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Dine in literary style at three upcoming author dinners

By Tiffany Gibert

It’s true: Man cannot live on words alone. So get your lit on at two new event series that give you the chance to dine and gab with both big-name authors and up-and-comers. The first, Book/Plate, is a collaboration between Ft. Greene's Greenlight Bookstore and the new restaurant Peck’s Specialty Food; dinners take place outdoors, family-style, in Peck’s backyard and give diners (and book lovers) the chance to hang out with authors while enjoying cocktails and the close-knit neighborhood atmosphere. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, the assemblage of writer-lovers at East Village Italian joint Contrada have begun hosting some of their favorite authors at 55-seat dinners in their intimate space; we’ve got the exclusive details on the next installment, including the delectable four-course menu. Check out the info below, get your tickets soon and just remember not to chew with your mouth open.

Book/Plate: Dinner with Saeed Jones, Sept 18 at 7pm. $50, includes dinner, drinks and a copy of Prelude to Bruise.

Jones is one of our must-read New York authors this fall, and his debut poetry collection is so powerful, we can’t wait to hear him read from and speak about it. Restaurant owner Theodore Peck will work with his chef to create a custom menu to complement the book—a meal guaranteed to be as dazzling as Jones's writing. 

Contrada: Dinner with Daphne Merkin and Erica Jong, Sept 22 at 6:30pm. $100, includes dinner (tax and tip, too) and a copy of The Fame Lunches. Cash bar.

First: Wow. Here’s your chance to have dinner with two legendary women writers in celebration of Merkin’s new essay collection, The Fame Lunches, which covers numerous topics from her friendship with Woody Allen to writings on beauty. And you might have heard of Erica Jong’s famous feminist novel Fear of Flying. It’s sold more than 20 million copies. In addition to the impressive company, here’s the specially-designed dinner menu: 

AMUSE: Mushroom arancino with shaved parmigiano reggiano

FIRST: Grilled romaine caesar with brioche croutons and boquerones

SECOND:  Tilefish over sunchoke puree with wilted Swiss chard

DESSERT:  New York cheesecake with seasonal fruit compote

Book/Plate: Dinner with Matthew Gavin Frank, Sept 30 at 7pm. $50, includes dinner, drinks and a copy of Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer.

Giant squids are utterly fascinating, and Frank’s new book is a unique hybrid of fiction, science and memoir centering on this mystical creature and Moses Harvey, the eccentric Newfoundlander who photographed one in 1874. Don’t miss your chance to ask him all about this at his adventure-themed dinner featuring, of course, calamari.


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