Mar
25
Mon
Briallen Hopper in conversation with Joanna Scutts on Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions @ The Astoria Bookshop
Mar 25 @ 7:00 pm
Briallen Hopper in conversation with Joanna Scutts on Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions @ The Astoria Bookshop | New York | United States

Join Briallen Hopper, author of Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions, in conversation with Joanna Scutts, author of The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It. Hard to Love has been described by Literary Hub as a “compelling, smart collection of essays on relationships of many kinds—hoarding, dependence, female friendship, marriage or lack thereof—from a widely published literary scholar.”

Hard to Love is about self-reliance, unbreakable female friendships, being single, dealing with difficult roommates, our relationship to our siblings as adults, tricky relationships with our parents, and even Hopper’s quest to become a mother via sperm donor (it’s Moby-Dick like you’ve never seen it). Hopper values each of these complicated and underappreciated relationships, and reminds us that we can all be surrounded by love, even if we’re romantically unattached.

Hopper has a talent for probing at our deepest emotions, picking apart what it means to love friends, jobs, even inanimate objects. Each essay draws from Hopper’s personal experience and manages to be both funny and wise, peppered with references to highbrow and lowbrow culture. Insights into the work of Joan Didion and Flannery O’Connor sit next to commentary on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Sisters and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. As Publishers Weekly says: “A literature scholar, Hopper cultivates a voice that is sophisticated and analytical, but also earnest and eager.”

Mar
28
Thu
Book launch! Jenn Marie Thorne on Night Music @ The Astoria Bookshop
Mar 28 @ 7:00 pm
Book launch! Jenn Marie Thorne on Night Music @ The Astoria Bookshop | New York | United States

Join us for the launch of Jenn Marie Thorne’s latest young adult novel, Night Music.

Ruby has always been Ruby Chertok: future classical pianist and daughter of renowned composer Martin Chertok. But after her horrendous audition for the prestigious music school where her father is on faculty, it’s clear that music has publicly dumped her. Now Ruby is suddenly just…Ruby. And who is that again? All she knows is that she wants away from the world of classical music for good.

Oscar is a wunderkind, a musical genius. Just ask any of the 1.8 million people who’ve watched him conduct on YouTube—or hey, just ask Oscar. But while he might be the type who’d name himself when asked about his favorite composer and somehow make you love him more for it, Oscar is not the type to jeopardize his chance to study under the great Martin Chertok—not for a crush. He’s all too aware of how the ultra-privileged world of classical music might interpret a black guy like him falling for his benefactor’s white daughter.

But as the New York City summer heats up, so does the spark between Ruby and Oscar. Soon their connection crackles with the same alive, uncontainable energy as the city itself. Can two people still figuring themselves out figure out how to be together? Or will the world make the choice for them?

Mar
30
Sat
Alexandra Davis on Lumber Jills @ The Astoria Bookshop
Mar 30 @ 11:30 am
Alexandra Davis on Lumber Jills @ The Astoria Bookshop | New York | United States

Join Alexandra Davis for a rousing discussion of her new children’s book, Lumber Jills, and an engaging, interactive activity.

In World War II, Great Britain needed lumber to make planes, ships, and even newspapers—but there weren’t enough men to cut down the trees. Enter the fearless Lumber Jills! These young women may not have had much woodcutting experience, but they each had two hands willing to work and one stout heart, and they came together to do their part. Discover this lyrical story of home front heroism and female friendship.

Apr
6
Sat
Free Writing Class: Creating Believable Characters @ Queens Library at Flushing
Apr 6 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Free Writing Class: Creating Believable Characters @ Queens Library at Flushing | New York | United States

Attention Queens writers—both experienced and new-to-writing: free creative writing classes taught by the best in Queens!

Newtown Literary Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting prose and poetry in Queens, in partnership with Queens Library, is offering free creative writing classes.

The next class will be led by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond on Saturday, April 6th from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Queens Library in Flushing at 41-17 Main St:

“Creating Believable Characters”

What makes some literary characters more real and more memorable than others? In this class, we will review some of literature’s most compelling characters, and begin to write our own. We’ll examine characters from Janet Fitch’s White Oleander and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth for inspiration, and craft characters, breathing life into them with a series of written exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to share their writing for on-the-spot feedback.

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut.” Named among 39 of the most promising African writers under 39, her short fiction was included in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara. Her work has also appeared in Everyday People: The Color of Life—a Short Story Anthology, African Writing, Los Angeles Review of Books, Sunday Salon, and the short story collection Woman’s Work. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship at Manhattan’s Center for Faith and Work.

This program is made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

May
19
Sun
Walking Queens: 30 Tours for Discovering the Diverse Communities @ Voelker Orth Museum
May 19 @ 2:00 pm
Walking Queens: 30 Tours for Discovering the Diverse Communities @ Voelker Orth Museum  | New York | United States

Time to get out and about! Meet Adrienne Onofri, the author of Walking Queens. Her book, published in 2014, has become the invaluable guide to our neighborhood treks and treasures.
Whether you’ve used the guide to explore Queens or are reading about it here for the first time, you’ll enjoy the insights and stories behind the publication. Join us for light refreshments following the talk to share your own experiences and impressions.