Was it a colossal mistake to schedule the PEN World Voices Festival the very same week as Prince William’s wedding? I had planned on attending several events, but now I just want to stay in my apartment and feverishly hit refresh on Gawker for breaking details. (The reception’s east lawn will feature a blend of timothy grass and “native varieties!”)
In the event I do make good on my promise to catch some of the best literary programming in New York, here’s where you can find me:
Monday: Written on Water
Malcolm Gladwell, Czech violinists, and “must-have literary t-shirts?” Sold.
New York City’s been rife with excellent programming around the late novelist’s unfinished work. I’m very much looking forward to this one, as you have one of DFW’s friends (Rick Moody) and his editor (Michael Pietsch) on hand to provide genuine insight. As well as Michael Silverblatt, whom I’ve never seen before. After listening to “Bookworm” over the years I can only picture a tweedier Harold Bloom.
Friday: The PEN Cocktail Hour Reading
So you have Rahul Bhattacharya, an exceptionally polite and charming FSG debut novelist, and David Bezmozgis, another charming and polite FSG novelist, …and Irvine Welsh, who wrote Trainspotting. (And Ecstasy, which features scene with a chainsaw-wielding paraplegic I can never un-read, if you know what I mean.) Should be a good time.
Saturday: The MOTH: What Went Wrong?
Everyone’s excited about this one. Salman Rushdie hosts, Jonathan Franzen’s performing. This is why I moved to New York City. (Also, gambling debts in Seattle.)