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In Conversation: Lynne Tillman and Eileen Myles

Monday November 7, 2016
07:00 pm

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To celebrate the publication of writer and critic Lynne Tillman’s new collection of groundbreaking fiction and essays, The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories (Semiotext(e)/Native Agents), she joined writer and poet Eileen Myles, author of Chelsea Girls (1994), Inferno (2010), and I Must Be Living Twice (2015).

 


 

About The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories by Lynne Tillman

 

The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories gathers together Lynne Tillman’s groundbreaking fiction/essays on culture and places, monuments, artworks, iconic TV shows, and received ideas, written in the third person to record the subtle, ironic, and wry observations of the playful but stern “Madame Realism.”

 

Through her use of a fictional character, Tillman devised a new genre of writing that melded fiction and theory, sensation, and critical thought, disseminating her third-person art writer’s observations in such magazines as Art in America and in a variety of art exhibition catalogs and artist books. Two decades after the original publication of these texts, her approach to investigation through embodied thought has been wholly absorbed by a new generation of artists and writers. Provocative and wholly pleasurable, Tillman’s stories/essays dissect the mundane with alarming precision. As Lydia Davis wrote of her work, “Our assumptions shift. The every day becomes strange, paradox is embraced, and the unexpected is always around the corner.”

 

This new collection also includes the complete stories of Tillman’s other persona, the quixotic author Paige Turner (whose investigation of the language of love overshoots any actual experience of it), and additional stories and essays that address figures such as the “Translation Artist” and Cindy Sherman.


 

Lynne Tillman is the author of five novels, four collections of short stories, two collections of essays, and two other nonfiction books. She collaborates often with artists and writes regularly on culture, and her fiction is anthologized widely. Her novel No Lease on Life and her second essay collection What Would Lynne Tillman Do? were nominated, respectively, for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction (1998) and in Criticism (2014). She is Professor and Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany, a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as an Arts Writers grant from the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital (2015). Lynne is on Twitter as @glossitis


Eileen Myles is the author of nineteen books including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems, and a 2015 reissue of Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016 Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently they teach at NYU and Naropa University and live in Marfa TX and New York. Eileen is on Twitter as @EileenMyles