Extracts from My Social Calendar

Last week, on assignment for Shelf Awareness, I met up with Christopher Boucher, the author of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, a wonderfully surreal debut novel that’s been one of the pleasures of my holiday weekend. We got together to discuss his book tour—he had wanted to drive a VW Beetle from Los Angeles to Boston, stopping at bookstores along the way, but the care he picked out for the journey just wasn’t up for the task. (But he and his wife had a great time on the road, all the same.)

I’m lucky enough to be able to attend a number of literary events each month, so many that there isn’t always space in Shelf for every dispatch I send them. I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some moments from the last few weeks I haven’t told readers about yet…

Staking a claim to “the first fall reading” at Manhattan’s McNally Jackson bookstore last night, Rob Spillman introduced the short story collection Fantastic Women: 18 Tales of the Surreal and the Sublime from Tin House, which expands upon a 2007i issue of the literary magazine dedicated to women writing fiction that breaks away from realism and incorporates fantastic elements, including some from mythology and folklore, in the tradition of pioneers like Angela Carter and Ursula K. LeGuin. (And, at least in some critical readers’ eyes, these contemporary writers are doing an excellent job of it; the anthology came about when Spillman discovered that the magazine was being bulk ordered for use in college classes.)

Spillman’s wife, short story writer Elissa Schappell, pinch-hit for Karen Russell, who was stuck in Philadelphia after a train fell across the railroad tracks. They were joined by two contributors to the collection, Gina Zucker and Samantha Hunt.


5 September 2011 | events |

Romance Readings in Manhattan: June 22 & 27

Lady Jane’s Salon, the romance reading series I’ve helped curate since February 2009, is usually held on the first Monday of each month—but we decided a while back we wouldn’t even try to compete with the Fourth of July. Instead, with the annual national meeting of Romance Writers of America coming to New York City next week, we decided to throw our biggest evening yet on Monday, June 27, with six guest authors reading from their work. (Well, five, really, since Leanna Renee Hieber is another of the series’ founders.) If you’re a romance fan, though, keep in mind that Sarah Maclean, Dianna Love Snell, Karen Rose, Carrie Lofty, and Eloisa James won’t be the only authors there—a lot of writers come out for RWA Nationals, and we expect a good number of them to come to this party to cheer on their colleagues, so you won’t want to miss this. We’ll be at Madame X (94 W. Houston Street), starting the show at 7:00 p.m., and all you need to get in is $5 or a gently used paperback romance novel.

Before that, however, I’ll be joining Sarah MacLean, Lauren Willig, and Cara Elliott this Wednesday, June 22, at the Roger Smith Hotel (501 Lexington Avenue) for a night of “Rakes, Rogues, & Mischief.” We’ll be meeting at the lobby bar for cocktails at 6:00 p.m., then heading up to the penthouse for a 7:00 reading. (There’s a rooftop bar, too, so odds are the party will continue past the readings…) You can RSVP for this event on Facebook, or just come by that evening. Either way, we’d be delighted to see you!

20 June 2011 | events, lady jane's salon |

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