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John Freeman in conversation with Rebecca Solnit
October 16, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
This event cosponsored by LITQUAKE in conjunction with City Lights and Grove Press
celebrating the release of
Freeman’s Literary Journal: POWER Issue
published by Grove Press
From the voices of protestors to the encroachment of a new fascism, everywhere we look, power is revealed. Spouse to spouse, soldier to citizen, looker to gazed upon, power is never static: it is either demonstrated or deployed. Its hoarding is itself a demonstration. This thought-provoking issue of the acclaimed literary annual Freeman’s explores who gets to say what matters in a time of social upheaval.
Many of the writers are women. Margaret Atwood posits it is time to update the gender of werewolf narratives. Aminatta Forna shatters the silences which supposedly ensured her safety as a woman of color walking in public spaces. Power must often be seized. The narrator of Lan Samantha Chang’s short story finally wrenches control of the family’s finances from her husband only to make a fatal mistake. Meanwhile the hero of Tahmima Anam’s story achieves freedom by selling bull semen. Australian novelist Josephine Rowe recalls a gallery attendee trying to take what was not offered when she worked as a life-drawing model. Violence often results from power imbalances— Booker Prize winner Ben Okri watches power stripped from the residents of Grenfell Tower by ferocious neglect. But not all power must wreak damage. Barry Lopez remembers fourteen glimpses of power, from the moment he hitched a ride on a cargo plane in Korea to the glare he received from a bear traveling with her cubs in the woods, asking—do you plan me harm?
Featuring work from brand new writers Nicole Im, Jaime Cortez, and Nimmi Gowrinathan, as well as from some of the world’s best storytellers, including US poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, Franco-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani, and Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Freeman’s: Power escapes from the headlines of today and burrows into the heart of the issue.
John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a Novelist, Tales of Two Cities, Tales of Two Americas, and Maps, his debut collection of poems. He is executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School and New York University. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review and has been translated into twenty languages.
Rebecca Solnit is a prolific writer, and the author of many books including Hope in the Dark, Men Explain Things To Me, Savage Dreams, Storming the Gates of Paradise, and the best-selling atlases Infinite City and Unfathomable City. Her writing has appeared in Harpers, UK Guardian, and Tom Dispatch. She has received numerous honors for her work including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology, the Harvard Mark Lynton History Prize, the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography from the North American Cartographic Information Society, and numerous fellowships.
Litquake is the largest independent literary festival on the West Coast, Litquake continues its mission as a ten-day literary spectacle for booklovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Whether it’s poets reciting in a cathedral, authors discussing science versus religion in a library, or novelists reading in a beekeeping supply store, the goal remains the same: whet a broad range of literary appetites, present the literary fare in a variety of traditional and unlikely venues, and make it vivid, real, and entertaining. To learn more visit: http://www.litquake.org/
Praise for Freeman’s:
“There’s an illustrious new literary journal in town . . . [with] fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by new voices and literary heavyweights . . . alike.”—Vogue.com
“A terrific anthology . . . Sure to become a classic in years to come.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Freeman draws from a global cache of talent . . . An expansive reading experience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Looking at what John [Freeman] has put together in this first edition, I’m struck by how many names I don’t know and how diverse and global it is. My only disappointment is that it’s going to be twice a year—I think we need it 4 times a year.”—James Wood, Radio Boston
“Illuminating . . . Perfect reading for our ever-accelerating times.”—NPR’s Book Concierge
“Freeman’s is fresh, provocative, engrossing.”—BBC.com
“A first-rate anthology of bold, searching and personal writing by emerging and established writers.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Freeman’s sets a new standard for literary journals . . . It’s refreshing and full of nuanced stories that will linger with you long after you finish them.”—Chicago Literati
“[An] infinitely relatable and beautifully crafted prose and poetry anthology . . . Freeman has assembled a thoughtful and profoundly accessible collection of work that connects our vulnerabilities, our expectations and our hopes.”—Newcity Lit
“[A] thrillingly unique collection of voices.”—Toronto Star