“Therefore, I did not learn to cook, either. Instead I have become a superior dinner guest. I am wonderful to have at your side while you cook, particularly if you give me a glass of wine, and also to have sit at your table, because I will appreciate your food in a deep, emotional and highly verbal way, perhaps, in small part, because I did not get to experience that kind of cooking growing up.” —Jami Attenberg via The Unlikely Chef - NYTimes.com
Remember how we had that awesome event planned for The Middlesteins in November ‘12 and then a friggin’ hurricane shut down the bookstore and the city for a week and we had to postpone? Well, good news: Eat Your Feelings is now the paperback launch for The Middlesteins, and we’ll be telling stories of food, Jews, and your mom on Thursday, June 6.
Pics from last night, courtesy of Jesse! A handsome crowd, if I do say so myself.
This was so much fun, y’all. Thanks to Jesse for capturing the magic!
This week at HWBC:
Join us tonight as rock writer Marc Spitz and novelist, essayist, and critic Chuck Klosterman discuss Spitz’s new book Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the 90s.
Tomorrow, come learn about what it means to be an American expat in Eastern Europe with Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Cafe with author M. Henderson Ellis and Arthur Phillips and jazz musician Karel Ruzicka.
Then on Wednesday join us for the Slaughterhouse 90210 4th Birthday Party! Hosted by Maris Kreizman and featuring readings from Jami Attenberg, Ron Currie Jr., and Emma Straub.
Thursday night the Moth StorySLAM! returns with the theme Busted. Tickets are $8 at the door.
Finally, on Friday, we are pleased to present with WORD I Would Die 4 U: A Prince Dance Party with Touré and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest! Tickets are $5 and available at the event page.
“I’ve always been a voracious reader and a TV addict and I never thought those passions had to be mutually exclusive, so creating the blog was a way to celebrate both. A big buzzword in the book world is discoverability—how people find the books they want to read—and I guess I wanted Slaughterhouse 90210 to be a brand new venue where I could promote the crap out of the books I love and maybe bring a new audience to my favorite writers.” (via Slaughterhouse 90210: Best Tumblr Evr | Brooklyn Abridged)
Join Maris, Emma Straub, Ron Currie Jr. and Jami Attenberg at the Slaughterhouse 90210 Fourth Anniversary Party on March 20! Info here.
“The burning question, which Attenberg explores with patience and sensitivity, is why Edie has embarked on her self-destructive path. The answers themselves aren’t surprising: Edie married too early, felt ambivalent about parenthood, became disillusioned with her career. What’s remarkable is the unfailing emotional accuracy and specificity with which Attenberg renders Edie’s despair.” (via ‘The Middlesteins,’ by Jami Attenberg - NYTimes.com)
I keep telling y’all to read this, so if you don’t believe me, believe the NYTBR at least. (GO JAMI!)
lavinrac asked: Hi! My mom really enjoys urban fiction, especially books about Chicago (fiction and non-fiction) and literary fiction by women authors - she's read Anne Patchett, Joan Didion, Francine Prose, Margaret Atwood, and their contemporaries. She just bought the new Chris Ware for herself so I'm a little SOL for Christmas, since that's what I was going to get her. Any hints? Thanks for all your help!
Your mom sounds awesome.
Your answer is Jami Attenberg’s wonderful new novel, The Middlesteins. Set in Chicago, about an overweight matriarch and her family as they try to stop her from eating herself to death. It’s funny, and heartbreaking, and just so, so good. It sounds depressing with the “eating yourself to death” and it is serious but it’s I think hopeful in the end, and it’s not glorifying obesity, or demonizing it, or anything like that. Jami’s spoken in interviews before about how food issues, either extreme of excess or deprivation, are this very apparent addiction to something that is supposed to be good for you. Everyone eats, whereas everyone doesn’t do drugs, or smoke, or the other “vices” you can be addicted to. Anyway, the book is great and I think your mom will love it.
I just went to an event at the NYPL with Chris Ware and Zadie Smith; and Zadie Smith is a woman author of literary fiction, so I think you should get her NW. It’s great. It’s bold, and central to the story is the friendship of two women, but it’s very modern and ah, so good, and London-urban.
Anonymous asked: hey! i was wondering if you had any recommendations for books/short stories/anything that are wry and darkly comic but still have a touch of humanity to them. im talkin harold and maude style. i know im being so vague but any ideas from any genres are greatly appreciated!!
These are starting to repeat themselves, I am aware, but this is another of my favorite types of books, so check out: Adam Wilson’s Flatscreen, Donald Antrim anything but particularly Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, anything Mary Gaitskill but I’m particularly fond of Bad Behavior, Jami Attenberg’s new novel The Middlesteins, and actually not mentioned yet, and very funny, Sam Lipsyte’s The Ask.
| Moth StorySLAM: Disappearance | Tuesday, 7pm | The Moth storytelling competition with the theme of disappearance. $8 at the door and it always sells out so get here early.
| What The Dickens: Third Annual A Christmas Carol Marathon | Saturday, 1pm | With readers like Jami Attenberg, Emma Straub, and Lorin Stein, this year’s reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is sure to be one for the books. Drop in early for some masterful caroling and stay for the delicious holiday special in the cafe and maybe a surprise reader of two.
Holiday Sale: 10 % Off Everything, All December | With 10% off everything in the store (30% for members), there’s no excuse not to do all your holiday book shopping right here.
Sadly, we have to postpone tomorrow’s event for Jami Attenberg’s new novel, The Middlesteins, “Eat Your Feelings.” The store is OK (yay!), we did not sustain any damage, but we are in the “dead zone” and do not have power. We’re hoping to reschedule the event this spring as the paperback launch for Jami’s book.
There are a bunch of bookstores not in the dead zone open uptown and in Brooklyn, so here’s what you should do: Go buy The Middlesteins, order delicious Chinese food maybe (you’ll see why), and read it, because it’s really good.
Updates to come about Americana Jamboree on Friday, we’re still assessing. Thanks all! Whenever we are able to reopen we’ll need you all to come by and buy books and buy coffee and buy drinks, OK? Cool?
In case we survive the storm, there will be a party on Thursday for you.
That’s a lot of feelings for one sandwich.
Stuff We like
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
This Week's Readings
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