Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT November 2, 2022
The Center for Fiction
The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. Attendees will also receive a complimentary specialty cocktail (‘The Fishbowl’), courtesy of FSG! All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
Join The Center for Fiction for a thrilling conversation about fearless literary legend Katherine Dunn’s newly revealed novel, Toad!
Upon its release in 1989, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love captivated readers, earned a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and was nominated for the National Book Award. It is widely considered a cult classic, one of the weirdest, most beloved novels of recent history.
In one of the most exciting publications of the fall, MCDxFSG is releasing Toad, Dunn’s previously unpublished novel of the reflections of a deeply scarred and reclusive woman. A brilliant precursor to the book that would make Dunn a misfit hero and a refreshing take even fifty-some years after it was written, Toad demonstrates Dunn’s genius for black humor and irony, her ecstatic celebration of the grotesque. Panelists include author Halle Butler (The New Me); artist and writer Molly Crabapple (Brothers of the Gun), writer of the foreword for Toad; and Naomi Huffman, editor of Toad. Don’t miss this unforgettable discussion!
Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer based in New York. She is the author of two books, Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun (with Marwan Hisham), which was longlisted for a National Book Award in 2018. Her reportage has been published in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, the Paris Review, Vanity Fair, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art. Her animations have been nominated for three Emmys and won an Edward R. Murrow Award.
Photo Credit: Marina Galperina
Naomi Huffman is a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, GQ, Bookforum, the Believer, SSENSE, and elsewhere. She began transcribing Dunn’s short stories, housed in the archives at Lewis & Clark College, in 2018, and is the editor of two of Dunn’s previously unpublished books, Toad and Near Flesh: Stories, forthcoming from MCDxFSG in fall 2022 and 2023.
By Katherine Dunn
Published by MCD x FSG
A previously unpublished novel of the reflections of a deeply scarred and reclusive woman, from the cult icon Katherine Dunn, the author of Geek Love.
Sally Gunnar has been in love, has been mad, has been an agent of destruction, has been spurned; and now she has retreated from the world. She lives in isolation in her small house, where her only companions are a vase of goldfish, a garden toad, and the door-to-door salesman who sells her cleaning supplies once a month. From her comfortable perch, she broods over her deepest regrets: her wayward, weed-hazy college days; her blighted romance with a scornful poet; a tragically comic accident involving a paper cutter; a suicide attempt; and her decision to ultimately relinquish a conventional life.
Colorful, crass, and profound, Toad is Katherine Dunn’s ode to her time as a student at Reed College, filled with the same keen observations, taboo-shirking verve, and singular characters that made Geek Love a cult classic. Through the perceptive Sally, a fish out of water among a cadre of eccentric, privileged young people, we meet Sam, an unwashed collector of other people’s stories; Carlotta, a free spirit who nevertheless fails to escape the deception of marriage; and Rennel, a shallow, self-obsessed philosophy student. With sly self-deprecation and mordant wit, Sally recounts their misadventures, up to the tragedy that tore them apart.
Through it all, Toad demonstrates Dunn’s genius for black humor and irony, her ecstatic celebration of the grotesque. Daring and bizarre, Toad is a brilliant precursor to the book that would make Dunn a misfit hero—even fifty-some years after it was written, it’s a refreshing take on the lives of young outsiders treading the delicate lines between isolation and freedom, love and insanity, hatred and friendship.
Katherine Dunn is the author of Geek Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Bram Stoker Prize, as well as the novels Attic, Truck, One-Ring Circus, and On Cussing. She was an award-winning boxing journalist whose work appeared in Esquire, KO magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Playboy, the Ring, Sports Illustrated, and Vogue. In 2004, Dunn and the photographer Jim Lommasson won the Lange-Taylor Documentary Prize for their work on the book Shadow Boxers. She died in 2016.
The Center for Fiction Presents Melissa Broder on Death Valley with Karah Preiss
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 4, 2023
In Translation: Jenny Erpenbeck on Kairos with Gal Beckerman
Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT October 5, 2023
The Café & Bar Presents Exhibit B in NYC: A Reading
Saturday, 5:00 pm EDT October 7, 2023
The Center for Fiction Presents Patricia Marx and Roz Chast on Tired Town
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 10, 2023
The Center for Fiction Presents Bryan Washington on Family Meal with Ocean Vuong
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 11, 2023
A Final Reading with The Center for Fiction / Susan Kamil 2022-2023 Emerging Writer Fellows
Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT October 12, 2023
Story/Teller: Tan Twan Eng on The House of Doors with Brandon Taylor
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 17, 2023
The International Library: Emily Wilson on The Iliad
Wednesday, 1:30 pm EDT October 18, 2023
Story/Teller Arts: Tony Kushner on The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT October 19, 2023
Biblio Bacchanal: Wine & Book Pairings
Saturday, 5:00 pm EDT - 7:00 pm EDT October 21, 2023
The Café & Bar Presents Drink & Draft Night$45
Monday, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 23, 2023
Let Us Descend: A Conversation with Jesmyn Ward and Ta-Nehisi Coates$35
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 24, 2023
On America: Tim O’Brien on America Fantastica with Rick MacArthur
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 25, 2023
The International Library: Attila Bartis on The End
Thursday, 1:30 pm EDT October 26, 2023
Story/Teller Arts: James Ijames on Fat Ham
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 31, 2023
In Translation: The Complete Clarice Lispector Translations
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT November 1, 2023
The Center for Fiction Presents Lisa Gornick on Ana Turns with Joan Silber
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT November 8, 2023
A Clandestine Rendezvous with Joseph Kanon and Paul Vidich on the Legacy of John le Carré$75
Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT November 9, 2023
Booking for Love: LGBTQ+ Edition
Friday, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT November 10, 2023
Mexico Writes Now
Thursday, 6:00 pm EDT November 16, 2023