Notes From The Underground
The lights dimmed and mood music began to play as Salman Rushdie walked to the stage at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo the other night as part of a week of events to launch his new memoir, Joseph Anton.
The title of the book is the pseudonym that Mr. Rushdie used while he was in hiding after Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for the author’s death following the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1989. The book, which is written in the third person, focuses mostly on the period when Mr. Rushdie was in hiding before the fatwa was lifted in 2002.
Mr. Rushdie stood at the microphone in a slightly baggy, somewhat wrinkled gray suit and a blue shirt unbuttoned at the neck.
The first thing the Observer noticed about Jonathan Franzen was that he was wearing a name tag. It said “Jonathan Franzen.”
We asked him if he usually wore name tags to his readings.
“Everyone is wearing one but you,” Mr. Franzen pointed out. This was true. In what appeared to be an act of almost defiant social leveling, the organizers of last Thursday’s Semiperm House’s fifth anniversary celebration/Jonathan Franzen reading had given everyone a name tag.
This is your chance to rub elbows with a music legend people. Tonight at The Strand, folk rocker/autobiographer Patti Smith will be talking about her recently reissued 1992 book of poems and life stories, Woolgathering. For only $25, (the price of the book) you earn admission to the event at 7 p.m., along with your very own Strand tote bag.
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Courtney Maum, a fiction writer who usually lives in a small town in the Berkshires, made a temporary move to New York City in search of a community of writers. To find these writers, she went to readings — more than 200 of them by her count. At Tin House, Ms. Maum explains what she learned.
On Saturday night at KGB bar, there was a séance for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“Have you ever conducted a séance before?” asked Goodman Carter, web editor for the literary magazine The Fiction Circus, to an onlooker intent on butting in on the preparations. Carter was fiddling with Read More