off the record
In April 2012, Jen Doll wrote a post for The Hairpin titled “All the Weddings I Have Ever Been to, as I Remember Them,” which sums things up tidily. At the time, she had witnessed 17 nuptials, by her count, but it’s a safe bet that the number is much larger now.
New York is looking less crazy all the time.
We had a mayoral candidate who sexted? Twice? Toronto’s mayor smokes crack and is still in office. Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a knife and fork? So what? Mayor Rob Ford assured the public on camera that he never told a staffer he wanted to “eat her pussy,” because “he has more than enough to eat at home.”
But New York still has the liveliest book parties.
off the record
When we were invited to a book party at Marquee, we figured it must be a new indie bookstore or some ironic bar, not the nightclub.
The confusion was understandable: We have received emails for hundreds of book launches, and none of them have ever been thrown at a nightclub. Then again, most books don’t use Marquee as a case study in a chapter on the nightlife industry.
Last week was quite a whirlwind for New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter. Top of The Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, his look at the world of morning television, hit shelves, and Mr. Stelter found himself in the potentially awkward situation of appearing as a guest on morning shows to talk about a book about morning shows.
At press time, Mr. Stelter had done around 20 media appearances, with more scheduled. He was on Morning Edition, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN’s Early Start, Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition. Revelations were sprinkled throughout the tabloids and on the cover of Us Weekly, which featured a smiling photo of Ann Curry in a yellow cardigan, arms defiantly resting on her hips, with the headline “Stabbed in the Back: They called her ‘Big Bird’ and plotted to get rid of her. How Ann Curry’s coworkers tortured her and why she won’t forgive Matt Lauer.”
We have reached a stage in the life of New York or the life of literature (or both) where a glance at the bio of most contemporary authors inevitably ends with the words “lives in Brooklyn.” Not surprisingly, a literary festival exists to celebrate the borough’s bibliophiles. The Brooklyn Book Festival, which will take place this Sunday, means that many writers won’t even have to get on the subway in order to read aloud and sit on panels in front of enthusiastic readers.
To kick off the literary festivities prior to the literary Festival, Tumblr, Electric Literature, The New Inquiry and the Los Angeles Review of Books threw a party. (Book people love parties.) Shindigger, being notionally bookish ourselves, followed the parade of tote bags until we reached the Williamsburg event space Public Assembly. After getting a temporary tattoo stamped on our inner wrist, we entered the darkened hall.
Last night, The Observer headed to Park Avenue for a cocktail party. This wasn’t a spontaneous affair, but rather a fête for intrepid author Michael Gross in celebration of his new book Unreal Estate. While the party was not at 740 Park, the building Mr. Gross fetishized in a previous book, it was just a few blocks south of that towering edifice of wealth—which surely pleased the author.
We entered a lavish spread,
Paul LaFarge’s new novel, Luminous Airplanes, is both a regularly formatted novel and an online “hyperromance” (for more on what that means read the history he just wrote over at Salon). For his book party then, he decided he couldn’t just have cheese cubes, wine and the usual sidelong glances and gossip. Instead he organized a participatory experience of his work that was something between a haunted house and a contemporary art installation.
There’s a cautionary essay by the novelist Alex Shakar up at The Millions about all the ill-fated events that befell him after his first novel, The Savage Girl, got a giant advance a little over ten years ago. First Robert Jones, his beloved editor at HarperCollins, died of cancer at the age of Read More
“The classy New York Observer!” James Franco, said to us as we approached, that disarming smile of his going on all cylinders. Then, perhaps joking, he sneered, “I’m sure you’re going to say some nice things.”
It was last Thursday and we were at The James, a new hotel in the southwest corner of Soho, Read More