Literature Program
 


Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

FREE

Talking Leaves…Books & Hallwalls present

Kathleen Alcott & John Wray

Kathleen Alcott
Author of the new novel Infinite Home
(Penguin Random House)
& John Wray
Author of the new novel The Lost Time Accidents
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

A Reading of New Fiction
FREE, with Reception to Follow




About Infinite Home, "a beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together":

"Expect to find insights [in Infinite Home] that make you stop, go back, and read again.…Take it from us: You don't know what's coming in the last third of this book, and you will be astounded" (O, the Oprah Magazine).

The plot of Infinite Home: "Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith's deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together. Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants—Paulie, an unusually disabled man and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke—must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love. The threat to their home scatters them far from where they've begun to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way. With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home."

Kathleen Alcott is the author of the novel The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, which was translated into several languages. Her fiction, criticism, and essays appear in publications including The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Coffin Factory, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. Born in Northern California, she currently resides in Brooklyn.

"In his ambitious and fiercely inventive new novel, The Lost Time Accidents, John Wray takes us from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumors about Einstein's radical new theory to the death camps of World War II, from the golden age of postwar pulp science fiction to a startling discovery in a Manhattan apartment packed to the ceiling with artifacts of modern life. Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar "Waldy" Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back—a journey that forces him to reckon not only with the betrayal at the heart of his doomed romance but also the legacy of his great-grandfather's fatal pursuit of the hidden nature of time itself. Part madcap adventure, part harrowing family drama, part scientific mystery—and never less than wildly entertaining—The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century."

John Wray is the author of The Lost Time Accidents, Lowboy, Canaan's Tongue, and The Right Hand of Sleep. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and a Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. Raised and educated in Buffalo, NY, Wray is a citizen of the United States and Austria, and currently lives in New York City.

 
 
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Laylah Ali
Paintings and Drawings


Laylah Ali's work explores power dynamics and interpersonal conflict through compositions that position culturally, racially and sexually ambiguous figures in precarious, loaded, and unexpectedly humorous situations. Ali uses concise—even minimal—imagery that is specific in rendering and intent. While there are narratives in Ali's work, they are stories whose open spaces often give them the atmosphere of fables.