Beverly Gologorsky and Victoria Redel
Thursday November 21, 2013
Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger
Beverly Gologorsky and Victoria Redel read from and discussed their latest books, Stop Here (Gologorsky) and Make Me Do Things (Redel).
About Stop Here
Stop Here tells the stories of the hard-working employees of a roadside diner in Long Island who struggle to make ends meet, to deal with the aftermath of the first Iraq war and the family destruction of the second Iraq war, and to find meaning in the crumbling façades that mask the turmoil of their lives. The women in this story are the strong, resilient, uncomplaining types; they take care of their depressed husbands, raise kids on their own, and work all night serving coffee to lonely truckers.
Ava, Mila, and Rosalyn all work at Murray’s Diner in Long Island. They are friends and coworkers struggling to hold their disordered lives together. While Ava privately grieves the loss of her husband in the first Iraq War, Mila struggles to dissuade her seventeen-year-old daughter from enlisting in the second. Rosalyn works as an escort by night until love and illness conspire to disrupt the tenuous balance she'd found and the past she'd kept at a safe distance. The promise of a new relationship with a coworker soon begins to restore Ava's faith in her own ability to feel, and Mila learns through wrenching loss that children must learn from their own mistakes. But ultimately it is love for one another and for their wayward families that sustains them through the pain and uncertainty of a world with no easy answers.
About Make Me Do Things
In eleven original, surprising and deliciously dark stories, award-winning author Victoria Redel moves effortlessly between men’s and women’s perspectives as they explore marriage, divorce and parenthood. A newly divorced mother stumbles her way back into single life. A young man and his girlfriend clean out his dead mother’s overstuffed home. A woman struggles to hide her affair from a doting husband and inquisitive daughter. A man descends into a drugfueled dream as he imagines losing his pregnant wife to a historical, nineteenth century figure. Redel indelibly captures the ways we love, the ways we yearn and the ways we sabotage each other. Throughout the collection, children struggle to make sense of the adult world’s uncertainties as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, find themselves pressed up against their own limits, “the exaltations and treasons of one’s own mothy heart.” Redel has again done what Grace Paley said of Redel’s first collection, “Only a poet could keep a reader turning these pages so greedily.”
Beverly Gologorsky is the author of the acclaimed novel The Things We Do to Make it Home, originally published by Random House in 1999, reissued by Seven Stories in 2009, named a Notable Book by the New York Times, Best Fiction by Los Angeles Times, and a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Award. Her work has appeared in anthologies and magazines, including the New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and the LA Times. Former editor of two political journals, Viet-Report and Leviathan, noted for her historical contribution to Feminists Who Changed America, Gologorsky has contributed essays to Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from all Sides and The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True-Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away, among others.
Victoria Redel is the author of three books of poetry and four books of fiction. Woman Without Umbrella, her recent collection of poetry was published in 2012 and a new collection of stories, Make Me Do Things, is forthcoming in fall 2013. Her novel The Border of Truth (Counterpoint 2007) weaves the situation of refugees and a daughter’s awakening to the history and secrets of her father’s survival and loss. Loverboy (2001, Graywolf /2002, Harcourt), was awarded the 2001 S. Mariella Gable Novel Award and the 2002 Forward Silver Fiction Prize and was chosen in 2001 as a Los Angeles Times Best Book. Loverboy was adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Swoon (2003, University of Chicago Press), was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated. Redel’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Granta.com. Harvard Review, The Quarterly, The Literarian, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, O the Oprah Magazine, Elle, Bomb, More and NOON. Redel is on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment For The Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center.
This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.