Behind the Book
WHEN: Thursday, January 11, from 7:00-9:00pm. FREE.
WHERE: KGB Bar, 85 East Fourth Street
(between Second & Third Aves.; take the F/V to Second Ave. or the No. 6 to Astor Place).
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.kgbbar.com
John Hodgman is the author of the best-selling book of fake trivia, The Areas of My Expertise, and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, where he is also the humor editor. His work has also appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, and The New York Times Book Review. He currently curates and hosts the Little Gray Book Lectures—a monthly series that has been broadcast on NPR’s This American Life. He appears regularly on Comedy Central'sThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart as the Resident Expert and stars as the hapless PC computer user in the "I'm a PC" Apple ads. He lives in New York City with his wife and children on the Upper West Side.
is the author of the international bestselling Chang and Eng,
which was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year, and The
Real McCoy, which was a New York Times Notable Book of
2002 and one of the New York Public Library's "25 Books to Remember
of 2002." His work has been translated into fourteen languages.
Darin teaches writing at New York University, for which he won a 2005
"Outstanding Dozen" teaching award. Also a screenwriter, he
has worked with the director Julie Taymor and, after selling the rights
to Chang and Eng to Disney, is currently adapting the novel
for the screen with the actor Gary Oldman. He was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim
Fellowship in fiction writing, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
John Hodgman, The Areas of My Expertise
“Hodgman, ‘resident expert’ on Comedy Central's ‘The
Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart and a ‘New York Times Magazine’
contributor, prides himself as a leading authority in the realm of informative
false world knowledge….Hodgman's distinct brand of offbeat humor
somehow manages to spoof yet ultimately embrace an intellectual thirst
for the esoteric….connoisseurs of the Schott's ‘Miscellany’
titles and the ‘Onion’ will still find more than enough
deliciously absurd faux facts to make for a worthwhile….experience.
Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng
Woven from the fabric of fact, myth and imagination, Strauss's narrative gives poignant, articulate voice to these legendary brothers and humanizes the freakish legend that grew up around them. Sweeping from the Far East and the court of the King of Siam to the shared intimacy of their lives in America, Chang and Eng rescues two of the nineteenth century's most fabled human oddities from the sideshow of history, drawing from their extraordinary lives a novel of exceptional power and beauty.
"Bold… Imaginative… A daring story from a brave new
voice in literature."
"A spirited and promising debut."
"As lyrical as it is daring."
"Haunting and thoroughly entertaining."
"A dazzling piece of fiction….full of grace and sorrow."
"Sublime….Strauss’s elegant prose soars…."
"Astonishing….a dazzling consistency of voice and sensibility.…"
"Ambitious and accomplished."
"Precise, powerful prose….vivid imagination….a provocative
"Imposingly original….very moving indeed."
"Truly remarkable….brilliant… wonderful….A novel
not to be missed."
"One of the most riskily imagined and successfully realized novels
I’ve read in years."
"Chang and Eng rocks with twisted passion….and
a sly and powerful wit. A righteously deft and intelligent first novel."
"Powerful and affecting….A marvel of psychological insight
and historical imagination."
“Strauss is….ambitious…A good storyteller, too, with
shrewd notions about what makes people tick.”
“Superb….Strauss has crafted another brilliant book, peopled
with memorable characters and vivid settings….This book would
read well in a marathon session, but I chose to savor it over several
days. Either way, its title is fair billing: This is the Real McCoy.”
“Strauss writes strong and evocative prose, and his result is
a tightly built world that feels historically and emotionally right.”
"Darin Strauss is one of America's handful of great young novelists….If
[‘Chang and Eng’] was a carnival, [‘The Real McCoy’]
is a World's Fair. It's that ambitious, that fun."
“Ingenious….’The Real McCoy's’ strength, dynamism
and sorrow will make it one of the most quintessentially American novels
published this year.”
“Beautiful writing, memorable phrases and good old-fashioned
"Just as he did in his brilliant debut, ‘Chang and Eng,’
Strauss takes a piece of history—in this case the go-go 1900s—and
pumps it up with punchy prose and gritty period detail….Like E.L.
Doctorow's ‘Ragtime,’ McCoy is nostalgic without feeling
like a textbook lesson."
"Lauded ‘Chang and Eng’ author Strauss whips up a
bustling story….Strauss has an obvious affection for this time
in American history and the period's electric hum of optimism surges
through these pages with a crackling intensity."
"Like his acclaimed first novel, ‘Chang and Eng,’
Strauss takes a curious historical footnote and carves from it a sprawling,
quirky, and delightful story."
"Daring, unique….This book is well-written, comprehensively
researched, and stylish, sure to score."
"Strauss remains one of the most interesting and promising of
younger American novelists."
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