We’re back at the KGB Bar for January’s Reading Series next week and we’re excited to kick the winter season off with an evening of magic and mystery! Join us at KGB Bar on Thursday for great readings by Alex Mar, author of Witches of America, Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation, and John Wray, author of The Lost Time Accidents.
Thursday, January 14 at KGB Bar and Red Room, 85 East 4th Street. 7-9pm
Alex Mar’s Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters.
“Witches of America is a seeker’s memoir told through a quilted veil: a collection of strong, journalistic profiles of several fascinating American practitioners of the occult. Through these witches, priests, and necromancers, Alex Mar surveys the history and modern practice of various forms of witchcraft in America, while investigating her own longing ‘to be disturbed, shaken into believing.'” – THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Notable Book of 2015)
Alex Mar’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, Epic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Atlas Obscura, The Oxford American (where she is a contributing editor), and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015. Formerly an editor at Rolling Stone, she has been a guest correspondent for CBS, ABC, National Public Radio, and the BBC, as well as a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is also the director of the feature-length documentary American Mystic, currently streaming on Amazon.
Erika Swyler’s The Book of Speculation is a multigenerational tale of traveling carnivals and circus mermaids, and of two siblings touched by sorrow, left to grapple with the weight of a crumbling house full of memories.
Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. When the arrival of a mysterious book coincides with a surprise visit from his volatile sister, Simon worries something sinister is on the horizon.
In her debut novel, Swyler explores the power of legacy and heirlooms to connect the past and present. Her lyrical prose blurs the line between supernatural and real to reflect on the ways in which the past can control us.
Erika Swyler, a graduate of New York University, is a writer and playwright whose nonfiction essays and short fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies including The New York Times, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, StoryChord.com and more.
John Wray’s fiercely inventive new novel, The Lost Time Accidents, is also one of 2016’s most anticipated books, winning praise from a gamut of critics and writers from The Millions to Huffington Post to Flavorwire and the Chicago Reader. Taking the reader from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumors about Einstein’s radical new theory to the death camps of World War Two to modern-day Manhattan, The Lost Time Accidents follows Waldy Tolliver, who wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. As the world continues to turn, Waldy is desperate to find his way back – a journey that forces him to reckon not only with a doomed romance but also the legacy of his great-grandfather’s fatal pursuit of the hidden nature of time itself.
John Wray is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Lowboy, The Right Hand of Sleep, and Canaan’s Tongue. He was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“John Wray gets his Calvino on, his Mitchell on, his Murakami on, and even his Joyce on in this spectacular rattlebag of a novel. The Lost Time Accidents circulates through time and geography – from New York to outer space to Central Europe – and eventually ebbs eloquently back to the essential questions of who we are and why we’re here. Who says the novel is dead? Just smash the clocks and open this book.” – Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let The Great World Spin