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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONDAY, 5.9: From Mike Daisey: “This Monday night, May 9th, I’ll be performing THE UGLY AMERICAN, my monologue about sex, theater and everything that lies between, at Performance Space 122 at 7:30pm. This is a one-night only engagement: after this, we’re on tour throughout the summer, so if you’d like to see it and you live in NYC, now’s the time. Tickets are just ten little dollars–we’re performing it as the culmination of this year’s ALL STORIES ARE FICTION series, which has been a resounding success thanks to wonderful and warm audiences. Also possibly of interest is a commentary I did on the National Public Radio program Day To Day, concerning Jennifer Wilbanks (known far and wide as the Runaway Bride) and other brides I’ve known who hit the road instead of tying the knot. It’s on the radio today, or you can listen to the weblink here.”
TUESDAY, 5.10: I’d probably rather lock myself in an “old boudoir where a rack of gowns, perfumed by withered roses, rots to dust”, but if you’re so inclined, stop by Books of Wonder for a meet-and-greet with “NASTYbook” author Barry Yourgrau. 6:00pm, FREE. Also on Wednesday, Topic Magazine presents a discussion of “family”, featuring Meg Wolitzer, Andy Borowitz, David Cross, and Jonathan Ames. 7:00pm, $15.
WEDNESDAY, 5.11: What will it be this week, friends? Speed french braiding? Candy-making? Making tee-shirt iron-ons? Audrey Niffenegger (“The Time Traveler’s Wife”) and Michelle Herman (“Dog”) and musical guest Ruth Gerson “take one public risk” (required) as part of the Happy Ending Reading Series. 8:00pm, FREE [Thanks to Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network for the reminder].
THURSDAY, 5.12: The L Magazine presents another round of its fiction contest, which despite protestations to the contrary, is probably a little bit like American Idol. At least in the best possible sense (Anybody here get busted buying coke in an Alabama strip club? Or, as long as we’re at it — been to a strip club called “The Silver Dollar,” anywhere? God, I hope so.) Judges at the event include The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman, Regal-Literary agent Peter Steinberg, Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday editor Coates Bateman, Doubleday editor Kendra Harpster, and The L magazine columnist Rebecca Schuman. Try and guess which one of the judges could be voted most likely to shag contestants, at the next round on May 12th at the Baggot Inn, 82 West 3rd Street between Thompson and Sullivan. 8:00pm, FREE. Also on Thursday, “three New York City-based independent presses–Akashic, Ig and Ugly Duckling–join with Coach House, their neighbor from north of the border, to present an evening of literature on the edge” at KGB. Play the matching game on a cocktail napkin with Darren O’Donnell (“Your Secrets Sleep With Me”), Kirby Gann (“Our Napoleon in Rags”), Yongsoo Park (“Las Cucarachas”) and Eugene Ostashevsky (“Iterature”). 7:00pm, FREE. And, John Falk (“Hello to All That”), Josh Saitz of Negative Capability, and Jeffrey Yamaguchi, of the excellent 52 Projects (also a forthcoming book) and Bookmouth and more, read from their work at the very last edition of Ned Vizzini’s reading series at Barbes. 7:00pm, FREE.
SUNDAY, 5.15: Sunday Salon presents its first reading at its new “literary den,” Stain Bar in Brooklyn, featuring Jonathan Dee, Naomi Leimsider, Josh Weil, and Wallace Bullock. Also on Sunday, Franklin Reeve reads from his new book, “The Return of the Blue Cat,” along with the musical accompaniment of “improvisational jazz trio” Exit 59. At Makor. 3:00pm, $12 in advance or $15 at the door.