Unpublishable is writing that excites you, that scares you, things that you delete from your browser history. The piece you can’t submit but can’t stop thinking about either, burning a hole in the bottom of your desk drawer. Writing from any genre that is uncharacteristic, outré, or offending of sensibilities, that is impossible to place or be published in some fashion. Contributors are creative writers, academics, artists & scientists living in the New York City area.
In his second novel, the acclaimed author of The Sabotage Café leads us on a long, strange trip through the heart of the sixties and beyond, as seen through the eyes of the revolution’s poster child.
Book Launch: GIRL BOY GIRL: How I Became JT LeRoy By Savannah Knoop in Conversation with Director Justin Kelly
Join Savannah Knoop for the exciting re-issue of the Girl Boy Girl on which the upcoming film JT LeRoy, starring Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern, is based. When Savannah Knoop was unmasked as the face of the mysterious author JT LeRoy in 2005, one of the biggest literary hoaxes of the modern era was revealed. Girl Boy Girl tells the story of how a young, queer college dropout came to portray the literary wunderkind JT LeRoy, a persona created by her sister-in-law. For six years, Knoop led a secret double life, traveling through the looking glass of celebrity to find liberation and alienation in equal measures. Knoop’s entanglement with JT and his creator was a game played at the very limits of self-expression, one that changed Knoop’s sense of self forever.
We are proud to host the launch of Dumbo resident Marisa Ramel’s debut memoir! The Goodbye Diaries is a poignant look at her relationship with her mother, Sally Bardach, as Sally is given two months to live. Called “beautiful, wise, tender and true” by Cheryl Strayed, The Goodbye Diaries is a glimpse into both sides of terminal illness, the unique grief, frustration and intimacy between the one leaving and the one left. A fierce and heartbreaking book, and one you won’t soon forget.
Join brilliant lexicographers and self-proclaimed “word nerds” Jane Soloman and Kory Stamper for a night of trivia, prizes and discussion about all things language as well as their new book, The Dictionary of Difficult Words. Come celebrate the beauty and bizarreness of the English language, and maybe even expand your vocabulary in the process.
Exiles of Eden looks at the origin story of Adam, Eve, and their exile from the Garden of Eden, exploring displacement and alienation from its mythological origins to the present. In this formally experimental collection steeped in Somali narrative tradition, Osman gives voice to the experiences and traumas of displaced people over multiple generations. The characters in these luminous poems encounter exile’s strangeness while processing the profoundly isolating experience of knowing that that once you are sent out of Eden, you can’t go back.
One of the most widely acclaimed Latin American writers and surely the most prominent Guatemalan writer, Rodrigo Rey Rosa stands shoulder to shoulder with Roberto Bolaño, Horacio Castellanos Moya, and Fernando Vallejo. In this magnificent new novella, Rey Rosa explores faith and anarchy in our much-divided, dangerously interconnected world.
Astra Taylor’s new book, Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, is a quest – through history, philosophy, and interviews–to answer the question. Her answers are surprising: democracy exists in the tension between many contradictions; it is always being realized and is never in a finite state; we in the United States have far less experience with it than we think. As Masha Gessen notes in a New Yorker review of Astra Taylor’s companion documentary, What is Democracy?, “Taylor’s project seems to be to show just how much we don’t know about what we mean when we say ‘democracy’.” Astra Taylor, who has been called “a rare public intellectual, utterly committed to asking humanity’s most profound questions yet entirely devoid of pretensions and compulsively readable” by Naomi Klein, takes a radically democratic approach interviewing philosophers, activists, and everyday people. Her project is not so much a polemic as it is a celebration of ideas and what it means to think about them.
It’s the end of summer, 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry. Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life.
Wickedly entertaining, beguiling, layered, and sly, Loudermilk is a social novel for our time: a comedy of errors that deftly examines class, gender, and inheritance, and subverts our pieties about literature, authorship, art-making, and the institutions that sustain them.
Master of razor-edged literary humor Binnie Kirshenbaum returns with her first novel in a decade, the devastating, laugh-out-loud funny, and unflinchingly honest story of a writer’s slide into depression and institutionalization.
Join former editor and cartoonist for The New Yorker, Brooklynite John Donohue, for the launch of his first book of drawings, All the Restaurants in New York. From romantic spots like Le Bernardin to holes-in-the-wall like Corner Bistro, John Donohue renders beloved restaurants in a manner that captures the emotional pull these place shave on our hearts. Characterized by their appealingly loose and gently distorted lines, his drawings are intentionally spare, leaving us room to layer on meaning and draw connections to our own memories of a meal, of a moment, of an atmosphere. Since 2017, Donohue has drawn close to 400 New York establishments. He works in ink, from life, with no corrections, and each one takes him almost exactly twenty minutes.
Since before George Orwell’s classic 1984 introduced the quote “Big Brother is Watching You,” we’ve long been unsettled by the possibility of being watched, either by the government or private companies. But what if what was once fiction is now a reality? Journalist Arthur Holland Michel gives us the authoritative account of how the Pentagon developed Gorgon Stare, a godlike surveillance system that’s already patrolling American skies. Eyes In The Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All dives into this new technology that can track 1,000 moving targets at once. Big-data analysis can easily examine thousands of hours of footage, or even trace a target backward in time to find out where it came from—like playing a movie in reverse to see how it begins.
Sally Wen Mao in conversation with Tavi Gevinson for the Launch of Oculus at our POWERHOUSE Lounge.
Seth Kugel gave a VIP Tour for The New York Times Travel section series “36 Hours in Brooklyn” at our POWERHOUSE Lounge.
During this book launch night, Authors Jaclyn Gilbert and Blair Hurley discuss the slippery slopes of perfectionism in elite distance running and spirituality, interrogating both themes across questions of point-of-view and craft essential to writing their debut novels. Jaclyn Gilbert’s Late Air is the story of a marriage, cleft by loss and the unsaid, woven anew in a search for lost time; A hypnotic and daring debut,The Devoted asks what it takes, and what you’ll sacrifice, to find enlightenment.
Our annual NYC Lit Mag Celebration, supported by Pigeon Pages and hosted by Alisson Wood, features some of our favorite writers representing our favorite literary magazines. We’re showcasing Elissa Schappell (Tin House), Joanna Scutts (Catapult), Justine Champine (No Tokens), Marisa Siegel (The Rumpus), and Amanda Claire Buckley (Pigeon Pages NYC).