Jeff Sharlet discusses and signs This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers

Known for immersion journalism that is more immersed than most people are willing to go, and for a prose style that is somehow both fierce and soulful, Jeff Sharlet dives deep into the darkness around us and awaiting us.  This work began when his father had a heart attack; two years later, Jeff, still in his forties, had a heart attack of his own. In the grip of writerly self-doubt, Jeff turned to images, taking snapshots and posting them on Instagram, writing short, true stories that bloomed into documentary. During those two years, he spent a lot of time on the road: meeting strangers working night shifts as he drove through the mountains to see his father; exploring the life and death of Charley Keunang, a once-aspiring actor shot by the police on LA's Skid Row; documenting gay pride amidst the violent homophobia of Putin's Russia; passing time with homeless teen addicts in Dublin; and accompanying a lonely woman drifting into dementia, whose only friend was a houseplant, on shopping trips.

Early readers have called this book "incantatory," the voice "prophetic," in "James Agee's tradition of looking at the reality of American lives." Defined by insomnia and late-night driving and the companionship of other darkness-dwellers--night bakers and last-call drinkers, frightened people and frightening people, the homeless and the lost (or merely disoriented), other people on the margins--This Brilliant Darkness erases the boundaries between author, subject, and reader to ask: how do people live with suffering? (WW Norton & Company)

 

Event date: 
Monday, February 17, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781324003205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 11th, 2020
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