Tag Archive | "literature"

Female Friendship, Literature and Obsession in “Shirley”

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By Tessa Raebeck

Author Susan Scarf Merrell will read from "Shirley" June 21 at BookHampton in Southampton.

Author Susan Scarf Merrell will read from “Shirley” June 21 at BookHampton in Southampton.

While writing “Shirley,” Susan Scarf Merrell worried for her protagonist, Rose. Rose is caught between the world in her own head and the real one outside of it in the novel, which examines themes of obsession, creativity and womanhood in the 1960s.

Shirley,” which Ms. Merrell will read from at BookHampton in Southampton Saturday, centers on the relationships that evolve when pregnant Rose and her husband Fred move in with celebrated writer Shirley Jackson and her husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. With dark twists and multilayered characters, the historical fiction novel celebrates literature while delving into its underbelly.

“Reading both Shirley and Stanley’s letters, journal entries, essays and books, I began to hear the voice of Rose developing in my mind,” Ms. Scarf Merrell said in a press release. “The shift from researching a non-fiction work to beginning a novel was quite abrupt.”

“One sudden moment of realization (I was out in the woods walking my dog, and started taking notes using the voice recorder on my cell phone), and the project took on an entirely different form. But I think one of Shirley Jackson’s many gifts was an ability to massage real life events into fiction; in some ways, this was an inevitable turn of events for me,” she added.

“Jackson has always been one of the more intriguing and misunderstood writers of her generation, a woman writer at the cusp of feminism’s second wave who nevertheless was erroneously dismissed for writing mere ‘domestic fiction,’” Booklist said in a review of “Shirley.” “Merrell brings this complicated and compelling woman to life through the kind of taut and intimate thriller Jackson herself would have been proud to call her own.”

Susan Scarf Merrell will read from “Shirley” Saturday, June 21, at 5 p.m. at BookHampton, located at 16 Hampton Road in Southampton. For more information, call (631) 283-0270.

Writer, Poet and Activist Alexis De Veaux to Sign Latest Work “Yabo” at Canio’s in Sag Harbor

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By Tessa Raebeck

Poet, writer and activist Alexis De Veaux will be at Canio's Books in Sag Harbor at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

Poet, writer and activist Alexis De Veaux will be at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

Award-winning author Alexis De Veaux has two critical concerns: making the racial and sexual experiences of black female characters central and disrupting boundaries between forms.

In her latest fiction work, “Yabo,” Ms. De Veaux explores those concerns in a collection of prose and poetry. The activist author will be on hand Saturday, June 14, at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor to read excerpts, sign books and celebrate her new publication.

“O yes, there are other heres. Simultaneous to this one,” reads the prelude. “Echoes. Or did you think the story you were told, the story you grew up believing, repeating, about the past, present, and the future—and the commas you see here separating those stories—was all there is?”

As a writer for Essence Magazine in 1990, Ms. De Veaux was the first North American to interview Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison. She has traveled extensively as an artist and lecturer and has received multiple literary awards for her biographies of Billie Holiday and Audre Lorde.

Ms. De Veaux will read from “Yabo” and sign copies of her book at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14 at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

Sag Harbor Novelist Robert Boris Riskin Reading of “Deadly Secrets” at Canio’s Books

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Author Robert Boris Riskin.

Sag Harbor author Robert Boris Riskin.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sharing the latest adventures of crime solver Jake Wanderman, Sag Harbor resident and novelist Robert Boris Riskin will read from his new thriller, “Deadly Secrets,” on Saturday, June 7, at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor.

A detective with a knack for solving crimes and quoting Shakespeare, Jake travels to London and Paris to track down a “Hamptons murderer.”

Mr. Riskin first introduced Jake in his previous novel, “Deadly Bones,” a humorous but thrilling mystery novel. He also wrote “Scrambled Eggs,” a satirical look at the art world set on the East End.

Mr. Riskin’s reading on Saturday will begin at 5 p.m. Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-4926 or visit caniosbooks.com.

Artists as Babysitters: Gabrielle Selz Unveils Memoir on New York City Art Scene of the Sixties

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GabrielleSelzCover

By Tessa Raebeck

GabrielleSelzHeadshot

Gabrielle Selz.

Gabrielle Selz of Southampton will release her new memoir. “Unstill Life” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill Friday.

The writer recounts her childhood growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in New York City, among art and artists during the peak of Abstract Expressionism. Ms. Selz’s father, Peter Selz, became the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art shortly after her birth.

The family home was filled with artists like Mark Rothko and Willem De Kooning, and Ms. Selz recounts both the excitement and the ruin of the day.

Starting Friday, May 2 at 6 p.m., the evening includes a short film screening, a reading from “Unstill Life,” a book signing with Ms. Selz and a question and answer session with special guest Peter Selz.

For tickets and more information, visit parrishart.org/programs/662 or call 283-2118.

Dog Walks and Cocktails: Second Annual Steinbeck Festival at the Bay Street Theatre

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Artists recreate the "Grapes of Wrath" cover on their way to the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California last year. Image courtesy of the National Steinbeck Center.

Artists recreate the “Grapes of Wrath” cover on their way to the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California last year. Photo courtesy of the National Steinbeck Center.

By Tessa Raebeck

In 1960, John Steinbeck and his French poodle Charley left their home in Sag Harbor to drive across America, meeting with strangers and staying at campgrounds in an effort to reconnect with the country the 58-year-old Steinbeck had been writing about for decades.

As part of the 2nd Annual Steinbeck Festival at Bay Street Theatre May 1 to 4, the “Travels with Charley” Dog Walk will honor Mr. Steinbeck’s account of the journey, “Travels with Charley: In Search of America,” which became a bestseller.

Author John Steinbeck.

Author John Steinbeck.

In conjunction with the annual festival hosted by the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, the author’s birthplace, Bay Street is hosting eight film screenings and other celebratory events across four days. The festival begins Thursday, May 1 with a screening of “Tortilla Flat,” the 1942 film adaptation of Mr. Steinbeck’s 1935 novel and first commercial success. The 1992 version of “Of Mice and Men” with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise and “Grapes of Wrath” starring Henry Fonda will screen on Saturday, May 3.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, “Grapes of Wrath” will be further honored at a cocktail reception at a private waterfront estate sponsored in part by Wölffer Estate Vineyard Saturday evening. While sipping on the namesake vintage of Wölffer winemaker Roman Roth, “The Grapes of Roth,” guests can view Mr. Steinbeck’s home and writing studio by boat from Upper Sag Harbor Cove.

At the “Travels with Charley” Dog Walk Sunday morning, dogs and their owners will walk a loop from Bay Street to Haven’s Beach and back, finishing the festival with a “Bones and Bagels” reception at the theatre.

For $150, the VIP Pass for the festival includes the cocktail reception, film festival and dog walk. The dog walk alone is $35, film festival passes are $30 and individual film tickets are $10 each. For tickets and information, call 725-9500 or visit baystreet.org.

Philip Schultz reads from “The Wherewithal” at Canio’s Books

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Author Philip Schultz will read at Canio's Books Saturday.

Author Philip Schultz will read at Canio’s Books Saturday.

By Tessa Raebeck

Poet, author and Pulitzer-prize winner Philip Schultz, of East Hampton, will return to Canio’s Books to read from his latest novel in verse form, “The Wherewithal” on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Called “one of the literary renditions of the Shoah I know,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Saul Friedlander, “The Wherewithal” tells the story of Henryk Wyrzykowski, a haunted young man taking refuge from the Vietnam War draft in a San Francisco basement. Using the time to translate his mother’s diaries concerning the Jedwabne pogrom, a massacre in July 1941, during the German occupation of Poland, of over 300 Polish Jews.

Mr. Schultz has authored a memoir, “My Dyslexia” and seven poetry books, earning a Pulitzer Prize for “Failure.” He is founder and director of the Writer’s Studio in New York City.

The reading will be Saturday, April 5 at 5 p.m. at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 725.4926.

Griswold Explores Good, Evil & Slavery on Long Island

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Mac Griswold

By Tessa Raebeck

Reminding readers of the existence of Northern slavery and exploring the close connection between good and evil, Mac Griswold will read from her cultural history, “The Manor, Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island,” at Rogers Memorial Library Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Ms. Griswold’s book reflects on the 350-year history of Sylvester Manor, built in 1651 by the Sylvesters, one of the wealthiest families of the 17th century. The book tells the history of the slaves, Native Americans and Quaker landowners who worked and lived together on the Shelter Island plantation, using the backdrop of the estate to examine racial and religious relations across three centuries.

Ms. Griswold will present a lecture and sign copies of her book at the event, which will be held at the Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Road in Southampton. To register, visit myrml.org or call 283-0774 ext. 523.

Author Jeff Baron at the Shelter Island Public Library

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By Tessa Raebeck

The cover of "Sean Rosen is Not for Sale" by Jeff Baron, available on Amazon.

The cover of “Sean Rosen is Not for Sale” by Jeff Baron, available on Amazon.

Shelter Island author Jeff Baron returns to the Shelter Island Public Library Friday to read from his new comic novel, “Sean Rosen is Not for Sale.”

The sequel comes a year after Mr. Baron premiered his first novel, “I Represent Sean Rosen,” the story of a clever kid who becomes a movie mogul, at the library. As part of “Friday Night Dialogues @ the Library,” Mr. Baron will read passages and screen some of main character Sean Rosen’s videos featuring Shelter Island residents.

“Readers will relish his bravado, wit and creativity as Sean emeges from his encounters wiser yet still determined to follow his dreams,” writes Kirkus Review.

Mr. Baron’s plays have had over 400 productions in 23 languages in 40 countries. He has also written for several primetime television series, has written and produced some Nickelodeon projects, and two award-winning short films.

Mr. Baron will read from “Sean Rose is Not for Sale” Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Shelter Island Library, 37 North Ferry Road on Shelter Island. For more information, call 749-0042 or visit shelterislandpubliclibrary.org.