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“Moby Dick” Re-Imagined

City of Asylum (2017)

Paul Eprile

Tuesday, October 17th
8:00 pm

Translator Paul Eprile will be reading from his translation of winner Jean Giono’s Melville: A Novel. It has never been translated into English before.

Melville: A Novel is a work with a unique pedigree. Eighty years after it appeared in English, Moby Dick was translated into French for the first time by the Provençal novelist Jean Giono. The publisher persuaded Giono to write a preface, however Giono took unusual latitudes with this instruction, producing instead something that would transcend the original source material. The result was Melville: A Novel — part biography, part philosophical rumination, part romance, part unfettered fantasy. Paul Eprile’s expressive translation of this intimate homage brings the exchange full circle.

Paul Eprile

“Giono illustrates how an author’s artistic output enriches and illuminates his life, in ways that historical facts cannot provide…Giono expands Melville’s context, painting him as a transatlantic heir to Milton and Shakespeare. At the same time, he also expands Melville’s own influence, cementing his impact on French culture, which has been considerable.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

Paul’s passion for the French language and French literature, and a fascination with Provence, led him to begin translating the works of Jean Giono. His first translation, Hill (Colline) was published by New York Review Books in 2016. The second, Melville: A Novel (Pour saluer Melville) will appear in September 2017. Paul is now working on a third Giono novel, The Open Road (Les grands chemins).

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

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The Warhol Presents a Talk About Iranian Art

City of Asylum (2017)

The Andy Warhol Museum Presents

Crossing the Red Line:
Exhibiting Iranian Art in the U.S.

Saturday, October 21st
2:00 pm

In conjunction with The Andy Warhol Museum’s “Go West” exhibition, The Warhol will host a conversation with independent scholar and curator Dr. Shiva Balaghi on what it means to exhibit, write about, critique, and view contemporary Iranian art at museums in the United States.

Shiva Balaghi

Author of Picturing Iran: Art Society and Revolution, Balaghi was among the first faculty to introduce the subject of Contemporary Middle Eastern Art at U.S. universities, teaching cultural history for nearly two decades at NYU and Brown University. Most recently she has contributed to the catalog for “Farhad Moshiri: Go West”, the first museum solo exhibit for one of Iran’s most prominent artists.

Warhol Stripe

This event is co-presented with The Andy Warhol Museum.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

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When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

“A rare new breed of dog memoir; think Patti Smith’s Just Kids.” – Library Journal

City of Asylum (2017)

Eileen Myles

Tuesday, October 10th
8:00 pm

Guggenheim Fellowship-recipient Eileen Myles will read from the new book Afterglow (A dog memoir), a portrait of Eileen’s beloved canine confidant: a pit bull called Rosie.

In 1990, Eileen chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer’s life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Eileen was madly devoted to the dog’s well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, Afterglow launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner.

Eileen Myles

“Long a figure in the counter-culture but recently the writer Eileen Myles has become
something of a household name.” ― The New York Times

Eileen Myles – whose many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, four Lambda Literary Awards, the Clark Prize for Excellence in Art Writing, the Shelley Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America – is the author of more than twenty books. Eileen’s poems were also featured in seasons 2 and 3 of the Emmy-winning show Transparent.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Diana Nelson Jones @ City Books

Diana Nelson Jones
You are invited to join us on Saturday night (September 23rd) when City Books holds the local launch of The Love of Baseball, a new collection of essays edited by Post-Gazette writer (and Northsider!) Diana Nelson Jones. Written by and for baseball fans (or those trying to live with one), this collection of essays joins a perennial conversation all fans have— “Why do we love baseball?” Thirty contributors share personal narratives of how they found an abiding passion for the sport and how their relationship to it changed over the years. Tracing the thematic arc of a typical season, the essays begin with stories of spring training optimism, followed by the guts and grind of the regular season, and ending with the glory (or heartbreak) of the playoffs. Discussion and book signing to follow.

“Colombia’s most exciting writer” Launches the Translation of His New Novel

City of Asylum (2017)

Santiago Gamboa

Tuesday, September 19th
8:00 pm

Novelist, short story writer, journalist and Otra Orilla Literary Prize winner Santiago Gamboa (Colombia) will be debuting his newly published novel Return to the Dark Valley here at Alphabet City.

In a narrative that moves across continents, from Spain to Ethiopia and Latin America, Return to the Dark Valley examines the life of Manuela Beltrán — a poet haunted by a troubled childhood. Her vendetta takes her around the world and puts her in the company of a vibrant cast of characters each wrestling with their own demons. These characters animate Gamboa’s richly imagined portrait of a hostile, turbulent world where liberation is found in perpetual movement and determined exploration.
Santiago Gamboa
“Each novel by Santiago Gamboa is at the forefront of the best Latin American novels. Gamboa dismantles the legacy of Chandler and Hammett, adapting it to the craggy environs of Colombia, and adds to it a tireless sense of ethics. His novels revitalize a genre that we thought could do no more.” — Martin Solares

Gamboa — one of Colombia’s most exciting writers — infuses his stories with a dose of inky dark noir that makes his novels intensely readable, his characters unforgettable, and his style influential.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

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When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Reading & Talk by J.D. Barker at City Books

J.D. Barker

Saturday, September 9th
7:00-9:00 pm

In 2014, J.D. indie-published his first novel, Forsaken, and through perseverance, ingenuity and creative marketing, took the title to the top of the bestseller lists around the world. His second novel, The Fourth Monkey, sold to traditional publishers for advances in excess of $1 million. His third novel, a prequel to Dracula, co-authored with Dacre Stoker and based on Bram Stoker’s original notes, sold in late June 2017 at auction to a Big 5 publisher. Two feature films and a network television program are in the works based on his novels. A native of Illinois, J.D. splits his time between Pittsburgh and Englewood, Florida. For more information about J.D. Barker, click here.

In addition to reading from his books…

J.D. will be talking about his experience with self-publication including:

  • Agent or no agent?
  • Freelance editors
  • Query letters
  • What is co-op?

A book signing will follow the event.

“Gut-wrenching and undeniably relevant to today’s world…”

City of Asylum (2017)

Kamila Shamsie

Saturday, August 26th
4:30 pm

Two-time Orange Prize nominee Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan) will be reading from her newly published novel Home Fire, one of the most anticipated novels of the year.

A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of an immigrant Muslim family torn apart when loyalties and politics collide. Set against the multiple backdrops of modern London, American academia and the Syrian conflict, Kamila’s novel explores the complexities of nationalism, religious extremism and bigotry, ultimately asking: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?

Kamila Shamsie

Raised in Karachi and now living in London, Kamila Shamsie is the author of several previous widely-praised novels, including Broken Verses and Burnt Shadows among others. She has been a finalist for the Orange Prize (twice) and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and has been named one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Pultizer Prize Winner and Author of Negroland Margo Jefferson Speaks June 27

City of Asylum (2017)

Margo Jefferson

Thursday, June 27th
8:00 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson will be reading from her multi-award winning autobiography Negroland, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Heartland Prize.

Margo Jefferson

Margo places a critical lens to her childhood growing up among the Chicago’s upper-crust, elite black social sphere – a world she dubs “Negroland.” Widely regarded as one of 2016’s Best Books of the Year (as noted by such publications as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Time Out New York and others), Negroland is a provocative work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.

Jefferson is a national treasure and her memoir should be required reading across the country. – Vanity Fair

Margo is a professor at Columbia University and has been a staff writer for The New York Times and Newsweek, and has published in New York Magazine, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Believer, Guernica, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vogue and Grand Street. Not shy about tackling potentially controversial subject matter, Jefferson’s essays have weighed in on such topics as Ebonics, “race ennui” and black feminism. She also wrote and performed a theater piece, Sixty Minutes in Negroland, at The Cherry Lane Theater and The Culture Project.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Nigerian Author Unoma Azuah: The Body as Politics

City of Asylum (2017)

Unoma Azuah

Tuesday, May 23rd
8:00 pm

Award-winning writer and LGBT activist Unoma Azuah (Nigeria) will be reading from her collection Blessed Body: Secret lives of LGBT Nigerians.

Unoma Azuah

Forced to live invisible lives because of Nigerian’s harsh anti-LGBT laws, the courageous narrators in Unoma’s collection give voice to those Nigerians faced with the challenge of discovering and exploring their sexuality in the midst of hate and imprisonment. In spite of the political and social persecution they encounter and haunted by the specter of AIDS, they continue to endure, love and thrive.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

Two City of Asylum Writers – and the Novels that Led to their Exile

City of Asylum (2017)

Israel Centeno & Yaghoub Yadali

Sunday, May 16th
8:00 pm

City of Asylum exiled writers-in-residence Israel Centeno (Venezuela) & Yaghoub Yadali (Iran) will be reading excerpts from the novels that led to their exiles. City of Asylum commissioned translations, and they have been published by Phoneme Media. They will be available in the City of Asylum Bookstore and soon bookstores everywhere.

Following the bilingual readings by the authors, Phoneme founder David Shook will lead a conversation with the authors about their personal experiences of exile, their sources of continuing inspiration, and what it’s like to hear their work in English.

Rituals of Restlessness
The Conspiracy

City of Asylum is honored to partner with Phoneme Media – a nonprofit media company dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding, connecting people and ideas through translated books and films – to bring these writers’ voices to new audiences.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit