The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday before publication for consideration.
11.29: Yes, yes, y’all – thank your lucky stars: the superlative Ms. Maud Newton reads at Junno’s, with Darin Strauss. (I’ll be the one in the front row with the stiff drink and a fistful of Gitanes.) 7:30pm, FREE.
11.30: The National Coalition Against Censorship co-sponsors a discussion on “Censorship in Art,” with artist Andres Serrano, legendarily well-informed on the subject, and scholar Eleanor Heartley, at Coliseum Books. 6:00pm, FREE. Elsewhere in the city, poets Craig Morgan Teicher and Emily Moore read their work at Monkey Temple’s Red Room reading series. 7:00pm, FREE.
12.1: Just as I arrive in New York, so too does the “News from Old Europe,” featuring intellectuals Alexander Kluge and Andreas Huyssen in conversation at The New School. 7:00pm, $8. Also on Wednesday evening, poet Lisa Jarnot (Black Dog Songs, Ring of Fire) and musical guests Pantsuit bring the ruckus to the Million Poems Show, hosted by Jordan Davis, an accomplished poet himself. 6:30pm, FREE.
12.3: The Doug Wamble Quartet plays The Whitney, as part of the museum’s Soundcheck program. 7:00pm; performance is free with admission, which is pay-what-you-wish from 6:00-9:00pm on Fridays (although, the vibe from the admissions desk is always: “wish-you’d-pay-more”).
12.4: The 17th Annual Independent & Small Press Book Fair boasts an ambitious and exciting schedule this year, and of course, fabulous holiday shopping opportunities, as always. Highlights include (and even those are too numerous to mention): a conversation with The New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, a conversation with The Paris Review editor Brigid Hughes, a post-election debate with writers from The Onion and The Daily Show, a workshop on “How to Find a Literary Agent, Publish Your Book and Create a Best-Seller,” a panel discussion on “Starting a Small Press or Literary Magazine,” a panel discussion with contemporary artists on creating and documenting street art, and much more. Saturday: 10:00am-6:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm; FREE.
12.5: “Blogs were the new zines, but now zines are the new black (again).” That’s the first line of the trend piece I’ll be writing for The New York Times five years from now, which sounds like the right timeline for anything interesting at the moment. I missed the first issue of Jami Attenberg’s new Instant Love series (sold out), but I caught up with the second. Doodles of naked chicks and a story for anyone even remotely familiar with the mechanics of dysfunctional families? What’s not to love? She reads Sunday night as part of the Atomic Reading Series, which takes place at Lucky 13, Brooklyn’s only full-time punk/metal/deathrock/alternative bar. 7:00pm, FREE.