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Anelise Chen & Andrew Durbin


Join us at Spoonbill Studio (99 Montrose Ave.) for an evening of much-talked-about new fiction from Anelise Chen and Andrew Durbin. In her debut nobel "So Many Olympic Exertions" (Kaya Press) Chen tracks anxiety, greif, and growth by way of sports-writing, self-help, and memoir. In "MacArthur Park" (Nightboat Books), Durbin's Nick Fowler navigates the gay fringe of New York, LA, and London while attempting to write a book about the weather. Copies of each for sale and signing. Pistachios and drinks on site.

So Many Olympic Exertions

"Blending elements of self-help, memoir, and sports writing, So Many Olympic Exertions is an experimental novel that perhaps most resembles what the ancient Greeks called hyponemata, or “notes to the self” in the form of observations, reminders, and self-exhortations. Taken together, these notes constitute a personal handbook on “how to live” or perhaps more urgently “why to live,” a question the narrator, graduate student Athena Chen, desperately needs answered."

MacArthur Park

"Andrew Durbin’s debut novel asks what it means to belong to a place, an idea, and a time, even as those things begin to slip away. After Hurricane Sandy, Nick Fowler, a writer, stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power, begins to contemplate disaster. Months later, at an artist residency in upstate New York, Nick finds his subject in disaster itself and the communities shaped by it, where crisis animates both hope and denial, unacknowledged pasts and potential futures. As he travels to Los Angeles and London on assignment, Nick discovers that outsiders—their lives and histories disturbed by sex, loss, and bad weather—are often better understood by what they have hidden from the world than what they have revealed."