Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday Night at the Boxcar Lounge: Michael Dahlie, Lynn Lurie, Ceridwen Dovey & Mark Sarvas

This was posted to Richard Grayson's MySpace blog on Thursday, January 24, 2008:

Wednesday Night at the Boxcar Lounge: Michael Dahlie, Lynn Lurie, Ceridwen Dovey & Mark Sarvas

Back in New York from Arizona (I'm shuttling between Apache Junction and Brooklyn this year), I went to a great and very crowded reading last night at the Boxcar Lounge in the East Village.

Part of the "Class of 2008" series of debut novelists curated by Jami Attenberg (The Kept Man), last night's reading featured four very different authors, all of whom read passages that made me want to read their forthcoming books.

Michael Dahlie read from the first chapter of A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living, a very funny scene from the childhood of his hapless protagonist Arthur.

Lynn Lurie read a deft passage from Corner of the Dead, winner of the University of Massachusetts Press's Juniper Prize. The novel takes place in Peru during the violence perpetrated by the Shinning Path guerillas, a Maoist based organization and the subsequent government counter-insurgency.

Ceridwen Dovey's Blood Kin sounded really fascinating from the excerpt she read; J.M. Coetzee called her novel "a fable of the arrogance of power, beneath whose dreamlike surface swirl currents of complex sensuality."

And last but far from least, Mark Sarvas read a hilarious riff from Harry, Revised in which his hero ponders whether which version of The Count of Monte Cristo -- Penguin Unabridged or Puffin Abridged -- to select.

Many of Mark's fellow litbloggers -- Maud Newton, Ed Champion, Sarah Weinman, Levi Asher, Jason Boog, Marydell and others -- were in the wall-to-wall crowd. It was just as jammed on the L train back to Williamsburg at 10 p.m. but nowhere near as fascinating. Check out these authors' forthcoming novels.

No comments: