well as many other lesser-known but talented illustrators whose stylistic innovations are considered groundbreaking to this day.” Through May 21.
SUNDAY, 4.30: jen@joe, “a revolving selection of photographs from jen bekman artists [full dislclosure, as always: I am the gallery’s p.r. director] exhibited at Joe, the award-winning pair of coffee shops,” “features work by Martin Amis, Kelli Anderson, Dylan Chatain, James Deavin, Joseph Holmes, Florianne de Lasse, Diane Meyer, Youngna Park, Tema Stauffer and Matthew Tischler” at the 13th Street location. On Sunday, “jen@joe artists will be on hand to discuss their work and Ms. Bekman will also give a short, highly-caffeinated talk about the four essential steps to starting (or growing) your own art collection.” 2:00-4:00pm, FREE.