Monday, August 12, 2013

MTV VJ's, Kafka and More at the Reading Room

Miss the days when VJs and videos were MTV’s main offerings? Come to the Bryant Park Reading Room on Wednesday with former VJ Kennedy as she shares stories from her wild years with MTV. Her new book, The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses, recounts her encounters and adventures with performers like Radiohead, Pearl Jam, No Doubt and Bjork and MTV colleagues Jon Stewart, Bill Bellamy, Kurt Loder, and Jenny McCarthy and is perfect for anyone who wants to know what really happened during MTV’s golden years.

You could win a free copy of Kennedy's book! The first person to arrive for the event after 12pm, find the Reading Room Coordinator and say the secret passcode: I Want My MTV 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
Wednesday, August 14
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

Before you catch MTV nostalgia on Wednesday, stop into Wayne Koestenbaum's BookClub discussion on The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka on Tuesday. Moderator Koestenbaum took a moment to answer our Blog Q&A, so get some insight into this author's success and interests. His newest book My 1980s & Other Essays comes out tomorrow, and we'll be giving away a copy in the park. Use the passcode: Debbie Harry. Same rules apply as above.

Word for Word BookClub
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Led by Wayne Koestenbaum
Tuesday, August 13
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

What was your inspiration for this book? 
I chose Kafka’s Metamorphosis because he writes about punishment—and the sensation of always already being punished (even if punishment is not actually on the horizon)—with the greatest wit and acuity of any writer in history.

Where do you do your best writing?
Either in a café, a train, an airplane, or at my desk in my apartment.

Which author do you wish had been your 7th grade English teacher?
I actually liked my 7th grade English teacher!  I wrote a play for him;  it included a transsexual.  But my runner-up English teacher, my dream-cast English teacher, would be Robert Walser, author of the divine Jakob von Gunten.

What is your secret talent?
I love to sleep.

What is your favorite book?
The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara.

Who reads your first draft?
I read it.  No one else.  Ever.

Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
I like both.  At the moment, I’m writing a very long poem longhand, in notebooks.  But most of the essays that appear in my newest book, My 1980s & Other Essays, I wrote on a computer or on a typewriter.  (Yes, a typewriter!)

What book are you currently reading? (Old school or e-Reader?)
Brandon Downing’s Mellow Actions, a book of poems published by Fence Books, one of my favorite independent presses.

What word or punctuation mark are you most guilty of overusing?
These days I love the word “interstitial.”  I overuse it.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A lost cause.

Did you have an “a-ha!” moment that made you want to be a writer?
When I read D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, and I realized that emotional ambivalence was a fact of life, and the motivation for literature.

Do you read your books after they’ve been published?
I glance at them.  I read random passages from them.  Sometimes with satisfaction.  Sometimes with shame.

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