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 Yorkâ€™s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to Ms. Cerand at lauren [at] maudnewton.com 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.
MON SEP 15: McNally Jackson continues its Indie Press Series with Francis Levy (Erotomania: A Romance) and Janet Beard (Beneath the Pines), novelists published by Two Dollar Radio [Full disclosure, as always: I am publicizing Crust, Two Dollar Radio’s next offering, this fall]. 7PM, FREE. And, “Contributors to Submerged: Tales from the Basin will read from the anthology at The CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 9204.” Submerged is “an anthology of literature, memoir, and art created by more than thirty women to benefit those who survived Hurricane Katrina. The title refers to a fear many of us had as young children, of having our heads submerged under water while our mothers washed our hair.” Refreshments to follow. 6PM, FREE. Please note: there is another reading on Friday at 7pm at Bristens CafÃ©, 751 Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn.
TUE SEP 16: “Adult Education is a Brooklyn-based monthly lecture series devoted to making useless knowledge somewhat less useless… After a long summer off, Adult Ed returns with a special back-to-school topic, ‘School for Scandal.'” At Union Hall in Park Slope. 8PM, $5.
WED, SEP 17: The Goethe-Institut New York’s “With God on Our Side” series of salons on contemporary political trends continues with with a conversation betweeen Marcia Pally and Jörg Lau on “Evangelicals in U.S. Politics & Muslims in Europe” at Galapagos Art Space, now located at 16 Main Street in DUMBO. Noted, “Evangelicalism was a progressive force and America’s dominant religion from the colonial era till WWI. Marcia Pally will discuss evangelicalism’s contribution to U.S. pluralism, church-state separation, and foreign policy. How is evangelicalism, only recently conservative, evolving? Jörg Lau will discuss religion in Germany and how its growing Muslim population challenges the concept of secularism.” 7:30PM, FREE [Full disclosure, as always: I am the publicist for this series]. And, Fantastic Fiction presents Holly Black and Lauren McLaughlin at KGB. 7PM, FREE.
THU SEP 18: At Freebird Books, “Moustafa Bayoumi will discuss his new book How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?, an investigation of what it means to be Arab in America today. Through the first-hand accounts of seven young Arab-Americans living in Brooklyn, Bayoumi reveals the difficulties faced by a generation coming of age after September 11.” 7:30PM, FREE. Meanwhile, in the Village, a fundraiser for the Aura Estrada Prize, to “be given every two years to a female Spanish-language writer of creative prose, 35 or younger, living in Mexico or the United States. This unique prize will combine a cash award with residencies in writers’ colonies and publication in Spanish language Granta.” Details here. Highly recommended. 7PM, “Be a “Oscar Wilde”–$150 for under-40-years-old friends of Aura, Be a “Juan Carlos OnettiÃ®”–$250 and on up…
FRI SEP 19: Ed Hamilton reads from Legends of the Chelsea Hotel at Bluestockings. Recommended. 7PM, FREE. Also, “SECRECY, a documentary directed by Harvard Professors Peter Galison and Robb Moss, is a powerful and provocative new film that examines the complexities and layers of our governmentâ€™s obsession with secrecy and the effects it has had on individuals and on our government. Using original animation, a powerful score, and expertly edited interviews, Secrecy takes us deep into the dark shadows of this process, shedding light on the implications of reasons behind the need to classify a document as secret while asking who polices the stateâ€™s ability to do so.”
WEEKEND: I’ll be in Omaha for the (downtown) Lit Fest, and as such, can think of little else but Omahype and fretting about which heels will be best on the cobblestones of the Old Market and where to get a copy of Zuleika Dobson for the plane