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A reading featuring Téa Obreht, Christine Schutt, and Wells Tower
To coincide with Halloween, Harper’s Magazine presents “Monsters: A Celebration of Villainy, Exploitation, and Abuse,” a reading featuring selections from the magazine and work by Harper’s Magazine contributors Téa Obreht, Christine Schutt, and Wells Tower.
WHEN: Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 P.M.
WHERE: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York City.
WHO: Téa Obreht’s first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, will be published by Random House in 2011. Her article “The Twilight of the Vampires” appears in the November issue of Harper’s.
Christine Schutt is the author of two short story collections, and two novels, Florida, and most recently, All Souls. “Prosperous Friends,” an excerpt from a novel she is completing, appeared in the November 2009 issue of Harper’s.
Wells Tower is the author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, a collection of short fiction. He is currently a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. His last article, “Own Goal,” appeared in the June issue.
Additional selections will be read by the staff of Harper’s Magazine.
HOW: Admission is free. Attendees are asked to consider bringing a book to donate to the venue. One hundred percent of the bookstore’s profits go to Housing Works, Inc., an organization committed to ending AIDS and homelessness.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”