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Bryan Washington: Memorial w/ Samantha Irby
Thursday October 29 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a black day care teacher, and they’ve been together for a few years—good years—but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they’ve ever known. And just maybe they’ll all be okay in the end. Memorial is a funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you’re supposed to be, and the limits of love.
Bryan Washington is a National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree, and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and The New York Times Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His first book, the story collection Lot, was a finalist for the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Lot was a New York Times Notable Book, one of Dwight Garner’s top ten books of the year, and on best-of-the-year lists from Time, NPR, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, and many more. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Tin House, One Story, Bon Appétit, GQ, The Awl, and Catapult. He lives in Houston. Photo credit: Dailey Hubbard.
Samantha Irby is the author of three acclaimed essay collections: Meaty, and the New York Times Bestsellers, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. and Wow, No Thank You. Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, she writes the blog bitches gotta eat and the newsletter “who’s on judge mathis today?”
Wilson Tang & Joshua David Stein: The Nom Wah Cookbook w/ Maxine Builder
Monday November 09 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Nom Wah Tea Parlor isn’t simply the story of dumplings, though there are many folds to it. It isn’t the story of bao, though there is much filling. It’s not just the story of dim sum, although there are scores and scores of recipes. It’s the story of a community of Chinese immigrants who struggled, flourished, cooked, and ate with abandon in New York City. (Who now struggle, flourish, cook, and eat with abandon in New York City.) It’s a journey that begins in Taishan, runs through Hong Kong, and ends up tucked into the corner of a street once called The Bloody Angle.
In this book, Nom Wah’s owner, Wilson Tang, takes us into the hardworking kitchen of Nom Wah and emerges with 75 easy-to-make recipes: from bao to vegetables, noodles to desserts, cakes, rice rolls, chef’s specials, dumplings, and more.
We’re also introduced to characters like Mei Lum, the fifth-generation owner of porcelain shop Wing on Wo, and Joanne Kwong, the lawyer-turned-owner of Pearl River Mart. He paints a portrait of what Chinatown in New York City is in 2020. As Wilson, who quit a job in finance to take over the once-ailing family business, struggles with the dilemma of immigrant children—to jettison tradition or to cling to it—he also points to a new way: to savor tradition while moving forward. A book for har gow lovers and rice roll junkies, The Nom Wah Cookbook portrays a culture at a crossroads.
Wilson Tang is the owner and operator of Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Prior to taking over the business in 2010, Tang was a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley. Tang has expanded the Nom Wah footprint to include Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Philadelphia and Nom Wah Nolita, a contemporary offshoot in New York City which opened in 2016. Tang lives with his wife and two children, Ryan and Lucy, a few blocks away from Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Photo credit: Natalie Chitwood.
Joshua David Stein is an author and editor living in Brooklyn. He is the co-author of Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf), Il Buco: Stories and Recipes (Harper Design), Food and Beer (Phaidon), Epicurean Journeys (Assouline) and the author of To Me He Was Just Dad (Artisan) He served as the U.S. editor for the best-selling Where Chefs Eat. Stein is a contributing editor to Food & Wine, and was the former restaurant critic for both the New York Observer and the Village Voice. His work has appeared in New York, The New York Times, Esquire, GQ, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Photo credit: Achilles Heeren Stein.
Maxine Builder is Deputy Editor of The Strategist, New York Magazine’s shopping vertical. She joined the staff in 2017 as one of its first writers and built out the site’s kitchen and dining coverage. Previously, she was a breakfast journalist at Extra Crispy, now part of MyRecipes. Maxine graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University.
Red Ink Series: Choices w/ Eula Biss, emily m. danforth, Danielle Evans, Christa Parravani, and Sejal Shah!
Thursday November 12 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Red Ink is a quarterly series curated and hosted by Michele Filgate, and co-sponsored by Literary Hub. Red Ink makes one think of vitality, blood, the monthly cycle, correcting history, and making a mark on the world. This dynamic series focuses on women writers, past and present. The next discussion, “Choices,” will feature Danielle Evans (The Office of Historical Corrections), Eula Biss (Having and Being Had), Sejal Shah (This Is One Way to Dance), emily m. danforth (Plain Bad Heroines), and Christa Parravani (Loved and Wanted).
Danielle Evans is the author of the story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, winner of the PEN America PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the Paterson Prize, and a National Book Foundation "5 under 35" selection. Her stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories. She teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Eula Biss is the author of four books, including The New York Times bestseller On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review, and Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere, and has been supported by an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
emily m. danforth is the author of the highly-acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She lives with her wife and two terrible dogs in Rhode Island. Plain Bad Heroines is her first adult novel.
Christa Parravani is the bestselling author of Her: A Memoir. She has taught at Dartmouth College, UMass Amherst, SUNY Purchase, and West Virginia University, where she served as an Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction. She earned her MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers-Newark.
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and the editor of a critically acclaimed anthology based on her Longreads essay, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, published by Simon & Schuster. Currently, she is an M.F.A. student at NYU, where she is the recipient of the Stein Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Longreads, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Refinery29, Slice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Salon, Interview Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Barnes & Noble Review, Poets & Writers, CNN.com, Time Out New York, People, The Daily Beast, O, The Oprah Magazine, Men's Journal, Vulture, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Star Tribune, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. She teaches creative writing at NYU, The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, and Catapult.
This event is free. Invite your friends on Facebook!
Vitor Martins: Here the Whole Time w/ Abdi Nazemian
Friday November 13 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Felipe can't wait for winter break: Finally, he'll get some time away from the classmates who tease him incessantly about his weight.
But Felipe's plan turns upside down when he learns that Caio, his neighbor from apartment 57, will be staying with him for fifteen days. Which is a problem because (a) Felipe has had a crush on Caio since, well, forever; and (b) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he's going to handle them while sharing a room with his lifelong crush.
Suddenly, the days that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) are a gauntlet of every unresolved issue in Felipe's life. But if he can overcome his insecurities, then maybe -- just maybe -- this break won't turn out to be such a disaster after all . . .
Vitor Martins received his degree in journalism but works as an illustrator. He published his first YA novel Quinze Dias in June 2017 with Globo Alt in Brazil (to be published as Here the Whole Time in the U.S. in fall 2020. Photo credit: Rafael Gimenes.
Abdi Nazemian is the author of three novels. His first, The Walk-In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His most recent, Like a Love Story, an Indie Next Pick, Walden Award finalist and Junior Library Guild selection, was awarded a Stonewall Honor, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible, Buzzfeed, the New York Public Library and more. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist's Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers, and the television series The Village and Almost Family. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, Little Woods, and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two children.
Susie Tang: White Ivy w/ Lucy Tan
Wednesday November 18 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.
Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.
Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.
Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.
Susie Yang was born in China and came to the United States as a child. After receiving her doctorate of pharmacy from Rutgers University, she launched a tech startup in San Francisco that has taught 20,000 people how to code. She has studied creative writing at Tin House and Sackett Street. She has lived across the United States, Europe, and Asia, and now resides in the UK. WHITE IVY is her first novel. In a seven way bidding war, WHITE IVY was just optioned by Netflix for Shonda Rhimes to Executive Produce through her company Shondaland. The project will be developed as a limited series. Photo credit: Onur Pinar Photography
Lucy Tan grew up in New Jersey and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Shanghai. She received her B.A. from New York University and her M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded the 2016 August Derleth Prize. Her fiction has been published in journals such as Asia Literary Review and Ploughshares, where she was winner of the 2015 Emerging Writer's Contest. What We Were Promised is her first novel.