To Do Wednesday: Smoke Reflector

Lewis Lapham

Lewis Lapham

Longtime editor and longtime chain-smoker Lewis Lapham, who ran Harper’s for three decades before founding Lapham’s Quarterly, loves tobacco and will be discussing his romance with nicotine at the PEN World Voices Festival, a salon-style conversation on “Obsessions.” Back when the editor in chief of The Observer was an intern at Harper’s (i.e., pre-nanny city), Mr. Lapham’s office on Broadway was filled with a permanent cloud of Parliament smoke, giving his stories about hanging with the Beatles in India an appropriate resin. Mr. Lapham, joined on stage by a psychoanalyst, will discuss the virtues of cigarettes and the act of lighting up. We do hope they let him grab a Parliament while discussing his habit. The series focuses on the obsessions that keep writers awake at night, and future talks include Naomi Wolf on “Truth” and Andrew Solomon on “Sleep,” or the lack thereof. And though we have spotted some hipsters sneaking a smoke at the venue, Chez Andre, we suggest audience members bring a pack of NJOY e-ciggies.

Chez Andre at The Standard East Village, 25 Cooper Square, (212) 475-5700, 9pm, $20.