Wednesday, 12:30 pm EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 20, 2021
Online via Zoom & at
The Center for Fiction*
This session will take place in person* and online via Zoom. Please click Register above to RSVP. Questions? Please email Allison Escoto at email@example.com.
The Literarians is a free monthly discussion group open to members of The Center. Led by our head librarian Allison Escoto, The Literarians read a wide variety of contemporary fiction. New participants are welcome throughout the year!
Not a member yet? Join today!
Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
- How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
- The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Real Life by Brandon Taylor
- Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
- Indelicacy by Amina Cain
- Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
- A Burning by Megha Majumdar
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Deacon King Kong by James McBride
- Apeirogon by Colum McCann
- Milkman by Anna Burns
- Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
- Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
- The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
- The Parisian by Isabella Hammad
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
- The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
- Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
- The Burning Girl by Claire Messud
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
*To attend this reading group in person, please email your proof of vaccination to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to visiting the Center. Mask wearing will be required throughout the building. Accepted vaccination proofs include:
- an image of your CDC vaccination card
- a screenshot or scanned printout of your Excelsior pass
- a record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who gave you your vaccine
In compliance with developing guidelines issued by federal, state, and our local government, we ask that all visitors to The Center for Fiction’s member spaces provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19. If you remain unvaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, please also contact us at email@example.com for assistance or to request a reasonable accommodation.
Head Librarian & Education Director
Head Librarian & Education Director
New Yorker by way of New Orleans, Allison Escoto received her BA in Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and closed out the 90s as a bookseller in Greenwich Village. After several years in publishing, she pursued and received her MLS from Queens College. Since then she has worked as a librarian for 15 years in various libraries in and around NYC and has been moonlighting as a poet and copywriter. She reviews books for Booklist and serves on the ALA RUSA Notables committee. From 2017-2020, she was the Associate Editor for Newtown Literary Journal, a publication dedicated to featuring writers from her beloved Queens.
By Jhumpa Lahiri
Published by Knopf
Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. In the arc of one year, an unnamed narrator in an unnamed city, in the middle of her life’s journey, realizes that she’s lost her way. The city she calls home acts as a companion and interlocutor: traversing the streets around her house, and in parks, piazzas, museums, stores, and coffee bars, she feels less alone.
We follow her to the pool she frequents, and to the train station that leads to her mother, who is mired in her own solitude after her husband’s untimely death. Among those who appear on this woman’s path are colleagues with whom she feels ill at ease, casual acquaintances, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. Until one day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will abruptly change.
This is the first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English. The reader will find the qualities that make Lahiri’s work so beloved: deep intelligence and feeling, richly textured physical and emotional landscapes, and a poetics of dislocation. But Whereabouts, brimming with the impulse to cross barriers, also signals a bold shift of style and sensibility. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
Narrative Truth: How Fiction Can Serve Your Nonfiction with Courtney Zoffness$150
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT October 23 to October 24, 2021
Free Virtual KidsReading Club: The Jumbies
Saturday, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT October 23, 2021
Beyond the Tropes: Family Secrets and Burdens in Speculative Fiction with Marc Abbott (Online Only)
3 Monthly Sessions Sundays, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT October 24 to December 19, 2021
Structuring Your Story: Shaping Fiction with Julia Phillips — Sold Out$395
Once a week Thursdays, 7:30 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT October 28 to December 9, 2021
Prose Translation Studio with Daniel Hahn$395
Once a week Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 28 to December 9, 2021
KidsWriting Genre Workshops: Fall 2021
Saturday, 11:30 am EDT - 1:00 pm EDT October 30, 2021
Reading Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick with Sheridan Hay (Online Only) — Sold Out
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 3 to December 22, 2021
Creating Audio Fiction and Nonfiction with C.J. Farley and Ann Heppermann$125
Thursday & Friday 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 4 to November 5, 2021
Crafting Personal Narratives with Zaina Arafat$125
Monday & Tuesday 7:00 pm EDT - 9:15 pm EDT November 8 to November 9, 2021
The Craft of the Unputdownable Story: How to Grab a Reader’s Attention and Keep It with Stefan Merrill Block$125
Friday - Sunday 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT November 12 to November 14, 2021
The Hardest Part: Writing Beginnings and Endings with Joe Wilkins$125
Monday & Tuesday 5:00 pm EDT - 7:15 pm EDT November 22 to November 23, 2021