Open City https://opencity.org Magazine & Books Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:15:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Open City Anthology Available Now! https://opencity.org/2011/06/open-city-anthology-available-now https://opencity.org/2011/06/open-city-anthology-available-now#respond Sat, 11 Jun 2011 18:30:30 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2802 Open City Anthology Available Now! continued...

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OCAnthology
OCAnthology

The long awaited THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN: STORIES FROM TWENTY YEARS OF OPEN CITY is available now.

Click here for more info.

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Open City Benefit Party https://opencity.org/2011/05/open-city-benefit-party https://opencity.org/2011/05/open-city-benefit-party#comments Mon, 09 May 2011 02:54:10 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2790 Open City Benefit Party continued...

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Please join Open City's Board of Directors and the Benefit Committee
for a party to celebrate the publication of
They’re at It Again:
Stories from Twenty Years of Open City

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
7–10 p.m.
The Home of Wendy Flanagan and Chris O’Malley
162 East 92nd Street
New York City

The evening will feature readings by
Sam Lipsyte & Amine Wefali

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres | Festive attire

Tickets start at $100. Funds raised will
support the continuation of Open City Books
Click here to RSVP
 

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Open City Pete’s Candy Store Reading https://opencity.org/2011/04/open-city-petes-candy-store-reading https://opencity.org/2011/04/open-city-petes-candy-store-reading#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2011 07:33:23 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2762 Open City Pete’s Candy Store Reading continued...

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Please join us for a special Open City reading at
Pete's Candy Store featuring
THOMAS BELLER & RACHEL SHERMAN

Thursday, April 28, 7:30 pm
Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street
(between Frost & Richardson)
Williamsburg
FREE

RSVP on Facebook

Thomas Beller is a co-founder and editor of Open City Magazine and Books, and creator of the web site Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. He is the author of three books, Seduction Theory, The Sleep-Over Artist, and How to Be a Man, and has edited several anthologies, including the forthcoming They're at It Again: Stories from Twenty Years of Open City. Short stories, essays, and reportage has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, The Southwest Review, Ploughshares, The Village Voice, Spin, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, New York, The New York Observer, Slate, The New York Times, and Best American Short Stories. He teaches creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Rachel Sherman is the author of two books, both published by Open City: Living Room, a novel, and The First Hurt, a story collection, which was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and was named one of the 25 Books to Remember in 2006 by the New York Public Library. Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Fence, Open City, Conjunctions, and n+1, among other publications. She teaches writing at Rutgers and Columbia Universities and lives in Brooklyn.

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Open City March KGB Reading https://opencity.org/2011/03/2746 https://opencity.org/2011/03/2746#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2011 19:07:37 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2746 Open City March KGB Reading continued...

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The Open City March KGB Reading presents:

JASON BROWN
and
SIGRID NUNEZ

Wednesday, March 30, 7PM
KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th Street (btw the Bowery & 2nd Ave.)
FREE

Sigrid Nunez has published six novels: A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, For Rouenna, The Last of Her Kind, and Salvation City. Her most recent book is Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Her story "Curiosity" is featured in the current issue of Open City.

Jason Brown is the author of the story collections Driving the Heart (W.W. Norton) and Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work (Open City). He is currently working on a novel and a memoir.
 

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Many mentions in the press of Open City Magazine’s closing https://opencity.org/2011/03/many-mentions-in-the-press-of-open-city-magazines-closing https://opencity.org/2011/03/many-mentions-in-the-press-of-open-city-magazines-closing#respond Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:39:25 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2735 Many mentions in the press of Open City Magazine’s closing continued...

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The New York Observer
The Paris Review
Los Angeles Times
The Wall Street Journal
Publisher's Weekly
Vanity Fair
The Faster Times
New York Magazine
There's a Road to Everywhere...
National Book Critics Circle blog
The New Yorker

 

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OPEN CITY MAGAZINE IS CLOSING AFTER 20 YEARS; OPEN CITY BOOKS TO CONTINUE https://opencity.org/2011/03/open-city-magazine-is-closing-after-20-years-open-city-books-to-continue https://opencity.org/2011/03/open-city-magazine-is-closing-after-20-years-open-city-books-to-continue#respond Wed, 02 Mar 2011 15:29:08 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2729 OPEN CITY MAGAZINE IS CLOSING AFTER 20 YEARS; OPEN CITY BOOKS TO CONTINUE continued...

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011

Open City Magazine is closing after twenty years. Open City Books, a mere tyke at ten years, continues. Starting with its first issue in 1991, Open City has made an important mark on the American literary scene, publishing a slew of debut writers, undiscovered posthumous gems, and hosting wildly successful readings and parties in New York City and beyond. Not just a publisher, Open City, true to its name, is a vibrant community of writers, artists, and readers.

Highlights from twenty years of the magazine will be collected in an anthology, THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN: An Open City Reader (June 2011, Open City Books). Featured authors include Richard Yates (an excerpt of a novel he was working on at the time of his death), Irvine Welsh (his story in Open City in 1993 marked his US debut), Mary Gaitskill, Martha McPhee, Robert Stone, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Ames, and Sam Lipsyte. There will be a benefit on May 18 at the home of an Open City board member to celebrate the anthology and to raise funds for the book imprint, as well as a series of public readings and panels, including a reading on May 25 at KGB, 7pm.

The final issue of the magazine, Open City #30, was published in December 2010 and is available in stores and online at opencity.org. The issue features stories by Ed Park, Ann Packer, Sigrid Nunez, Karan Mahajan, nonfiction by Louis B. Jones, and poetry by Alissa Quart and Yusef Komunyakaa. Joanna Yas remarked "When we were putting it together, we didn't realize it would be the last issue, so it's a beautiful coincidence that it's one of our best ever, not to mention that we landed on number thirty, which feels right for many reasons."

The magazine was founded in 1990 by Thomas Beller and Daniel Pinchbeck. They were joined by Robert Bingham in 1993. In 1999, Joanna Yas became managing editor, and subsequently became co-editor with Thomas Beller.

"The twentieth anniversary and the anthology mark a bittersweet moment on which to end the magazine's run," says Thomas Beller, "but we are going out with a festival, not a funeral. Open City has long been an incubator for emerging talent, and that will have an afterlife in the continuation of Open City Books."

See the links below for press coverage of the magazine's closing:

The New York Observer
The Paris Review
Los Angeles Times
The Wall Street Journal
Publisher's Weekly
Vanity Fair
The Faster Times
New York Magazine
There's a Road to Everywhere...
National Book Critics Circle blog
The New Yorker 

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Bryan Charles reviews in The Rumpus and Vol. 1 https://opencity.org/2011/02/bryan-charles-reviews-in-the-rumpus-and-vol-1 https://opencity.org/2011/02/bryan-charles-reviews-in-the-rumpus-and-vol-1#respond Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:40:01 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2695 Bryan Charles reviews in The Rumpus and Vol. 1 continued...

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The Rumpus Review by Shannon Elderon

I Felt a Need to Touch Someone
An aspiring writer’s memoir of September 11 focuses on the strangeness of life in New York City before and after the attack.

Bryan Charles’s memoir, There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From, starts with what seems like a familiar template: young aspiring writer from small Michigan town moves to New York City at the turn of the millennium with literary aspirations. Intrigue arrives when said young writer finds a job as a financial marketing copywriter for Morgan Stanley—working in the World Trade Center. The reader knows what’s coming and might be tempted to think she can see how the story will unfold. But the reader would be wrong.

After landing the job with Morgan Stanley, Charles spends his days in a cubicle on the 70th floor, wasting time on the Internet, attending meetings, fantasizing about female co-workers, struggling through “the endless hours between two and five.” He continues to try to write fiction, sending story after story to literary magazines and receiving nothing but rejection notes. He is consumed by jealousy when a friend of his gets a story accepted by the Paris Review. He wanders around the city, dreaming about the day he’ll see his book in bookstores. Through this, he’s always aware of the Twin Towers, whose architectural presence serve as constant reminder of the endless workdays and business-casual outfits to which he’s consigned himself. On his 26th birthday, Charles describes a feeling of “time getting away from me, the reins slipping from my hands.”

Then September 11 arrives. Charles’s memoir captures the truth of historical events, which is that those in the thick of things have no way of knowing what is happening, and even less ability to understand what it all means. A voice on the building’s intercom insists that although there has been trouble in one tower, the other tower is safe and workers should return to their desks. Charles and his co-workers, confused and packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the stairwell, feel the tower being shaken to its foundations. They don’t know the building has been struck by a airplane.

That scene in the stairwell is the emotional center of There’s a Road, the throbbing heart that infuses the rest of the narrative with meaning. Charles describes seeing an overweight woman in the stairwell, shoeless and praying aloud. “I felt a need to touch someone,” he writes, and describes reaching out to touch his friend and the crying woman. He may not know what has just happened, why the tower has been filled with a “huge noise” and a swaying that shakes the entire stairwell, but he knows what’s most important: the people standing next to him. Co-workers who previously lacked distinguishing characteristics now take shape as fully fleshed-out people with emotions are just as real as Charles’s own.

Charles’s account of his experience in the World Trade Center is heartbreaking, in part because it feels senseless while it is happening and almost immediately starts to be obscured by retellings. By the end of the day, the event is already slipping from his grasp as he tries to reconstruct it with a co-worker who was with him in the stairwell. Later that week, on a conference call set up by his boss to discuss how their business will proceed, a co-worker mentions an interview she did with the Times: “Look for it, they may or may not quote me.” Reporters from Charles’s hometown call him for interviews, and Charles finds himself wishing he had a more dramatic story to tell:

Why couldn’t I have been trapped in the rubble—for some short period of time and then removed unharmed? Why couldn’t I have been injured—mildly, something that bled a lot but wasn’t dangerous, maybe a cut on the arm?

In other words, those burdensome egos momentarily forgotten in the stairwell rise up again. Each person is again a separate, imprisoned self, certain that they are special in some way yet terrified no one else will recognize their specialness.

There’s a Road is not a book about September 11, per se. It’s about being young in an extremely large world, a world whose largeness is exemplified by two towers so tall you can’t even see the top of them when you’re standing at the bottom. It’s about confronting disaster and waiting for an official voice to come over the intercom and tell you what you should be doing. Charles describes ditching work to wander the city a few weeks prior to the attacks, reading books, wandering graveyards, thinking:

You must change your life.

I don’t know how.

After the disaster, Charles does not know how to change his life any more than he did before. But he has been given a glimpse of some of the ways in which he’s been living dishonestly. “Giuliani had said somewhere that innocent people were in the World Trade Center nobly pursuing their dreams,” he writes. “But I’m no innocent and I wasn’t pursuing my dream there, I was watching it die.”

The power of Charles’s writing comes from its insistence on almost reportorial detail. The most horrifying passages are in some ways those that describe the events of the morning of September 11 before the planes hit: the checking of morning e-mail, the company-sponsored seminar on Feedbacking Your Peers that’s scheduled to start at nine o’clock. Because we know what’s coming, these details take on an aura of outsized significance. Then, of course, the day ends, the rubble remains, and life in all its grinding dailiness resumes its course. Larger significance is again not easy to find, and all Charles can offer the reader are the moment-by-moment details of his days: a week after the attack, a woman with a “helpless smile” offering free cookies outside a small cookie shop with a sign that says “Grand Opening”; the tables in the Business Interruption Facility (Morgan Stanley’s temporary office space) “covered with baskets of Pop-Tarts, Nutter Butters, Oreos, Hershey bars, Fritos, Rice Krispie Treats…” The juxtaposition of the most mundane of details with the hugeness of New York City and the incomprehensibility of a terrorist attack manages to show us something not just about September 11 but about our 21st-century lives: how easy it is to lose our way as we confront the innumerable roads that stretch before us.

Vol. I Brooklyn Review
Reviewed by Tobias Carroll

Bryan Charles’s There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From opens with some words on its creation. “It was written with the aid of contemporaneous personal journals,” Charles writes about this account of his life in New York from 1998 to 2002. It’s an interesting note, in light of what follows, and one that helps to establish the episodic feel of this memoir. This is Charles’s third book, following the fine coming-of-age novel Grab On to Me Tightly As If I Knew The Way and a book on Pavement’s Wowee Zowee as part of Continuum’s 33 1/3 series. The latter of those was as much a work of autobiography as it was a work of music journalism, and serves as something of a companion piece to this book: examinations and dissection of different aspects of one life.

There’s a Road to Everywhere… focuses on Charles’s life after graduating from college in Michigan and relocating to New York. Parts of the book deal with his relationships on his relationships: some successful, others painfully awkward, both in the experience of them and in the way that they’re recounted. Other chapters unfold as a sort of workplace farce, with elevator-bank crushes, copywritten revisions left in limbo, and awkward encounters in with coworkers defacing corporate bathrooms. His account of working for Morgan Stanley plays out like a comedy of errors — at least until the location of said workplace, on the seventieth floor of the World Trade Center, turns that workplace narrative into something very different.

Reading Charles’s book within a week of Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell made for a surreal experience. Solnit’s book, an examination of “disaster utopias,” takes as one of its subjects Lower Manhattan in late 2001, and how an official narrative was established that minimized the contributions of everyday people. Charles echoes that late in the book:

Wasn’t there anything heroic about confused and scared-shitless office workers keeping it together — banding together — enough to buck the odds and make it out alive?

Charles’s account of the attacks make for the memoir’s most gripping prose. His account of the aftermath, of his temporary departure from New York and gradual estrangement from his family, stand as the memoir’s most emotionally challenging sections — a slow distancing arising out of good intentions.

What unites the disparate elements of Charles’s book is, ultimately, the story of his development as a writer. And in many ways, the recent book that it evokes the most is, oddly, Dean Wareham’s Black Postcards. Both are warts-and-all accounts of the evolution of an artist in New York City. Neither Charles nor Wareham shies away from potentially embarrassing accounts of their life, and run the risk of being an unsympathetic narrator in the process. And yet it’s that candor that ends up enduring — in many ways, it’s that candor that’s led to the book before us.

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Open City reading at KGB on 2/23 https://opencity.org/2011/02/open-city-reading-at-kgb-on-223 https://opencity.org/2011/02/open-city-reading-at-kgb-on-223#respond Mon, 14 Feb 2011 16:41:45 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2705 Open City reading at KGB on 2/23 continued...

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Two great writers from the new issue, Open City #30, will read their fiction at KGB Bar:

KARAN MAHAJAN
and
EVAN REHILL


Wednesday, February 23, 7pm
KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th Street (btw the Bowery & 2nd Ave.)
FREE

Karan Mahajan was born in 1984 and grew up in New Dehli. His first novel, Family Planning, is being published in nine countries and was recently shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. His writing has appeared in Open City, The Believer, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Bookforum.

Evan Rehill’s work has been published in several publications, including Open City, American Short Fiction, and 14 Hills. He has an MFA in writing from San Francisco State and teaches at Pratt, Rutgetrs, and the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is working on a novel.

 

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Bryan Charles reading in Oakland on 1/19 https://opencity.org/2011/01/bryan-charles-reading-in-oakland-on-119 https://opencity.org/2011/01/bryan-charles-reading-in-oakland-on-119#respond Thu, 13 Jan 2011 03:35:20 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2690 Bryan Charles reading in Oakland on 1/19 continued...

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Bryan Charles will read, discuss, and sign his new memoir, There's a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 7pm
Diesel Bookstore,
5433 College Ave., Oakland, CA

Read about the book and the author in the East Bay Express, 1/11/11.

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Bryan Charles Selected by Michael Chabon for WSJ’s End of Year List https://opencity.org/2010/12/bryan-charles-selected-by-michael-chabon-for-wsjs-great-writing-you-missed-this-year https://opencity.org/2010/12/bryan-charles-selected-by-michael-chabon-for-wsjs-great-writing-you-missed-this-year#respond Fri, 31 Dec 2010 01:04:30 +0000 http://gratis-haircut.flywheelsites.com/?p=2613 Bryan Charles Selected by Michael Chabon for WSJ’s End of Year List continued...

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From Great Writing You Missed This Year: Reading Suggestions From Chabon, Egan and Others by Steven Kurutz, Wall Street Journal, December 28. 2010

Michael Chabon, author of “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union”: Bryan Charles–whom I met during a residency at the MacDowell Colony a few years back–actually published two excellent books during 2010: There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From, a memoir; and Pavement’s Wowee Zowee, part of the delicious “33 1/3″ series from Continuum. Though one is an account of aspiration and scuffling in Manhattan in the year leading up to the 9/11 attacks (Charles filled a cubicle in the WTC and his account of the day is startling and fresh), and the other is a (quirky, personal) consideration and history of a great band’s neglected masterpiece, the two books actually interlock and engage with each other in a number of interesting ways.

Read more about the book here.

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