I’m very happy to report I’m joining The Penguin Press as Marketing Director on April 23rd.
For anyone who’s had to suffer through happy hour with me the last couple years, you know how much I enjoy working at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. And it’s been great producing Work in Progress and coordinating campaigns with authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan, Amy Waldman, Jonathan Franzen, and Jeffrey Eugenides.
So this news is a bit of “onward and upward.” Penguin Press has a great list of authors (*cough* Zadie Smith Clay Shirky Nate Silver Thomas Pynchon *cough*) and a truly impressive roster of editors and publicists. I’m looking forward to painting with a bigger brush, as it were, and launching some nonfiction-driven pilot projects. If you see me at happy hour in the next few weeks, I apologize in advance for my nerdy enthusiasm. (And be sure to keep an eye out for some big Penguin Press news in the next month or two.)
Finally: next Tuesday’s Nerd Jeopardy will serve as my unofficial FSG goodbye party. Come on down to McNally Jackson, drink some wine, answer some literary trivia, and be sure to follow us to Botanica for the afterparty.
Typically you have to wait until September and October for a surfeit of literary events. Lucky for us New Yorkers there’s an absurd amount of great programming in the next week alone.
- Thursday, March 1st: Maud Newton and Ellen Ullman (author of By Blood), BookCourt
- Tuesday, March 6th: The FSG Reading Series with Rosecrans Baldwin (Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down) and Davy Rothbart (My Heart Is an Idiot), The Russian Samovar
- Wednesday, March 7th: Vol. 1 Brooklyn presents The Greatest 3-Minute Movie Stories Ever (I’ll be speaking at this one, buffeted by several more talented people), Le Poisson Rouge
- Wednesday, March 7th: National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist Readings, The New School
- Friday, March 9th: John Jeremiah Sullivan (Pulphead) and Geoff Dyer (Zona), 192 Books
If that’s not enough, get thee to Book Boroughing for more.
We’re bringing our night of wine and literary trivia to McNally Jackson on Wednesday, Jan. 18th. Three teams will compete for glory and modest prizes; everyone will compete for loudest and wittiest heckle.
To whet your appetite for all things bookish and Trebekian, here’s a look at our last Nerd Jeopardy from November:
About a year ago the editor Paul Elie told me Will Hermes and Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever. Elie pointed out that the last thing the world needed was another hagiography of New York, or the 70s, or the music scene. (Any music scene.) But Hermes had created something new and worthwhile: he didn’t just focus on the rock scene, riffing on Lou Reed and Patti Smith for 300 pages. He didn’t just cover hip hop and the explosion of experimentation in the Bronx.
Instead his book, which just published a few weeks ago, goes for the panoptic view of the concurrent progress in salsa, jazz, rock, hip hop and classical music.
It’s a given that New York has dozens of diverse musical scenes and genres all percolating simultaneously. What’s amazing about these stretches of time in Hermes’ book is that the artists involved were all geniuses. Kool Herc was inventing turntablism the very same month Philip Glass completed Music in Twelve Parts. How nuts is that?
So Will Hermes put together a few playlists, each covering a different four-week period in NYC. I had a ton of fun helping him out:
4 Weeks in New York Music: 1973
4 Weeks in New York Music: 1974
4 Weeks in New York Music: 1975
Oh, and the title for this post came from a tweet by a reader, who said he was having loads of fun YouTubing the book as he read along.