Today is Kevin Wilson’s official pub date! Tomorrow he reads at Happy Ending @ Joe’s Pub! Holy Jesus, can things get any better? Hell no, they cannot.
Early Praise for Kevin Wilson
“daring and often exquisitely tender..” –New York Times Book Review
“Weird and wonderful stories from a writer who has that most elusive of gifts: new ideas.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Absurd and utterly engaging, Wilson’s stories often sneakily turn heart-breaking. He has a gift for tunneling through hilarious situations to lay bare the raw emotions that make his characters so very real.” –Wisconsin State Journal
“Wilson creates a lively landscape with rich and twisted storytelling.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Wildly imaginative in the manner of new weirdness fiction, Wilson’s work is also warmly compassionate in tenor. He creates an appealing voice for each first-person narrator he invents, and in third-person, he is flat-out magisterial, with more than a hint of the magical. Watch him closely.” – Booklist
But Melynda Fuller, does not. This just in (a month or two behind…)
Every Reading Series Deserves a Happy Ending
Amanda Stern moves her show to Joe’s Pub
by Melynda Fuller
New York has long been the literary capital of the world: Dorothy Parker and her round table at the Algonquin, Norman Mailer digging up controversy with the Village Voice, and Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson at the White Horse Tavern. But the city’s scene can still get stale. Enter the Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, moving to Joe’s Pub in January.
Started in 2003 by Amanda Stern, author of the novel The Long Haul and host of popular events like the PEN American Center’s lit series, Happy Ending quickly became one of the best-loved literary tickets in town. In the LES massage parlor turned bar (also named The Happy Ending for “extras” available at the end of massages decades ago), the first event had a star-studded lineup: A.M. Homes and Mary Gaitskill each read from work while Rick Moody performed with his group the Wingdale Community Singers.
Amanda Stern, founder of the Happy Ending Music and Reading Series
Since then, the bi-monthly event has hosted everyone from David Rakoff to Jennifer Egan to Nick Flynn. It was called “the city’s most vital author series” by Time Out New York. The New York Times Magazine lauded Stern as “a new bohemian…who is keeping downtown alive.”
What sets this series apart is the compromising positions the performers may find themselves in—something the building is no stranger to. They always in some sense take a risk, whether that means a shy writer singing in front of the audience or reading from a high-school diary. Musical performers are expected to cover a song and get the audience to sing along—difficult for even the most popular bands to accomplish in a place like New York.
December 17th marks the last event at the Happy Ending Bar, with writers Sadia Shepard, Ben Markovits and Sana Krasikov and music from Randy Kaplan. But once settled in their new digs, there’s no doubt that the Happy Ending Music and Reading Series will remain one of the stalwarts of the New York literary scene. With the New Year, a new legacy will begin downtown.