"'Ghost' is a good word for all the nameless longing that doesn’t get resolved in this lifetime. Shapton has created a mystical territory — a performance, an exhibition, a guestbook — in which I felt the ghost within myself; the thing that will outlive me. A fearless and exquisite book." -Miranda July


"The writing and images are equal parts funny, spooky, and devastating, and by the time I was done reading I felt haunted myself." -The Rumpus

Ghost Stories with Leanne Shapton and Special Guests

Wednesday May 29, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event


...and enjoy $10 off any purchase at our bookstore! 

Visual art, writing, and performance come together for a staged reading of Leanne Shapton's Guestbook. Leanne will be in conversation with moderator Sasha Weiss, Culture Editor of the New York Times Magazine.


Readers and Performers:

    • •  Novelists Heidi Julavits and Helen Macdonald
    • •  Actors Emily McDonnell and Josh Hamilton
    • •  Poets Cynthia Zarin, Terrance Hayes, and Nick Laird
    • •  John Wray and Elvis Perkins will play guitar and sing


In Guestbook, one of our most imaginative writers and artists explores the visitations that haunt us in the midst of life, and reinvents the very way we narrate experience.



A tennis prodigy collapses after his wins, crediting them to an invisible, not entirely benevolent presence. A series of ghosts appear at their former bedsides, some distraught, some fascinated, to witness their unfamiliar occupants. A woman returns from a visit to Alcatraz with an uncomfortable feeling. The spirit of a prisoner has attached himself to you, a friend tells her. He sensed the sympathy you had for those men. In more than two dozen stories and vignettes, accompanied by an evocative curiosity cabinet of artifacts and images, Guestbook beckons us through the glimmering, unsettling evidence that marks our paths in life.



Leanne Shapton is an artist and author of several books, including Swimming Studies (winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography), Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, and a coauthor of The New York Times bestselling Women in Clothes. She is also the cofounder of J&L Books, a nonprofit publisher of art and photography books. She lives in New York City.