Monday, August 5, 2013

Chuck Klosterman and Other Reading Room Highlights

Ever wonder what makes a villain? Or why people seem so drawn to anti-heroes and evil geniuses? Pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman, author of The Visible Man and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, examines these questions in depth by looking at such diverse figures as Machiavelli, Bill Clinton, Don Henley, and OJ Simpson to try to understand our modern understanding of villainy. Join him as he returns to the Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC to discuss his latest book I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined). Klosterman will be hosted by bestselling author Sloane Crosley, who wrote How Did You Get This Number.

You could win a free copy of I Wear the Black Hat. The first person to arrive for the event after 12pm, find the Reading Room Coordinator and say the secret passcode: Pop Culture will win a copy of one of the author's books. The Reading Room is open weather permitting 11am to 7pm. Books available courtesy of publishers, while supplies last.

Word for Word Author
Chuck Klosterman
Wednesday, August 7
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

As always, Chuck Klosterman is the headliner in a full and exciting week of events at the Reading Room. On Tuesday afternoon Bob Rice, Founder and Partner of Tangent Capital will join L.J. Rittenhouse of Rittenhouse Rankings Inc. for a discussion on Rice's book The Alternative Answer: The Nontraditional Investments That Drive the World's Best-Performing Portfolios at HSBC Financial. Later that evening, poets from W.W. Norton are highlighted at our weekly Poetry readings. There will also be a memoir writing workshop on Thursday, Kids Storytime on Tuesday, and more events for the little ones on Saturday and Sunday at Le Carrousel. All events are free!

Photo by Angelito Jusay Photography

Brenda Wineapple joins us on Wednesday night for a presentation of Oxford University Press, Inc. (OUP USA) and the New-York Historical Society. Read more about her writing process and a look inside her book, Ecstatic Nation.

You can also win a copy of Wineapple's book with the passcode: Ecstatic Nation. Same rules apply as above. Book is available to the first person to arrive and say passcode after 6:30pm.

Word for Word Non-Fiction
Brenda Wineapple
Wednesday, August 7
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

What was your inspiration for this book?
Actually, I was “commissioned’ (asked) to write the book, but I didn’t have to be persuaded-- I’d written two books, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson and a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and since they grazed a period about which I wanted/needed to know more, a period of intense turmoil, excitement, exuberance and tragedy, I couldn’t resist the (huge) challenge.

Where do you do your best writing?
In my apartment, in New York City, at my old oak desk, near a window.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Probably as a child: but I attempted a novel, and when I showed it to my father and he said, “very good, but where is the plot?” I figured I wasn’t cut out for fiction.

Is there an author who has influenced your work?
Certainly not one single author.  And when I think of some of the most intense influences, I think of poetry, which I read while writing, for it makes me sensitive (I hope) to rhythm, diction, and image.

Do you have a favorite book? If yes, what is the title?
That changes with time: once it was Anna Karenina, which I’ve not reread in a while; always it’s Moby-Dick, Portrait of a Lady, To the Lighthouse, Remembrance of Things Past: so many, you see, that it’s hard to choose one.  And these are just some of the titles that quickly come to mind.

Who reads your first draft?
My husband, absolutely.

Do you read your books after they’ve been published?
Yes, but only when I’m giving a talk or reading-- for I tend to read with a pencil in hand and to revise them all over again.  

What book are you currently reading? 
Hilary Mantel’s Bringing Up the Bodies

What word or punctuation mark are you most guilty of overusing?
Probably the semi-colon, though I like the dash a great deal.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

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