The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s last events ’til Labor Day

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and posted by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30 pm, 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 Ms. Cerand at lauren [at] by the Thursday prior to publication. Due to the volume of submissions, events cannot be considered unless the date appears in the subject line of your message.

TUE, 24: A local launch party at Bookculture for author Judith Matloff: “After twenty years as a foreign correspondent, traveling through tumultuous places including Rwanda and Chechnya, Matloff returns to her native New York City to house-hunt, while her husband stays behind in Moscow to pack their belongings. Intoxicated by West Harlem’s cultural diversity and affordability, she impulsively buys a “fixer-upper” in the neighborhood, unaware that their new residence is a termite-infested former crack house on a street crowded with dealers.” 7PM, FREE (see also: Kelly McMasters & Honor Moore at Bookculture on Wednesday).

WED, 25: Ornithology, a show for the birds, opens at Jen Bekman Gallery. 6-8PM, FREE. And, “Show/Tell 10,” presented by the Goethe-Institut at the Austrian Cultural Forum, features Frieze’s Jörg Heiser and Artforum‘s Brian Sholis discussing Heiser’s new All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art. Noted, “Jörg Heiser provides a sharp summary of contemporary art since Marcel Duchamp. ‘When it’s good,’ he claims, ‘art hits where it hurts, striking at the heart of an ossified status quo by which it itself was brought forth.'” 7PM, FREE with RSVP requested [Full disclosure, as always: the Goethe-Institut New York is one of my publicity clients].

SAT, 28: Release party for Lady Tyrant (The all-women issue of the New York Tyrant): Featuring a female artist and a female-fronted band (10PM: Lucy Wainwright Roche, 11PM: The Choke), with a portion of the proceeds going to Girls Write Now, a nonprofit devoted to encouraging NYC public school girls to develop as writers. At Bar Nine (9th Ave between 53/54). 9PM, $10 cover includes a copy of the latest issue, featuring work from: S.G. Miller, Cezarija Abartis, Leni Zumas, Paula Bomer, Jessica Anya Blau, Nadxieli Mannello, Rachel B. Glaser, Elizabeth Koch, Leigh Newman, and Deb Olin Unferth, among others.”

And with that, The Smart Set breaks for summer. Upcoming highlights:

July 23rd: At KGB, a reading to commemorate 60th anniversary of “The Lottery”: “An evening of live readings from Ms. Jackson’s work is sure to unsettle audience members. Readings from Shirley Jackson’s work will begin at 7pm and end by 9pm. The cover charge is $5 per person. In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”

July 31st: The July edition of “Upstairs at the Square,” hosted by Katherine Lanpher, will feature Aimee Mann and Joseph O’Neill in performance and discussion at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. 7PM, FREE [Full disclosure, as always: I am very involved with this project].

Plus, bloggy favorite Dzanc Books has some New York events up its sleeve.

At the top of my personal event wishlist: Electric Sound Art and Media Festival in Canada.

And, a video of inspiring writers telling their tales right here in the city [Full disclosure, as always: I am on Girls Write Now’s board of directors].

See you after Labor Day!


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.