This week in New York, FSG Reading Series is back, ASK ME celebrates the holidays, Denis Leary tells us to Suck on this Year, Gigantic celebrates with tacos, Darin Strauss defends the memoir for the Brooklyn New School, Tom Bissell and Steve Gaynor speak gamer, Black Swan is the week’s MOVIE PICK, and Pessimist in ART.
Monday 6th: Organized by Farrar Straus and Giroux, The FSG Reading Series this week features PaulMurray (Skippy Dies) and Rachel Dewoskin (Big Girl Small) at the Russian Samovar, 256 W 52nd St. 7PM. $5.
Tuesday 7th: It’s not a holiday without tears, from laughter of course. Ask Me holds a Holiday themed night of true stories told by the very funny Jen Scanlin, Dawn Fraser, and Catie Lazarus, and hosted by David Crabb and Cammi Climaco. Arlo and Esmee, 42 E 1st St. 8PM. $7 (suggested donation, part of the proceeds go to Toys for Tots).
Wednesday 8th: Denis Leary leaves his Tommy Gavin character at home tonight as he reiterates public events in his sharp-tongued comedic tone in his latest book, Suck on This Year. Borders, 10 Columbus Circle. 7PM. Free.
Thursday 9th: Far from the simple task-oriented games of Pong and Pacman, video games now tell complex stories and create fantastic detailed worlds to immerse players. But who’s bringing that narrative to the game, the creator or the player? Experts Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives, and Steve Gaynor, designer of BioShock 2, discuss this new form of fiction. The Center for Fiction, 17 E 47th St. 7PM. Free.
Friday 10th: Gigantic Magazine invites you out for a night of causal supper and short prose featuring local black bean tacos from Bouwerie and short readings from Gigantic thegiganticmag.com contributors John Haskell (author of Out of My Skin), Anelise Chen, John Dermot Woods, and others. Celebrate with $2 tacos and cheap drinks; proceeds help support Gigantic #3. Darling House 496 Broadway, 3rd Floor. 6PM-9PM. Free.
Saturday 11th: This week’s SATURDAY NIGHT MOVIE PICK sets you in gear for the upcoming award season. Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), portrays the competitive world of ballet in a dark light, following a veteran ballet dancer and a newcomer while exploring their relationship. Much like The Wrestler, cruel lengths are taken and exhibited to maintain one’s craft, the only world the character’s know after dedicating some much of their life to their talent.
Sunday 12th: What is the best way to get at the truth? FICTION VS. MEMOIR: Myla Goldberg (The False Friend) and Darin Strauss (Half a Life) discuss their new books, one of which looks back on the past through the lens of fiction, the other through the lens of memoir. All proceeds go to The Brooklyn New School (P.S. 146). Union Hall, 702 Union Street, Brooklyn. $12-$25 Donation at the Door.
ART: Clean Slate for the Pessimist. While stuck in traffic on the BQE this holiday season be sure to look up. Artist James J. Williams III (Prelude to the Namesake) saw an opportunity when NYC tightened its advertising zoning regulations this past February and purchased 21 BQE billboards. From June through December 2010, these billboards remained empty. Two were painted black. The remaining, white.
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