The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

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.

The Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Edition

MON, JUN 8: Work on your Beach Party Attitude (that’s an actual house cocktail at Diner in Williamsburg) via “Praia Piquinia: Photographs by Christian Chaize” at Jen Bekman Gallery, through July 11. And, “Dan Graham: Beyond,” opening at the Whitney later this month, offers a full and deeply intriguing schedule of complementary programming. If I were in San Francisco, I’d be making time for Robert Frank’s “The Americans” at SF MOMA. Through August 23.

TUE, JUN 9: In Fort Greene, FalconWorks is a presenter of “Riot Act! The Police-Teen Theater Project’s Spring 2009 Performance. Young people from throughout Brooklyn combine forces with officers from four NYPD units to create a night of hilarious, moving, and totally unpredictable improvisational theater.” 7PM, FREE. Downtown, “Belladonna* Celebrates the Elders (& our last event of the season!) with readings and events guest-hosted by some of our favorite writers who’ve invited writers who influence and inspire them,” featuring Jane Sprague, Tina Darragh & Diane Ward, at Dixon Place (at that same venue, Martha Wainwright sings the songs of Edith Piaf for a limited engagement of three shows, June 14-15). 7:30PM, $6.

WED, JUN 10: Sunday Salon co-founder Nita Noveno says, “As many of you know I work for the Student Press Initiative and this year had the honor of collaborating with a dynamic team of educators and their 11th graders at Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (aka BCAM). I’m excited to have been part of this project and would like to invite you to a special student reading of ‘Take a Position, Create a Vision: Persuasive Speeches & Campaign Posters’ by BCAM’s 11th Grade.‘” At Barnes & Noble, 106 Court Street in Brooklyn. 5:45PM, FREE. And, the Beatrice Series returns to the Slipper Room with the Bushwick Book Club for a night of words and music focused on teenage tales, starring Judy Blundell, National Book Award Winner for What I Saw and How I Lied, easily one of my favorite books, ever. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 7:30PM, FREE.

THU, JUN 11: Ben Greenman, your favorite authority on the heartrending and only somewhat ironic emotional complexity of PDX strippers, the Gowanus Canal, and “lit-roiding,” reads from Please Step Back at Bookcourt. 7PM, FREE [Full disclosure, as always: I am Ben’s publicist].

FRI, JUN 12: Stay in and watch L’Avventura online for free.

WEEKEND: What could be gleefully sharper than the mind of a teenage girl? Imagine an afternoon with the best of them on Sunday, as Girls Write Now’s Annual Spring Reading at the New School features high school students in the program, along with TODAY’s Amy Robach and National Book Award nominee (and Sedaris fave) Jean Thompson, author of Do Not Deny Me [Full disclosure, as always: I am the chair of the board of Girls Write Now, and Jean’s publicist]. 4PM, FREE.

JUN 15: Idlewild Books hosts a launch party for Jean Thompson and Do Not Deny Me, the new story collection earning comparisons to Alice Munro. 7PM, FREE, RSVP:

JUN 16:Upstairs at the Square” celebrates three years of innovative and eclectic programming with Carlos Ruiz Zafon & Las Rubias del Norte, discussing and performing their work with host Katherine Lanpher. 7PM, FREE [Full dislosure, as always: I am very involved with this series].

JUN 20: Special note for Los Angeles readers… Mark Sarvas gives a reading of his darkly shimmering debut novel, Harry, Revised at Book Soup, with Damion Searls, whose new story collection What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going, is just out from Dalkey Archive Press (I recently read — and found wildly entertaining — their French gangster anti-love story, Do Not Touch). 7PM, FREE.

Meanwhile, I’m off to do the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, and will be speaking at the Center for Fiction Writers Conference in New York later this month. The Smart Set returns June 22.


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