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Booksellers Team Up for the Downtown Literary Festival



Fans of You've Got Mail might be surprised by the cordiality flaunted by McNally Jackson and Housing Works bookstores, located two blocks apart in SoHo. Although the two have exchanged joking Twitter jabs, they've also collaborated on literary events. Next Saturday, April 14, they will join forces to host the inaugural Downtown Literary Festival. The daylong (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) extravaganza will include readings, panels and a walking tour about literature below 14th Street, all followed by a Russian lit-themed after-party. Participants include Rachel Dratch, (PAPER 2013 Beautiful Person) Kristopher Jansma, Eileen Myles, Luc Sante and many more. Check out a complete schedule, re-printed with permission, below:

10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. On the Grid: Stories In Our Streets
Begins at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, moves to McNally Jackson Books at 11AM.
A tour of the literature of downtown New York City, with LitCrawlNYC, through stories, poetry, and essays. With Rachel Dratch, Amor Towles, Joanna Smith-Rakoff, Sarah Schulman, Jami Attenberg, David Goodwillie, Rosie Schaap, Brendan Sullivan, Lev Grossman, Adam Wilson, Jennifer Gilmore, Kristopher Jansma, Hari Kunzru, Katie Kitamura, and Amy Waldman.

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. DISH presents Russ & Daughters
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
DISH is a sumptuous four-course feast of readings and stories, as told by New York's hottest chefs, restauranteurs, mixologists, food authors, bloggers and critics. Each "course" -- Aperitif, Appetizer, Main and Dessert -- features an expert in their respective field, guaranteed to provide a session of mind-watering entertainment. Join us for a brunch o'clock preview of DISH with Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ & Daughters: The House that Herring Built.

12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. Having a Coke with You: Lunch with Frank O'Hara
McNally Jackson Books
Join us for a lunch hour celebration with selections from Frank O'Hara. With readings by Eileen Myles, Colm Toibin, Wayne Koestenbaum, Christopher Schmidt, Paul Legault, Elizabeth Willis, Timothy Donnelly,  Corina Copp, Macgregor Card, John Coletti, Corrine Fitzpatrick, and more.
12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.The Recital: The City
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
What text would you choose to burn into your brain if you could choose any at all? The Recital is a new literary series that answers that question, with a new theme each time. This time it's downtown NYC. Writers and performers will each recite a 1-3 minute piece of their choice. The only real rule is that the memorized text cannot be their own; otherwise, anything goes. Hosted by Rachel Syme and Maris Kreizman.
1:00-1:45 p.m. Fast Talking: Downtown Writing from The Paris Review Archive
McNally Jackson Books
Selections from The Paris Review's archives, on the occasion of the magazine's sixtieth anniversary, will include readings of Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries and the poetry of Anne Waldman, and a performance of Jack Kerouac's 1968 Art of Fiction interview. Readers TBA.
1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m. New York à la Cart: Veteran Vendors Dish about Life on the Streets
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Join Siobhan Wallace and Alexandra Penfold, authors of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks, as they lead a discussion with Red Hook Food Vendors' Executive Director, Cesar Fuentes, and Vendy award finalists Nick Karagiorgos, second generation owner of Uncle Gussy's Greek Truck, Fauzia Abdur-Rahman from Bronx-based Fauzia's Heavenly Delights, and Jonathan Hernandez from Patacon Pisao, New York's only Venezuelan food truck. Stories, street food history, and signature dishes from the acclaimed carts and trucks, which will be parked outside.
2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Is the New York Bohemian Dead?
McNally Jackson Books
Is there still a meaningful tradition of literary bohemianism in downtown New York City, or has that tradition vanished into the Bugaboo West Village? How have our values surrounding art and money and free spiritedness changed the writers' experience of the city? Is there anything we can learn from the lost traditions of bohemian literary culture? Join Katie Roiphe (In Praise of Messy Lives),  Lucas Wittman (The Daily Beast), and James Atlas (president of Atlas &  Company) for a conversation about the ghost of bohemianism in today's downtown NYC.
2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Road Trip with The American Guide
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
A project of the Federal Writers Project between 1935 and 1943, the American Guide series was a collection of books and pamphlets from all fifty states, designed to encourage Depression-weary Americans to explore their own backyard. For our exploration of the American Guide, we're joined by Erin Chapman and Tom McNamara, creators of The American Guide Tumblr, which aims to capture the spirit of travel and discovery fostered by the original guide. Gabriel Kahane, composer of Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States, a piece based on the American Guide, which will have its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on April 27th, will also join the discussion. Moderated by Michelle Legro of Lapham's Quarterly.
3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m. You Should Have Been There: Stories of the Best Show Ever
McNally Jackson Books
Alan Light, Thurston Moore, Ariana Reines, and Nikolai Fraiture (bass player for The Strokes) tell us about the best NYC show they ever went to.
3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Slaughterhouse 90210: Downtown Edition
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Maris Kreizman of Slaughterhouse 90210, the lit/TV Tumblr, presents an NYC-themed slide presentation, and has asked writers to talk about their favorite NYC-based TV shows: Carlene Bauer, Austin Ratner, Jason Diamond, and Jessica Soffer.
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. South of Power: Sub-Houston Manhattan and the Vanishing Fringe
McNally Jackson Books
Stories of public transit, private connections, and what happened when the lights went out, with Kathleen Alcott, Sophie Blackall, Charles Bock, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Luc Sante, and John Wray. In a city whose demographics and geopolitics change so rapidly that a given neighborhood may bear three or more names in a single generation, does the notion of "downtown" still retain a trace of meaning? Writers whose fiction investigates the city, both as a place and as a concept, read from work that confronts and plays with this question.

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Happy Hour Mingle at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Unwind after the festival with drinks and mingling at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. With boozy sweet treats from Spirited Brooklyn!
7:00 p.m. Pravda After-Party, Sponsored by HarperCollins
281 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10012
Master and Margaritas, Crime and Punish-mints, and more Russian literature-themed cocktails at DLF discounts, with films featuring Berlin and Odessa in the early 20th century are projected onto Pravda's walls. The first 100 cocktails will be on the house, courtesy of HarperCollins.

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