On a warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko several times over the next months, drawn by hunger and loneliness, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness transforms into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.
What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.
"A rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, its subject: a gay man's endeavor to fathom his own heart." -- Aaron Hamburger, The New York Times Book Review
Garth Greenwell is the author of Mitko, which was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Literary Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and A Public Space. This is his first novel.
In The Narrow Door, Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul's romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise's cancer diagnosis and Paul's impending breakup. Lisicky's compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival --hard-won, unsentimental, and authentic-- proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life.
“A rare look into the friendships writers form with people they may end up competing with for the same posts, publishers, and prizes―and an even rarer look into the life of a significant writer who lived with and loved another significant writer for 15 years. . . . A triumph.”― Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Lisicky has a gift for understanding suffering, an added bundle of receptors for detecting loneliness.” ―The New York Times
Paul Lisicky is the author of four books, including Famous Builder and The Burning House. He has received fellowships from the NEA and the Michener/Copernicus Society, among others. He teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden.
White's latest novel, Our Young Man, continues to contribute to his fabulous literary status, continuing in the tradition of A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, the non-fiction Joy of Gay Sex (with Charles Silverstein), and his memoirs, My Lives and City Boy.
Edmund White's new novel, Our Young Man, follows the life of a gorgeous Frenchman, Guy, as he goes from a small industrial city in France to the top of the modeling profession in NYC's fashion world, becoming the darling of Fire Island. Like Wilde's Dorian Grey, Guy never seems to age; at 35 he is still enjoying lavish gifts from older men who believe he's 23. Ambivalently, Guy lets them believe this until he finds he needs the lie to secure both wealth and love. Surveying the spectrum of gay amorous life through the disco era and into the age of AIDS, White explores the power of physical beauty --to fascinate, to enslave, and to deceive-- with sparkling wit and pathos.
“Edmund White is one of the three or four most virtuosic living writers of sentences in the English language.” – Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
“Edmund White is one of the best writers of my generation; he's certainly the contemporary American writer I reread more than any other, and the one whose next book I look forward to reading most.” – John Irving, author of The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and In One Person
Edmund White is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a winner of the Award for Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. His biography Genet won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Previously living in Paris, France, he has now returned to NYC.
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Sarah Schulman is one of our favorite, most highly praised, and prolific authors. She writes both fascinating novels, such as The Cosmopolitans, and important non-fiction philosophy, as presented in her newest book Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair.
In The Cosmopolitans (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2016), Schulman describes Greenwich Village in 1958. Earl, a black, gay, actor, and Bette, a white secretary, have been neighbors for thirty years, forming a deep bond as refugees from small-minded hometowns. But when Hortense, a wealthy young actress with links to Bette's painful past, shows up, Earl and Bette's hard-won assumptions are shaken to the core. The Cosmopolitans is a beautifully written, page-turning novel about friendship, love, and revenge set in the vibrant changing world of 1950s New York.
"A rich evocation of its time and place... Simultaneously a realist exploration of a particular milieu, an illustration of the changing roles and possibilities for women at that time, and a series of thoughtful musings on the nature of companionship and platonic love, Earl and Bette's story is also a satisfying revenge narrative and a portrait of an unexpected but vital friendship." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair, (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016), Schulman observes that inflated accusations of harm are now being used to avoid accountability. This occurs at all levels, from intimate relationships to global politics. Illuminating the difference between "conflict" and "abuse," Schulman addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating. This bold work reveals how punishment replaces personal and collective self-criticism, and shows why difference is so often used to justify cruelty and shunning.
Schulman illuminates the ways in which cliques, communities, families, religious and racial groups, and national political parties refuse to change their self-concept. This controversial and important book brings insight into both contemporary and historical issues. Conflict is Not Abuse shows how those in power use injustice, exclusion, and punishment to dehumanize individuals in our families and communities, African Americans at the hands of police, people with HIV, and Palestinians.
Sarah Schulman is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at CUNY. Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim in Playwriting and a Fulbright in Judaic Studies. Her novels include Rat Bohemia, The Sophie Horowitz Story, and The Mere Future. Her nonfiction includes The Gentrification of The Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination and Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. Her plays and films have been seen at Playwrights Horizons, The Berlin Film Festival, and The Museum of Modern Art. An AIDS historian, Schulman is co-founder of the ACT-UP Oral History Project, is on the advisory board of The Jewish Voice for Peace, and is faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island.
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Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King is a true iconoclast. Over the past 10 years the Brooklyn-based artist has released six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive albums (from which B-sides & Rarities has been largely culled), performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks including Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn's Into The Wild, and played to an increasingly fervent following of music lovers on innumerable world tours.
In addition to her own solo work, Kaki sometimes performs accompanied by NYC-based string quartet ETHEL. She also recently performed a Carnegie Hall premiere of a classical piece commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
This is NOT a concert, but Kaki talk about her life as a musician and perform a few songs.