The powerHouse Arena invites you to the book launch party for:
by Jessica Hagedorn
Featuring a dramatic reading by Kathleen Chalfant
Tuesday, April 19, 7–9 PM
Drinks will be served.
The powerHouse Arena · 37 Main Street (corner of Water & Main St.) · DUMBO, Brooklyn
For more information, please call 718.666.3049
"Hagedorn's fiery latest...offers a razor-sharp, refreshingly unsentimental portrayal of New York artists—selfish, irresponsible, and brilliant—and the evolution of feminism."
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Jessica Hagedorn returns to the scene with Toxicology, her newest novel, and she's celebrating here at The powerHouse Arena with actress Kathleen Chalfant.
Jessica Hagedorn has received abundant praise for edgy, entertaining, and exuberant novels that combine a strong narrative drive with a lyric sensibility in which pop culture, gossip, storytelling, and extravagant behavior thrive. In her new novel, Toxicology, Hagedorn takes the reader on a sexy, gritty, racy ride where love (or what passes for love) is deconstructed along with desire and mortality.
In Toxicology, Hagedorn works with unforgettable contemporary characters in a landscape that stretches far beyond the Philippines homeland she is best known for writing about. The novel revolves around two women who are neighbors in Manhattan's West Village—Mimi, a filmmaker whose only screen credit is a notorious low-budget "slasher" movie, and who is on the prowl for inspiration and new material, and Eleanor, a reclusive, legendary writer of experimental erotic novels, who is close to eighty years old and addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Mimi and Eleanor's worlds collide in unexpected ways as Eleanor grieves over the loss of her lover, the renowned painter Yvonne Wilder, and as Mimi confronts the challenges presented by the inexplicable vanishing of her drug-dealing boyfriend, Bobby. We also meet Mimi's recently clean and rather out-of-it brother Carmelo, as well as her estranged and rebellious teenage daughter Violet. Casting an inexplicably dark cloud over everyone's lives is the ghost of Agnes, an "illegal" and cousin of Mimi's who might have been murdered by her New Jersey employers.
A bold, playful, and touching novel about the connection between creativity and self-destruction, Toxicology marks the welcome return of an original and compelling voice in American fiction.
About the Participants:
Jessica Hagedorn, a novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award), The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. Hagedorn was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan is Dead. She lives in New York City.
Kathleen Chalfant has worked extensively in television, film, and other media, and is considered one of the great actresses of the American stage. Her outstanding work in the original Broadway production of Angels In America won her Tony and Drama Desk nominations; she received Drama Desk, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Awards for her role in Wit, and the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work. Kathleen is a founding member of the Women's Project and sits on the boards of The Vineyard Theatre, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, and the advisory board of MSF/Doctors Without Borders. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Cooper Union in 2010.>