Things to do in New York City: Spring book readings and talks

Book nerds seeking things to do in New York City this season, take heed: Favorite authors' new stories and tributes to classic tales fill the 2014 spring schedule

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Like most Bookworms, you've been cloistered indoors at the best bookstores or keeping warm by the fireplace all winter, and are now in need of things to do in New York City. Thankfully, there's a lot happening: Much-loved short-story writer Lydia Davis has a new collection, and the darkly witty Edward St. Aubyn will be visiting from the U.K. alongside Edna O'Brien. Neil Gaiman presents some of his favorite stories, Katherine Boo talks about the years she spent in Mumbai so she could write Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and the city comes together to celebrate James Baldwin.

Selected Shorts: Lydia Davis and Jonathan Franzen

A bill with one cult-favorite translator and short-story writer who has been gaining a wider audience with every release and one writer critically adored for big books and beautiful prose should be catnip for the lit set. Davis (Madame Bovary, Can't and Won't) and Franzen (Freedom, The Kraus Project) each present pieces of their work.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Wed Apr 2
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Katherine Boo and Adrian LeBlanc

Join two well-regarded nonfiction writers for a conversation about projects in which they invested years of their lives and the state of investigative journalism. Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a intensive look at globalization through the eyes of familes struggling in a Mumbai slum, won the National Book Award in 2012. LeBlanc is known for Random Family, a novelistic story about two women and a drug dealer in the Bronx.

James Baldwin: This Time

This weeklong celebration of the groundbreaking writer and his work marks the beginning of our city's "Year of James Baldwin," to celebrate what would have been his 90th birthday. An amazing crew of writers and performers have signed on to talk, read and present new pieces, inspired by the Go Tell It on the Mountain author. Among those participating: Suzan-Lori Parks, Carl Hancock Rux, Fran Lebowitz, Colm Tóibín and HIlton Als. Go to newyorklivearts.org for the complete schedule.

  1. Various locations
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Apr 27
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Selected Shorts: An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Much more than a fantasy author, Gaiman creates stories—be they novels, graphic novels, scripts or short works—that are appealingly dark and clever, and that reach for a level of myth that most modern writers wouldn't even consider. Tonight you'll be sure to hear from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, his 2013 novel about adolescence, which many consider to be his best.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Wed May 7
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Edna O'Brien + Edward St. Aubyn

Two impressive writers, one Irish and one English, make a rare combined appearance in the city. The eminent O'Brien's fiction and plays have the keen ability to put the inner lives of female protagonists on display, and O'Brien recently did the same for herself in memoir Country Girl. Best known for his darkly funny Patrick Melrose series, about growing up and getting away from a highly dysfunctional family, St. Aubyn satirizes literary prizes in Lost for Words.

  1. 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave, between 91st and 92nd Sts
  2. Thu May 29
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