Friends, I'm inviting you to the first Essay Daily salon, August 31 at 7pm Eastern (4pm AZ time) featuring:
— Kim Adrian, author of The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet: a Memoir, Sock (Object Lessons series), and Dear Knausgaard, and editor of Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms.
— and Stephanie Reents, author of I Meant to Kill Ye and The Kissing List.
We'll be talking to both writers live on zoom about their new books for the Fiction Advocate Afterwords series, which the press describes as:
reinventing literary criticism by opening it up to new voices, hybrid forms, and tons of creativity. If you believe in literature about literature, then join us by reading the AFTERWORDS series. In these short, collectible volumes, acclaimed writers explore iconic books in surprising ways.
So far I've only read two of the nine books in the series. I've enjoyed both a great deal in part for the way they perform a shared intimacy, one that feels rare and needed at the moment: here's what it's like to be reading Kim Adrian reading My Struggle. Here's what it's like to be Stephanie Reents reading Blood Meridian. These are both great books—and nicely compact ones, much shorter than the books they are responding to, which may be part of their appeal to me. Both are also love letters to and critiques of their subjects. Both are fascinating reads.
With A Public Space's public readalongs going on now, and with Ig Publishing's Bookmarked series, in which writers write back to books (most recently Sven Birkerts has a book coming out about Nabokov's Speak, Memory), it feels like this is a great time to engage in this kind of conversation, so we're going to do it.
This salon is free, and open to anyone. We'll do more of them this fall if this one goes well. We'll record it and post a link to it later, and we also plan on transcribing it and publishing an expanded version on Essay Daily this fall. So come on down and talk about talking about books.
If you read one or both books beforehand, all the better. The conversation—and your life—will be richer for it. And maybe this is a kind of project you'll want to take on: what book would you write back to?
& as one more reminder, RSVP here for the zoom link.
We'll be doing these periodically, so zoom on over to the Salon Series page for more info.