The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30pm and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication, with the eventÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s date in the subject line.
MONDAY, 3.5: The Reader’s Room at Mo Pitkin’s, hosted by Emilie Stewart and Leigh Newman, presents an evening with “the wonderful novelist Robert Lopez, author of Part of the World, and brilliant short story writer Noy Holland… It’s called ‘The Reader’s Room: Where Writers Take Center Stage’ for very specific reasons: the actual stage and lovely performance space where our writers can read with the respect and attention they deserve. We always have the reader’s books available for sale, with authors signing books after the reading.” Always recommended. 7PM, one-drink minimum. Also, the Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series presents an all-shorts programs with a refreshingly original mix, e.g. “Pauline waits for a phone call, misses the phone call, gets the phone call and regrets the phone call in this stylized allegory of innocence and experience” and “Aging rock musician Bobby Bird explains the origins of his many tattoos.” 7PM, FREE. Plus, the Cahiers du Cinema thing sounds pretty brilliant.
TUESDAY, 3.6: At the Merc, an evening of readings by writers who also make art. “The readings will be chosen by the authors based on how they connect to or reflect their dual identities as both writers and visual artists.” With Jonathan Ames, Susan Minot and Robert Marshall [Full disclosure as always: Robert Marshall and I have worked together to publicize his debut novel]. 6:30PM, FREE.
WEDNESDAY, 3.7: Barnes & Noble presents Ã¢â‚¬Å“Upstairs at the Square,Ã¢â‚¬Â at the Union Square B&N. The series features host Katherine Lanpher in conversation with established and emerging authors and musicians, who read and perform their work. Wednesday’s guests are Badly Drawn Boy and Dana Spiotta [full disclosure, as always: I am the PR consultant for this project]. 7PM, FREE. Uptown at Makor, New Jewish Fiction: “Discover three exciting literary debuts that explore Jewish characters and themes. A Taxonomy of Barnacles by Galt Niederhoffer, a novel about the romantic adventures of six sisters in New York, has been praised as ‘a confident and witty debut… an eccentric combination of The Virgin Suicides and Little Women.’ Robert MarshallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s novel A Separate Reality depicts an adolescent boy’s search for meaning in rock music, spiritual writings, poetry and politics. Instant Love by Jami Attenberg has been called ‘a sweet, smart, sad, and sexy novel told in interrelated fragments, following three women from teen years into quasi-adulthood.’ 7PM, tickets are $12 in advance.
THURSDAY, 3.8: “Please join us to celebrate the publication of Hip Tranquil Chick (newly out from Maui-based Inner Ocean Publishing), Kimberly Wilson’s stylish guide to life on and off the yoga mat, with a party at Lolita! Featuring happy hour drink specials + complimentary hors d’oeuvres & raffle with posh prizes.” [Full disclosure as always: I put this party together]. 7PM, FREE. Plus, visit the new PAGE blog for details on Thursday’s reading at the National Arts Club.
FRIDAY, 3.9: Margo Rabb (also celebrating the publication of her long-awaited novel, Cures for Heartbreak) reads as part of the One Story cocktail hour & reading at Pianos. A brief interview with Margo, conducted via email and exclusive to The Smart Set:
Lauren Cerand: Spring is overrated. What’s the most crush-worthy thing about winter?
Margo Rabb: Fireplaces. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re lucky to have a working fireplace in our apartmentÃ¢â‚¬â€with a glass of wine thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all you need to cure the winter blues. It also comes in handy when the writing isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going well and I can toss a story into the flames.
Lauren Cerand: Who’s the sexiest living writer you’ve never met?
Margo Rabb: IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m completely smitten by William Trevor, even though heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about fifty years too old for me. On a more age-appropriate level, I hear Karl Iagnemma is a dreamboat.
Lauren Cerand: Where is the best place in New York to cure a broken heart?
Margo Rabb: I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s impossible to sit in the courtyard of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and feel depressed. There have been many times when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve wished I could run away and live there like the sister and brother in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
6:30PM at Pianos, FREE. Highly recommended. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be there!
SATURDAY, 3.10: Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good lookin’, so, hush, little baby don’t you cry… At Dance Theater Workshop, “AwardÃ¢â‚¬â€œwinning Rio de Janeiro based choreographer Marcia Milhazes makes her New York debut with Tempo de VerÃƒÂ£o (Summertime). Using her fascination with waltzes as a catalyst in extracting family memories, Milhazes weaves subtle variations on human relationships with her love of nature. Lavish and sensual gestures reveal moments so intimate that time suspends Ã¢â‚¬â€œ all set within internationally renowned visual artist Beatriz MilhazesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ colorful stage design.” 7:30pm, $20.
SUNDAY, 3.11: “good words @ Good World, a new reading series featuring a different theme every month, continues on Sunday, March 11th. Reading #3 is OUT OF IRELAND, with new fiction by: MARTIN ROPER, the author of the acclaimed novel Gone (Henry Holt/Picador, 2002/3), excerpted in the New Yorker. He teaches nonfiction writing at New York University, and is the director of the University of Iowa’s writing program in Ireland. He is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, and graduated from the University of Iowa with a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing. He is working on a new novel; and MARY BURKE who teaches in the English department at the University of Connecticut, where she directs the Irish Studies program. In her scholarly work, she specializes in J.M. Synge, the Revival and Irish Minority Identities. Her fiction has been published in The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories 2004-5 (Faber and Faber, 2005), republished in the U.S. as The Best New Irish Short Stories 2005 (Carroll and Graf, 2005). An excerpt from Descent, her novel-in-progress, appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of The Recorder: The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. Good World Bar and Grill is located at 3 Orchard Street, between Canal and Division.” Highly recommended. 5PM, FREE.