The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Wednesday October 29, 2014
07:00 pm

Tags: Event





To celebrate Penguin Classics' reissue of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, The Center hosted a round robin reading of the famous short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with Elizabeth L. Bradley, Lev Grossman, Megan Abbott, Caitlin Macy, Mandy Keifetz, Tonya Hurley, Randy Cohen, Mark Chiusano, Peter Lerangis, and Elda Rotor.


About The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

When Washington Irving first published this collection of essays, sketches, and tales—originally entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.—readers greeted it with enthusiasm, and Irving emerged as America's first successful professional author.


This volume includes "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," two of America's most recognizable and loved works of fiction and displays Irving's ability to depict American landscapes and culture so vividly that readers feel themselves a part of them. And it is on the basis of these two classic tales that Irving is generally credited with inventing the short story as a distinct literary genre. Also included here are gently ironic pieces about life in England that reflect the author's interest in the traditions of the Old World and his longings for his home in the New.



Elizabeth L. Bradley is a Brooklyn-based historian and journalist. She is the author of Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York, a cultural history of New York’s first mascot that Philip Lopate hailed as a “delightful contribution to urban studies.”  Bradley is the editor of the Penguin Classics Edition of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories and Irving's A History of New York, and she has contributed chapters to the Morbid Anatomy Anthology, the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York andExploring Historic Dutch New York.  She is the author of numerous entries in the Encyclopedia of New York City (Second Edition).

Bradley’s work has been featured in The New York Times, GothamistEdible BrooklynEdible Manhattan, and Underwater New York.  She consults for Historic Hudson Valley, which manages Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, and serves on the boards of the Morbid Anatomy Museum and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. She is currently at work on a book about eugenics and popular culture in 20th century New York City.


Lev Grossman is the book critic and lead technology writer for Time magazine and a widely published cultural critic. He is also the author of the bestselling novels The MagiciansThe Magician King and most recently The Magician’s Land, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can learn more about Lev Grossman on his website and follow him on Twitter @leverus.


Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of six books. Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature and went on to receive her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Award nominations, Hammett Prize, the Macavity, Anthony and Barry Awards and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Abbott won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2008 for Queenpin.  She was also nominated in 2010 for Bury Me Deep for Best Paperback Original and in 2006 for Best First Novel for Die A Little. She is also the editor of the Edgar-nominated A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir, featuring original tales by 25 mystery and crime authors. She lives in Queens, New York City. 


Caitlin Macy is the author of a novel, The Fundamentals of Play, and a
book of short stories, Spoiled. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker
the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Slate
The recipient of an O'Henry award, she lives in New York City with her husband 
and two daughters.


Mandy Keifetz is a 4th-generation New Yorker. Her work has appeared in .Cent, Penthouse, Vogue, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and other ‘zines too numerous to count. Her first novel, Corrido, has been optioned by a UK production company. She was a Fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2002 and her plays have been staged in New York, London, Cambridge, Montréal, and Oslo. She is an occasional MFA dissertation defense panelist at U-MASS, Amherst. She lives in Brooklyn with an opera composer, their child, and an exuberant hound dog.


Tonya Hurley is a New York Times and international bestselling author of the ghostgirl series and The Blessed Trilogy. ghostgirl was an instant best seller and has received starred reviews from the literary publications Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Voya and School Library Journal. Her second book in the series, ghostgirl Homecoming, was featured on Ace of Cakes along with Harry Potter and was released July 1, 2009. ghostgirl Lovesick, the third book in the series, was released on July 12, 2010. Two ghostgirl novellas followed -- ghostgirl Xmas Spirit: It's A Wonderful Afterlife and ghostgirl Dia de Muertos.  The ghostgirl audiobooks are read by actress Parker Posey. Hurley's latest project is The Blessed  trilogy, a gritty thriller, is the story of three girls living in modern-day Brooklyn who come to find they are the incarnations of ancient martyrs Cecilia, Lucy and Agnes. The first book of which is titled Precious Blood and the second Passionaries. The Blessed audiobook is read by Moonrise Kingdom star Kara Hayward. Hurley has also created and produced two hit TV series for ABC Family and Disney, wrote and directed five independent films which premiered at film festivals around the word and were broadcast on PBS and IFC. She won the Pennsylvania School Library award in 2012 and is a founding board member of the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn. Visit her at


Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics).  His first television work was writing for "Late Night With David Letterman" for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s "TV Nation." He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it.  For twelve years he wrote "The Ethicist," a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine.  In 2010, his first play, “The Punishing Blow,” ran at New York’s Clurman Theater. His most recent book, Be Good: how to navigate the ethics of everything, was published by Chronicle.  He is currently the creator and host of Person Place Thing, a public radio program.


Mark Chiusano is the author of Marine Park, a collection of stories. His fiction and essays have appeared in GuernicaNarrative MagazineSalonHarvard Review, and online at Tin House, the New York Observer, NPR, and The Paris Review, among other places. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, educated at Harvard College, spent some summers playing baseball in Switzerland, among other places sometimes more exotic than the Parade Grounds, and now works at Vintage Books.


Peter Lerangis has written more than 160 books, which have sold more than 5 million copies and been translated into 33 languages, including sevenNew York Times–bestselling titles: The Colossus RisesLost in Babylon, and The Tomb of Shadows in The Seven Wonders series; The Sword ThiefThe Viper’s Nest, and Vespers Rising (the latter co-authored with Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson) in The 39 Clues series, and The Dead of Night in the Cahills Vs. Vespers series. Other titles include Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am, written with Harry Mazer (American Library Association’s 2013 Schneider Award “for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for adolescent audiences,” Best Fiction for Young Adults list, Junior Library Guild); Smiler’s Bones (N.Y. Public Library Best Book for Teens, Bank Street Best Book, Junior Library Guild); wtf; and the Drama ClubSpy XWatchersAntarctica, and Abracadabra series. He lives in New York City with his wife.


Elda Rotor is Associate Publisher and Editorial Director of Penguin Classics. She oversees the US program and created several series including Penguin Drop Caps, Penguin Horror with Guillermo del Toro, Penguin Civic Classics with Richard Beeman, and Penguin Threads.  She edited and produced the Penguin Classics app Poems by Heart, chosen by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2013.