We’re excited to announce an award-winning lineup for October’s Reading Series. Join us at KGB Bar next Thursday, 10/8, to hear great new work by Alexandra Kleeman, Sophie McManus, Tanwi Nandini Islam and Helen C Phillips.
Thursday Ocobter 8 at KGB Bar and Red Room, 85 East 4th Street. 7-9pm
Alexandra Kleeman’s “brilliant and disturbing” debut novel, You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Centering on a trio of young adults in various degrees of thralldom to commercial culture, from reality television and the health-food industry to pornography and corporatized religion, the book is “ultimately about losing touch with ourselves and other people as we become increasingly caught inside the web of our prosthetic electronic souls, replacing things in our lives with proxies, our loved ones with avatars.”
Alexandra’s short story collection, Intimations, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2016. Hailed as a writer to watch by Publishers Weekly, her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, Conjunctions, Guernica, and Gulf Coast, among others. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Tin House, n+1, and The Guardian. Her work has received scholarships and grants from Bread Loaf, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Santa Fe Art Institute, and ArtFarm Nebraska.
Sophie McManus is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Unfortunates, which is shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, a Barnes & Noble 2015 Great Writers Discover Selection, and a Publishers Weekly 2015 buzz book. Following the decline and fall of a wealthy family, including a clinical drug trial, insider trading, subprime mortgages, and a terrible opera, The Unfortunates is “a wonderfully precise and subtle – not to mention unexpectedly moving – take on the assumptions and beleaguerments that go with great wealth.” Sophie’s work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Memorious, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Saltonstall Foundation, and the Jentel Foundation.
Tanwi Nandini Islam’s “vivid and captivating” debut novel, Bright Lines, was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Following the story of three Brooklyn girls who grapple with their Bangladeshi roots and modern sexual challenges, the novel is “a sensitive and subtle exploration of the experience of gender nonconformity across cultures . . . . A transcontinental, transgenerational tale of a family and its secrets.”
Tanwi’s writing has appeared on Elle.com, Open City, Women 2.0, Billboard.com, and Gawker. She is the founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a small-batch niche perfume, candle, and skincare line.
“Tanwi Nandini Islam has given Zadie Smith’s White Teeth an American cousin where the characters of Bangladeshi origin are situated in America (Brooklyn to be exact) and not London. It’s a story of immigrants and their children, family secrets, and feeling like a stranger in a place you’re told is home. It’s a damn fine first book—easily one of the best debuts of the year.”
– Jason Diamond, Electric Literature
Helen Phillips’ buzzed-about, unsettling debut novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Named a must read of the summer by the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Bustle, The Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed, among others, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is “[p]art dystopian fantasy, part thriller, part giddy literary-nerd wordplay”. It follows a woman who gets a data entry job in a big, windowless building; her suddenly missing husband; and other enigmatic events which all seem to add up to something much bigger than simple workplace/life malaise.
Helen is also the author of a story collection, And Yet They Were Happy, which was named a notable collection by The Story Prize, and the children’s adventure book, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green. Her new collection, Some Possible Solutions, is forthcoming from Henry Holt in 2016. Helen has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, The Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, the Meridian Editors’ Prize, and a Ucross Foundation residency. Her work has been featured on PRI’s Selected Shorts, at the Brooklyn Museum, and in Tin House, The New York Times, Electric Literature, New York Magazine, and BOMB, among others.