The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

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 by the Thursday prior to publication, with the event’s date in the subject line.

MONDAY, 2.13: Emilie Stewart and Leigh Newman present the latest edition of their standout series, “The Reader’s Room: Where Writers Take Center Stage,” featuring the Tin House talent of Elissa Schappell (Use Me), Brenda Shaughnessy (Interior with Sudden Joy), and Michelle Wildgen (You’re Not You), at Mo Pitkin’s. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, no cover. Uptown, “Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” is the topic of the evening at The Theatre of Ideas at Columbia University, with Daniel C. Dennett and Robert Thurman in conversation and certain to stir controversy in the audience and beyond. Also highly recommended. 8:00pm, $15.

TUESDAY, 2.14: As part of “Love Stinks: Tales of Hook-ups and Heartbreaks,” a special edition of the all-women alternative comedy/performing arts series “Chicks & Giggles” (as seen in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and produced by Nichelle Stephens), TWINS author Marcy Dermansky [Full disclosure, as always: one of my PR clients] reads from her first novel, described as a “brainy, emotionally sophisticated bildungsroman-for-two” by The New York Times Book Review. Marcy takes the stage at Mo Pitkin’s, along with musical guest Bari “Confessions of an Indie Girl” Koral and a well-curated handful of other talented writers and performers. 7:30pm, no cover.

WEDNESDAY, 2.15: Kate Braverman, experimental writer, “cult novelist”, “literary genius” and now author of Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir reads from her work at the National Arts Club. 6:00pm, free. Also: @Pratt on Monday, @NewSchool on Tuesday. A “must-do” and too fabulous to miss, so definitely just pick a day and go!

In a little experiment this week, the second half of The Smart Set will be posted on Thursday at 12:30pm.


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