Friday, October 5, 2012

New Yorker Festival

So I am off to New York this weekend for a few meetings and to catch a few events at the New Yorker Festival. They do some very interesting shows and, naturally, being in New York, get some of the best writers in the world.

I am looking forward to Faith: a conversation with Nathan Englander, Marilynne Robinson and Chris Adrian. I'm a big fan of Nathan Englander and I love his book The Ministry of Special Cases. And Marilynne Robinson's work is always raved about though I've only read Gilead. Home has been on my list for a few years now but I've still not managed to read it. There was such an interesting conversation going around about her work when Home was published: about faith today, about being an older female writer with a best-seller today, about being a literary writer in today's climate. At any rate, the three of them in conversation about Faith today.

Also looking forward to seeing Alison Bechdel and Judith Therman. Bechdel was all over the literosphere in the summer for her new memoir, Are You My Mother. She lives just across the border in Vermont (or has a place there, at any rate) and has been on our radar for a few years now. As noted in my last post, I'm a big fan of the comic/graphic novel, but I fear Alison Bechdel is a tough writer to land at this point in her career.

For those wondering why we don't always have writers like Bechdel and Robinson and Englander (though we try), as usual, it's a matter of $$. Writers who are currently being buzzed about are highly in demand and can get upwards of 60 invitations a week! A friend of mine (a well-known writer) says that after a while, one starts to feel a bit depressed and overwhelmed at so much attention so raising prices of speaking fees is the only way to determine which invitation is priority. I guess I get that...then agents get isn't pretty!

Unfortunately, what it means for a Festival like ours is that inviting big name writers with buzz in the literosphere can be pricey! Every year we try to bring at least a few if we can...

There are a few more shows on my list for the next few days and a few I wanted to see but couldn't make work because of other things going on in New York this weekend. But glad to have the chance to hang out in one of most favorite cities in the world for a few days.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gregory, I saw your post and I wanted to let you know that will be streaming many New Yorker Festival events this year live, and the events will also be available to watch on-demand following the event. A few highlights include the Money panel with Martin Amis and Zadie Smith, and the discussion on David Foster Wallace. We'll also have the Bechdel talk live and on-demand as well, just in case you want to watch it again!

    Here's the full schedule of events on

    Have a great trip to NYC!