Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the house that published three of the five finalists for this year’s National Book Award in fiction, will host a monthly reading series at the Russian Samovar starting on Thursday, January 17 with a program featuring FSG authors Richard Price and Sam Lipsyte.
The readings, which are being curated by recently promoted FSG senior editor Lorin Stein and assistant editor Gena Hamshaw, will probably be held on the third Thursday of every month, and will always feature at least one FSG author, according to Ms. Hamshaw.
Ms. Hamshaw said each reading will be followed by an informal "potluck" open to members of the audience during which authors will eat dinner and answer questions.
While this is the first time FSG is sponsoring its own reading series at the Russian Samovar, the 52nd St. restaurant–which current owner Roman Kaplan founded with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Joseph Brodksy in 1986–has hosted plenty of readings in the past. Up until a few years ago, Meghan O’Rourke, currently the literary editor of Slate and the poetry editor of The Paris Review, and James Wilson, a former editorial assistant at FSG, hosted a reading series there which had started some years earlier under the direction of novelist Nicole Krauss and former Paris Review managing editor Fiona Maazel.
Ms. O’Rourke said in an e-mail she was glad to see FSG picking up where she and Mr. Wilson left off.
"The Russian Samovar is really a venue like no other," she said, "and it’s a wonderfully atmospheric spot for readings, so much so that sometimes you can hear the dumbwaiter bell, or traces of opera singing from downstairs…. I can’t think of any many other places in Manhattan where readers and listeners alike seemed so happy and at home. It’s got a true old New York feeling in that sense."
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