author events

[title]
05/07/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Nomi Prins presents and signs All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power

Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents' Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics--or greed driving bankers.  Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protege relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. These families and individuals recycle their power through elected office and private channels in Washington, DC.  All the Presidents' Bankers sheds new light on pivotal historic events--such as why, after the Panic of 1907, America's dominant bankers convened to fashion the Federal Reserve System; how J. P. Morgan's ambitions motivated President Wilson during World War I; how Chase and National City Bank chairmen worked secretly with President Roosevelt to rescue capitalism during the Great Depression while J.P. Morgan Jr. invited Roosevelt's son yachting; and how American financiers collaborated with President Truman to construct the World Bank and IMF after World War II.   Prins divulges how, through the Cold War and Vietnam era, presidents and bankers pushed America's superpower status and expansion abroad, while promoting broadly democratic values and social welfare at home. But from the 1970s, Wall Street's rush to secure Middle East oil profits altered the nature of political-financial alliances. Bankers' profit motive trumped heritage and allegiance to public service, while presidents lost control over the economy--as was dramatically evident in the financial crisis of 2008.  This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation.  All the Presidents' Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances of the power elite, or they will break us. (Nation Books)

ISBN: 9781568587493
Price: $32.99

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[title]
05/08/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Cari Lynn presents and signs Madam: A Novel of New Orleans

New Orleans, 1900. Mary Deubler makes a meager living as an "alley whore." That all changes when bible-thumping Alderman Sidney Story forces the creation of a red-light district that's mockingly dubbed "Storyville." Mary believes there's no place for a lowly girl like her in the high-class bordellos of Storyville's Basin Street, where Champagne flows and beautiful girls turn tricks in luxurious bedrooms. But with gumption, twists of fate, even a touch of Voodoo, Mary rises above her hopeless lot to become the notorious Madame Josie Arlington.   Filled with fascinating historical details and cameos by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and E. J. Bellocq, Madam is a fantastic romp through The Big Easy and the irresistible story of a woman who rose to power long before the era of equal rights. (Plume Books)

ISBN: 9780142180624
Price: $15.00

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[title]
05/09/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Sheana Ochoa presents and signs Stella! Mother of Modern Acting

Arthur Miller decided to become a playwright after seeing her perform with the Group Theater. Marlon Brando attributed his acting to her genius as a teacher. Theater critic Robert Brustein calls her the greatest acting teacher in America. At the turn of the 20th century by which time acting had hardly evolved since classical Greece Stella Adler became a child star of the Yiddish stage in New York, where she was being groomed to refine acting craft and eventually help pioneer its modern gold standard: method acting. Stella's emphasis on experiencing a role through the actions in the given circumstances of the work directs actors toward a deep sociological understanding of the imagined characters: their social class, geographic upbringing, biography, which enlarges the actor's creative choices. Always "onstage," Stella's flamboyant personality disguised a deep sense of not belonging. Her unrealized dream of becoming a movie star chafed against an unflagging commitment to the transformative power of art. From her Depression-era plays with the Group Theatre to freedom fighting during WWII, Stella used her notoriety as a tool for change. For this book, Sheana Ochoa worked alongside Irene Gilbert, Stella's friend of 30 years, who provided Ochoa with a trove of Stella's personal and pedagogical materials, and Ochoa interviewed Stella's entire living family, including her daughter Ellen; her colleagues and friends, from Arthur Miller to Karl Malden; and her students from Robert De Niro to Mark Ruffalo. Unearthing countless unpublished letters and interviews, private audio recordings, Stella's extensive FBI file, class videos and private audio recordings, Ochoa's biography introduces one of the most under recognized, yet most influential luminaries of the 20th century. (Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers)

ISBN: 9781480355538
Price: $29.99

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[title]
05/10/2014 - 4:00 pm
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Mark Leibovich presents and signs This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!--In America's Gilded Capital

Washington, D.C., might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of big politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation's capital, just millionaires. In This Town, Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, presents a blistering, stunning--and often hysterically funny-- examination of our ruling class's incestuous "media industrial complex." Through his eyes, we discover how the funeral for a beloved newsman becomes the social event of the year. How political reporters are fetishized for their ability to get their names into the predawn e-mail sent out by the city's most powerful and puzzled-over journalist. How a disgraced Hill aide can overcome ignominy and maybe emerge with a more potent "brand" than many elected members of Congress. And how an administration bent on "changing Washington" can be sucked into the ways of This Town with the same ease with which Tea Party insurgents can, once elected, settle into it like a warm bath.   Outrageous, fascinating, and very necessary, "This Town "is a must-read, whether you're inside the Beltway--or just trying to get there. (Blue Rider Press)

ISBN: 9780399170683
Price: $16.00

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[title]
05/12/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Maggie Shipstead presents and signs Astonish Me

"Astonish Me" is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many.
After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn't finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind--back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan.   Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead's range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. (Knopf)

ISBN: 9780307962904
Price: $25.95

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[title]
05/13/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Stacey D'Erasmo presents and signs Wonderland

Joined in conversation by singer-songwriter Beth Orton

 

Anna Brundage is a rock star. She is tall and sexy, with a powerhouse voice and an unforgettable mane of red hair. She came out of nowhere, an immediate indie sensation. And then, life happened.

Anna went down as fast as she went up, and then walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous father's art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour.  Anna is forty-four. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose, the life she struggled for, the life she's not sure she can sustain. She falls back easily into the ways of the road--sex with strangers, the search for the perfect moment onstage. To see Anna perform is something--watch her find the note, the electric connection with the audience, the transcendence when it all comes together and the music seems to fill the world.  A riveting look at the life of a musician, "Wonderland" is a moving inquiry into the life of a woman on an unconventional path, wondering what happens next and what her passions might have cost her, seeking a version of herself she might recognize. It takes us deep into a world many of us have spent hours imagining and wishing ourselves into--now we have a bit of that wish come true. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

ISBN: 9780544074811
Price: $22.00

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[title]
05/14/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Kseniya Melnik presents and signs Snow In May: Stories

Kseniya Melnik's Snow in May introduces a cast of characters bound by their relationship to the port town of Magadan in Russia's Far East, a former gateway for prisoners assigned to Stalin's forced-labor camps. Comprised of a surprising mix of newly minted professionals, ex-prisoners, intellectuals, musicians, and faithful Party workers, the community is vibrant and resilient and life in Magadan thrives even under the cover of near-perpetual snow. By blending history and fable, each of Melnik's stories transports us somewhere completely new: a married Magadan woman considers a proposition from an Italian footballer in '70s Moscow; an ailing young girl visits a witch doctor's house where nothing is as it seems; a middle-aged dance teacher is entranced by a new student's raw talent; a former Soviet boss tells his granddaughter the story of a thorny friendship; and a woman in 1958 jumps into a marriage with an army officer far too soon.  Weaving in and out of the last half of the twentieth century, Snow in May is an inventive, gorgeously rendered, and touching portrait of lives lived on the periphery where, despite their isolation--and perhaps because of it--the most seemingly insignificant moments can be beautiful, haunting, and effervescent. (Henry Holt & Company)
 

ISBN: 9781627790079
Price: $25.00

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[title]
05/15/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Johanna Stein presents and signs How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane: And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source

For Johanna Stein (writer/comedian/forward/slash/abuser and occasionally neurotic/immature/way-too-candid mom), parenting is an extreme sport. Her stories from the trenches may not always be shared experiences--"Have you ever wondered if your baby's "soft spot" is like a delete key? Trained your preschooler for a zombie invasion? Accused a nearly nude stranger of being pregnant? Made sweet, bimonthly love to your spouse while your toddler serenaded you through the adjoining wall? Attempted to calm your screaming baby on an airplane with a hand puppet, only to have it lead to one of the most disgusting experiences of your life?"--but they will always make you laugh.
So, no, this book won't teach you how to deal with nipple blisters or Oedipal complexes. But if you want to learn why you should "never" attempt to play a practical joke in the hospital delivery room, then you're in the right place. (Da Capo Lifelong Books)

ISBN: 9780738217345
Price: $19.99

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[title]
05/18/2014 - 4:00 pm
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Porochista Khakpour presents and signs The Last Illusion

From the critically acclaimed author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects comes a bold fabulist novel about a feral boy coming of age in New York, based on a legend from the medieval Persian epic The Shahnameh, the Book of Kings. In a rural Iranian village, Zal's demented mother, horrified by the pallor of his skin and hair, becomes convinced she has given birth to a "White Demon." She hides him in a birdcage and there he lives for the next decade. Unfamiliar with human society, Zal eats birdseed and insects, squats atop the newspaper he sleeps upon, and communicates only in the squawks and shrieks of the other pet birds around him. Freed from his cage and adopted by a behavioral analyst, Zal awakens in New York to the possibility of a future. An emotionally stunted and physically unfit adolescent, he strives to become human as he stumbles toward adulthood, but his persistent dreams in "bird" and his secret penchant for candied insects make real conformity impossible. As New York survives one potential disaster, Y2K, and begins hurtling toward another, 9/11, Zal finds himself in a cast of fellow outsiders. A friendship with a famous illusionist who claims--to the Bird Boy's delight--that he can fly and a romantic relationship with a disturbed artist who believes she is clairvoyant send Zal's life spiraling into chaos. Like the rest of New York, he is on a collision course with devastation. In tones haunting yet humorous and unflinching yet reverential, The Last Illusion explores the powers of storytelling while investigating contemporary and classical magical thinking. Its potent lyricism, stylistic inventiveness, and examination of otherness can appeal to readers of Salman Rushdie and Helen Oyeyemi. A celebrated essayist and chronicler of the 9/11-era, Khakpour reimagines New York's most harrowing catastrophe with a dazzling homage to her beloved city. (Bloomsbury Publishing)

ISBN: 9781620403044
Price: $26.00

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[title]
05/19/2014 - 7:00 pm
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Jane Rosenberg LaForge presents and signs An Unsuitable Princess

Fantasy and memoir, contemporary and Renaissance times all converge in this duo of simultaneously-narrated tales. In the first, set in Renaissance England, a mute stable girl with mysterious healing powers has been inexplicably declared an outcast by the Queen.  Rumored to be a witch, she is relegated to living in a barn with no hope for friendship or family. Yet those who know her -- including a young man whose family raised her as their daughter and whose life she saved -- fall inexorably in love with her gentle and seemingly magical ways.  The second tale, told as a series of footnotes to the first, is a memoir of the author’s coming-of-age in L.A. in the 1970s where she’s an awkward, self-absorbed adolescent struggling to define herself amid Hollywood’s eclectic population of hippies, mid-list celebrities, drug addicts and suburbanites.  It’s also a provocative reflection upon the author’s inspiration for the book’s Renaissance storyline, stemming from the guilt she’s harbored over the death of a high school sweetheart -- as well as a sophisticated commentary on society and its values, the absurdity of our obsessions and how we too often fail to see the world around us.  Together the book’s dual stories leave readers to ponder the fine line between reality and the living fairy tales we weave in pursuit of happy endings. (Jaded Ibis Press)

ISBN: 9781937543563
Price: $16.99

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