On Jan. 13, the Brooklyn Academy of Music
will kick off the first of what it hopes will be many series
of visits by authors to its BAM Cafe.
BAM Executive Producer Joseph Melillo has partnered with the National Book Foundation to bring an impressive literary lineup to Fort Greene: Rick Moody (pictured) on Jan. 13, Paul Auster on Feb. 10, Walter Mosley on March 10, Jhumpa Lahiri on April 14, Joyce Carol Oates on May 12 and Edward P. Jones on June 9.
"It is all about making BAM a destination for various different people who have a range of interests," Melillo told GO Brooklyn. What sets BAM’s series apart from other author readings in Brooklyn is its convivial nature, explained Melillo.
"We’ll have food and beverages and live musicians during the dinner program [beginning at 6:30 pm], and [at 8 pm] a reading by the author, then a host - Wendy Wasserstein or [Rolling Stone contributing editor and CNN pop culture commentator] Toure - who will have an interview with the writer, then open it up for a Q&A and booksigning," said Melillo.
At $38 per person for the reading, buffet dinner, wine, tax and tip, organizers also hope attendees will have cash left over to spring for an autographed tome.
"Our aim is to make it accessible," said Melillo. "You want people to have this experience. You don’t want to be prohibitive, and it’s very accessible in terms of price."
The unifying theme among the authors is that they are American.
"Our partner, the National Book Foundation, services American authors and promotes reading and an appreciation of great American literature," said Melillo. "They have an extraordinary education outreach program so we’re an extension of their mission, and that’s why they wanted to partner with us."
On Thursday, Moody, author of the "Demonology" short story collection and the novels "The Ice Storm" and "Garden State," will kick off the "Eat, Drink and Be Literary" series with moderator Wasserstein.
A 20-percent discount (available via phone purchase only) is applicable for those who buy tickets to all six events. For tickets, call (718) 636-4100 or visit the BAM Web site at www.BAM.org or the BAM box office (30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place).
Lisa J. Curtis