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  Photo of Edward P. Jones by Scott Ellison Smith  

Presented in partnership with the National Book Awards

A unique series for sophisticated writers, readers, and eaters, Eat, Drink & Be Literary builds on its past three sell-out seasons, bringing major contemporary authors to BAMcafé for intimate dinners, entertaining readings, and engaging discussions.

Evenings begin at 6:30pm with a sumptuous buffet prepared by BAMcafé's acclaimed executive chef, Tim Sullivan, served with select wines provided by Pine Ridge Winery and accompanied by live music. Following dinner, authors read from and are interviewed about their work, take questions from the audience, and sign books to conclude an evening of candid glimpses into the creative process and the rich writings it yields.

George Saunders
Moderated by Aoibheann Sweeney
Jan 17 6:30pm

"Saunders' finest gift is a high note no one can hit very often, which is to construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity."
—The Boston Globe

"The best thing about being a writer is that, when you say you're a writer, nobody expects you to be able to function normally."—George Saunders
A MacArthur Fellow, George Saunders is the author of the short story collections Pastoralia, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and In Persuasion Nation, which was one of three finalists for the 2006 Story Prize for best short story collection of the year. His most recent book is The Braindead Megaphone, a collection of essays. Widely translated and anthologized, Saunders currently teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Dinner music by the string trio Sojourner, with Marline Rice on violin, Judith Insell on viola, and Nioka Workman on cello.

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Deborah Eisenberg
Moderated by Aoibheann Sweeney
Feb 7 at 6:30pm

"Simply put, there aren't many contemporary novels as shudderingly intimate and mordantly funny as Eisenberg's best stories, and her latest collection...should finally establish her as one of the most important fiction writers now at work."
—The New York Times on Twilight of the Superheroes

"You know how sometimes there's just a certain slant of sunlight, the fragrance of a certain flower, and a whole world will open up in your head? You think, 'What is that?' That's what I go for, an exploration of the signals that make you feel that way."—Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg has authored several short story collections, including Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, All Around Atlantis, and most recently, Twilight of the Superheroes, all cited as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Eisenberg is a Guggenheim Fellow and currently teaches at the University of Virginia.Dinner music by Eric Kurimski, South American/jazz guitar.

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André Aciman
Moderated by Harold Augenbraum
Feb 28 at 6:30pm

"It is Mr. Aciman's great achievement that he has re-created a world gone forever now, and given us an ironical and affectionate portrait of those who were exiled from it."—The New York Times on Out of Egypt: A Memoir

"[I realized that if I] wanted to be a writer I had at the table history had placed me in, not in a Neverland of my own invention. I had to write for America, in America...and I needed to learn to wet my throat with water from the Hudson, not from the Seine, the Tiber, or the Nile."—André Aciman

Winner of the Whiting Writers' Award (1995) and a Guggenheim Fellow, André Aciman is the author of the memoir Out of Egypt and the essay collection False Papers. His latest novel, Call Me By Your Name, will be released in paperback February 2008. He currently lives in Manhattan and teaches comparative literature at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Dinner music by Rufus Cappadocia, five string cellist.

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Fran Lebowitz
Moderated by Aoibheann Sweeney
Mar 13 at 6:30pm

"Talking to Fran Lebowitz reminded me of something a book reviewer once said about one of Saul Bellow's novels: 'It burns the fat right off the brain.' Because if the brain were a muscle, mine was sweaty and well-toned after our two-hour talk."—Index Magazine

"I have a hard time writing. Most writers have a hard time writing. I have a harder time than most because I'm lazier than most. I don't want to brag, but I'm the laziest person I have ever known. I am more than slothful: I'm almost inert. And since writing is so arduous, I tend to avoid it assiduously."—Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz is the author of two acclaimed books of comic essays, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, which are currently available in The Fran Lebowitz Reader. She has also authored a children's book, Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas, and has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times.

Dinner music by Scott Pearson on piano.

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Peter Carey
Moderated by Aoibheann Sweeney
Mar 20 at 6:30pm

"Let me be entirely clear about this: Theft: A Love Story is a novel that will get right up your nose...It is a rudely brilliant, infuriatingly beautiful, belligerently profane work of art."—The Guardian (UK)

"My fictional project has always been the invention or discovery of my own country. Looked at in this way, Great Expectations is not only a great work of English literature; it is (to an Australian) also a way in which the English have colonized our ways of seeing ourselves...Jack Maggs is an attempt to break open the prison and to imaginatively reconcile with the jailer."—Peter Carey

A two-time Man Booker Prize winner, Australian-born Peter Carey is the author of several books, including Oscar and Lucinda (1998) and True History of the Kelly Gang (2001). He has taught writing at NYU, Columbia University, and The New School, and currently directs the MFA program at Hunter College.
Dinner music by Carl Riehl on piano and accordion.

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Shalom Auslander
Moderated by Harold Augenbraum
Apr 3 at 6:30pm

"...[an] extraordinary collection, which has an energy, a precision and a deep black humour I haven't seen in a long time."—The Guardian (UK) on Beware of God: Stories

"I think I'm fairly serious with things I think are funny because it's so important that they come out right. The frustration, of course, is that people say, 'Oh, it's a funny book.' They don't realize that you've been busy doing something.
"—Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander is the author of Foreskin's Lament, which Time magazine has called "one of the best memoirs of the year." His first book was the critically-acclaimed short story collection Beware of God. Nominated for the Koret Award for Writers Under 35, Auslander has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, and is a regular contributor to Public Radio International's This American Life.

Dinner music by Stephen Saperstein, pianist and scholar of New Orleans music.

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Paul Muldoon
Moderated by Edward Hirsch
Thursday, April 17th
6:30 p.m.

A native of Northern Ireland, Paul Muldoon was recently appointed poetry editor of the New Yorker. He has published innumerable poems, his first at age 16. Since then, he has published several collections, including New Weather (1973), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), and Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. Muldoon has received international honors that include the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize. He is currently chairman of the Princeton University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. To read some of his work, visit

Edward Hirsch is a poet and critic. He has published six books of poems including For Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. His seventh collection, Special Orders, will be published in March 2008. He has also written four prose books, including How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national bestseller. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Hirsch now serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Dinner music by Browning-Gilchrest Duo, with Suzanne Gilchrest on flute and Winslow Browning on guitar.

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Chinua Achebe
Moderated by Bradford Morrow
May 15 at 6:30pm

"Mr. Achebe is a novelist who makes you laugh—and then catch your breath in horror...Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent."—The New York Times Book Review

"It seems to me that from the very beginning, stories have been meant to be enjoyed...Still, I think that behind it all is a desire to make our experience in the world better, and once you talk about making things better you're talking about politics."—Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is the author of several books, including the bestseller Things Fall Apart (1958), which made Achebe the most translated African writer in history. In 2007, he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize celebrating his career as a chronicler of the pre- and post-colonial African experience. He currently teaches in the Languages and Literature Department at Bard College.

Dinner music by äj, with Andrea and James Rohlehr on flute and guitar.

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Eat, Drink & Be Literary is sponsored by Bloomberg.

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Tickets go on sale Nov 12 to Friends of BAM and Nov 19 to the public.

Eat, Drink & Be Literary
$48 (includes dinner, wine, tax, and tip). Tickets must be ordered 48 hours prior to event.

BAMfamily Book Brunch
$20 for adults, $15 for children 15 and under (includes lunch, tax, and tip).

Subscribe to five events and save 20% on Eat, Drink & Be Literary tickets and on BAMfamily Book Brunch tickets. (Discount not available at or the box office)

Harold Augenbraum
Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, founder of the Proust Society of America, and editor of the forthcoming Collected Poems of Marcel Proust, has also written about and taught U.S. Latino literature and Asian American literature.

Edward Hirsch
Edward Hirsch is a poet and critic. He is the author of Wild Gratitude—which won the National Book Critics Circle Award—and of the national bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. His seventh collection of poems, Special Orders, will be published in March 2008. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He now serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Bradford Morrow
Bradford Morrow's novels include Come Sunday, Giovanni's Gift, Ariel's Crossing, and the forthcoming The Fifth Turning. Founding editor of the literary journal Conjunctions and the recipient of numerous awards, he currently teaches literature and is a Bard Center Fellow at Bard College.

Aoibheann Sweeney
Aoibheann Sweeney is the Director of the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and has written book reviews for publications such as The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post Book World. Her first novel, Among Other Things I've Taken Up Smoking, was published this year.

• Baby mizuna salad with julienne carrots, jicama, cucumbers, golden raisins, and roasted pistachios served with creamy garlic and lemon vinaigrette

• Roasted harvest vegetables and fettucine

• Katchkie farm grilled organic vegetable platter with zucchini, squash, eggplant, spring onion, fennel, and tomatoes

•Cabernet-glazed grilled salmon filet served with citrus infused ragout of baby carrots, bok choy, and fingerling potatoes

•Forest mushroom and asparagus chick roulade served with herb-roasted red bliss potatoes and fine herb sauce

The mission of the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. Please visit the National Book Awards website at for more information.

BAMFAMILY BOOK BRUNCH On Sat, Apr 12, bring the kids to a special family program featuring award-winning authors. More details coming soon.


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