The Smart Set: a weekly events listing by Lauren Cerand

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 submit details to

MONDAY, 3.14: Walking is apparently so rare in Los Angeles (where I am at the moment) that it now qualifies as a conceptual art project: A Walk to Remember. Check site for details [via artkrush] Flaneurs, unite!

TUESDAY, 3.15: Lydia Millet reads from her new novel Everyone’s Pretty, at Stain Bar. 7:00pm, FREE.

WEDNESDAY, 3.16: American Splendor illustrator Josh Neufeld gives a reading/slideshow of his latest book, A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories From Southeast Asia & Central Europe), at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble. 7:30pm, FREE. Elsewhere, cousins Rene Steinke (Holy Skirts) and Darcey Steinke (Milk; two takes: Maud and Sasha) read from their new books at Three Lives. 7:00pm, FREE.

THURSDAY, 3.17: John Ashbery reads from his latest poetry collection, Where Shall I Wonder, at 192 Books. 7:00pm; FREE, but reservations are a very good idea: 212.255.4022. Also, “Intensely Darger“, a joint program of the American Folk Art Museum and Dance Theatre Workshop, kicks off a series of exceedingly intriguing events with a screening of In the Realms of the Unreal, a documentary that explores reclusive janitor/self-taught artist Henry Darger’s “15,000-page novel [that] details the exploits of the Vivian Girls, seven angelic sisters who lead a rebellion against godless, child enslaving men.” Is this the new chick lit? Fine by me. UPDATE: Don’t miss Anais and Her Family: The Story of the Nin Family, a Lineage of Writers, Musicians, and Painters, a concert and panel discussion exploring cultural contributions made by the writer’s creative relatives. 8:30pm, FREE.

FRIDAY, 3.18: Joanna Parson’s Happy Hour Salon at Siberia looks like it might be interesting if you’re in the neighborhood. 6:00pm, $5.

SATURDAY, 3.19: Novelist Wayne Koestenbaum (Moira Orfei in Aigues Mortes), Maggie Nelson (Jane: A Murder, “a collection of poems, newspaper clippings, and journal entries that tell the true story of the 1969 murder of Jane Mixer, the author’s mother’s sister, by a famous Michigan serial killer.”), and poet Jason Schneiderman read from their work at the justifiably (in)famous Ear Inn. 3:00pm, FREE.

SUNDAY, 3.20: The Harlem is… Storybook Series at the South Street Seaport Museum is probably — like Trix — just for kids, but this description is so enticing that I want to go. 1:00pm, FREE.


Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to my free newsletter, Ancestor Trouble.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.