TONIGHT: Megan Abbott & Arthur Phillips

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I was sorting through my bookcases recently and I realized why The Song Is You, the title of Arthur Phillips’s new novel, seemed so familiar—another one of my favorite authors, Megan Abbott, had used the same title for her second novel, published in 2007. Now, the two stories are wildly different—Megan’s is based on a real-life missing persons case in 1940s Los Angeles, while Arthur’s is set in contemporary Brooklyn—but I was struck enough by the coincidence of the titles to email them and ask if they would be interested in doing a reading together. And it worked!

We agreed that it would be a great idea to do the reading as a benefit for a music-education program, and, as it happened, Megan volunteers with Union Settlement, an organization offering a variety of community services in East Harlem including music education for young children. So we hope you’ll be able to join us at 7 p.m. tonight (July 28), at the Union Settlement headquarters at 237 East 104th Street (just a 5-minute walk from the 103rd St. stop on the 6 line). We’ll be joined by musician Rob Holub, who’ll be performing the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein tune from which Arthur and Megan took their titles—and Will Friedwald, the author of Sinatra: The Song Is You, recently confirmed that he’ll be able to make a few remarks at the start of the evening.

Admission is $10, with all proceeds going directly to Union Settlement. We will also have a limited supply of copies of both Megan and Arthur’s The Song Is You (or Megan’s latest, Bury Me Deep) for the first two dozen guests willing to donate an additional $10 (for a total donation of $20). You don’t need to RSVP, but if you want to give me a heads-up, you can check in at Facebook. I’d be delighted to see you there!

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28 July 2009 | events |