Please note that admission to this event requires either a purchase of the book OR a $5 admission voucher. Books and vouchers can be purchased online in advance or at the door on the day of the event; advance orders will be available for pickup at the store on the day of the event. The admission voucher functions like a gift card and is good toward $5 off anything in store at WORD on the day of the event only.
Narrated by the voice of a once-in-a-generation Twitter account @GuyInYourMFA: a handbook for the wannabe literary elite and those who laugh at them—all illustrated by a New Yorker cartoonist.
Who better than that unjustifiably overconfident guy in your MFA to mansplain the most important (aka white male) writers of western literature? You can’t miss him: riding the L, writing furiously in his Moleskine notebook, or defying the wind by hand-rolling a cigarette outside a Williamsburg coffeeshop. He’s read Infinite Jest 9 1/2 times—have you?
From Shakespeare’s greatest mystery (how could a working-class man without access to an MFA program be so prolific?) to the true meaning of Kafkaesque (you know you’ve made it when you have an adjective named for you) to an appropriately minimalist dissertation on Raymond Carver that segues effortlessly into a devastating critique of a New Yorker rejection letter (”serious believability issues”), this guide is at once profound and practical.
Use a Venn diagram to test your knowledge of which Jonathan—Franzen, Lethem, or Safran Foer—hates Twitter and lives in Brooklyn. (Trick question: all 3!) Practice slyly responding to an invitation to discuss Bartleby the Scrivener with “I would prefer not to.” Sneer at chick-lit and drink Mojitos like Hemingway (not like middle-aged divorcées!). And as did Nabokov (originator of the emoticon), find the Pale Fire within.
So instead of politely nodding next time you encounter said person at a housewarming party in Brooklyn, you can hand them this book and tell them to roll up their sleeves and cigarettes, and get to writing the next great American novel.
About the Illustrator
Jason Adam Katzenstein is a cartoonist and comedy writer for print and animation. His art and writing have appeared in The New Yorker, The Toast, MAD Magazine and on Cartoon Network. He teaches Writing and Drawing Comics at Wesleyan University. He has illustrated a full length graphic novel, Camp Midnight, with writer Steven T. Seagle for Image Comics and is writing and illustrating an upcoming graphic memoir.
How do you use ‘taraddidle’ in a sentence? Is it possible to make a Gin Ricky that’s also a metaphor for the American Dream? How can you tell your Faulkner from your Franzen if you haven’t actually read either?
$5 admission voucher to this event. Your voucher functions like a gift card and can be used toward anything in store on the night of the event only.