50 Up-and-Coming New York Culture Makers to Watch in 2013

Lauren Cerand

The most elegant and interesting freelance publicist you’ll meet, Lauren Cerand deals with talented authors and various literary projects, like the always-packed “Upstairs at the Square” series at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, among many other things. When she isn’t working on her own projects, you can probably find Cerand going from one big New York literary function to the next. — Jason Diamond

What are your plans for the holidays?

I’m single, and have no obligations to anyone in the world, which means I’ll either end up hosting an impromptu “orphans” dinner on Christmas night and New Year’s Eve, with an open table for anyone who desires a place, or jetting off on my own at the last moment. It’s been more than a year since I took time off, partially because I moved from a Chinatown studio to a larger spread on the waterfront, and found it necessary, in those early days, to jettison my travel budget and instead purchase, among other things, a nine-foot Thai Buddha, a Chinese folding screen, and an array of 19th and early-20th-century furniture. A friend today asked me if I had plans to go to Paris and London again soon, and I might, but I confessed that my next vacation will be more likely to take place on an island that doesn’t appear on any maps. And certainly couldn’t accommodate any meetings.

Which New York artists do you count among your greatest inspirations?

As I tap away furtively at a borrowed workspace in Midtown (my internet is inexplicably out at home today), I love to think of Frank O’Hara manning the information desk at the Museum of Modern Art. So much of life in New York is trying to steal a few minutes here and there to dabble in more serious pleasures than employment.

What’s coming up for you in 2013?

I do the publicity, with Sarah Russo, pro bono publico for the National Book Critics Circle Awards in the spring. I’ll also continue to serve on the membership committee for PEN American Center. I plan to publicize the paperback edition of Anouk Markovits’s I Am Forbidden, out in February on Hogarth, and will likely continue programming and publicizing “Upstairs at the Square” for Barnes & Noble, and, chances are, orchestrate a return for the Mazama Festival of Books in the summer in Eastern Washington State. The literary cocktail parties that Hendrick’s Gin has done in the UK with Damian Barr, and that I was brought on to throw some here, were a smash in Austin and San Francisco last month and could be expanded in the US. I’ll likely publicize Molly Crabapple’s Shell Game, a spring exhibition of her large-scale paintings documenting the revolutions of 2011. Stephanie LaCava’s An Extraordinary Theory of Objects is out this week, and I suspect will still be going strong. I have two novels to read today and decide on by the end of the week, and a few other things lightly penciled in. I’d like to travel more, maybe even take an extended trip if I can swing it. I want to do so much while I still feel young, but not so young that I’m still foolish enough to believe that there’s time for everything.