NYC Events: Martha Southgate & Peter Bebergal

Tonight’s my Blogger/Author reading series at Greenlight Bookstore, and I’m looking forward to introducing Martha Southgate as she reads from her latest novel, The Taste of Salt. It’s a story about a woman who’s done everything she can to get away from her past—specifically, the alcoholism of both her father and her younger brother—but of course that’s not going to turn out very well. After she reads from the book, Martha will field questions from Maia Szalavitz, a journalist who’s blogged for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today and has written extensive about both addiction and family conflict. It should be a very powerful conversation, and if you’re in the vicinity of Brooklyn, I hope you’ll be able to come by at 7:30 p.m. and contribute to it.

Then, on Wednesday (October 12), I’ll be at the New York University bookstore to talk with Peter Bebergal about his memoir, Too Much to Dream. Bebergal looks back at his “psychedelic American boyhood,” in which he basically gave over his teen years and a portion of his young adulthood to a combination of hallucinogenic drugs and “one part occultism, two parts magic, a healthy dose of gnosticism, and a mighty helping of hermetic philosophy.” It turns out that he and I probably crossed paths in Harvard Square at some point in 1987 or 1988—or, at least, that I would have walked past him in the crowd of punks hanging out in the Pit on my way to the bookstore. I’m looking forward to asking him about growing up in Lovecraft country, and about whether hallucinogenics really can open their users up to mystical experiences—and how, as a recovering addict, he feels about that if it’s true. Also, Robert Anton Wilson! Because it’s always fun to find somebody you can talk about Robert Anton Wilson with. We’ll be starting at 5 p.m.; come by if you get a chance!

10 October 2011 | events |