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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.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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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.”