The Pen Club: Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers

There are many writers, editors, and publishers featured in True Prep, Lisa Birnbach’s follow-up to the original blue blood Bible, 1980′s The Official Preppy Handbook. In a chapter entitled “The True Pantheon,” Birnbach sets her laurel wreath around the privileged heads of Ben Bradlee, Alfred A. Knopf, Paul Rudnick, Eric Segal, and even Dr. Seuss. And, bien sûr, John Updike, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald also get their dues. But who are the preppy writers of Generations X and Y? Who will carry on the gin-soaked torch of those gone before? Here’s a partial list of prep-schoolers, Ivy Leaguers, and dapper literati who are turning out some of the most exciting American fiction on the current lit scene. … Read More

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Flavorpill’s Signature Holiday Cocktail: The California Christmas

Eben Klemm, the “cocktaillier” of B.R. Guest Restaurants (Primehouse, Wildwood Barbecue) was perhaps the first of his kind, sparking the army of cocktail-as-religion barmen dotting the city from the mustachioed mixologists at Employees Only to the underground innovators at Milk and Honey. Klemm earned a degree in molecular biology from Cornell and managed a research laboratory before opening the Campbell Apartment at Grand Central in the late… Read More

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Ron Arad: Hat Maker, Design World Daredevil

Ron Arad, whose show Ron Arad: No Discipline opened at the MoMA in August, recently gave a talk at the 92nd Street Y as a part of their “Dialogues with Design Legends” series. While the dialogue in question was meant to be between moderator Daniella Ohad-Smith and Arad, the talk quickly became an open forum between Arad and his audience. From the moment he walked on stage in a hat that looked like a stiff milkmaid’s bonnet and opened his lecture with “Any questions?,” it was a… Read More

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Exclusive: Q&A with Death Becomes Them Author Alix Strauss

With the announcement just last night of Patrick Swayze’s passing, we can only hope that this unofficial Summer of Death comes to a close with the cooling weather. As much collective mourning as any celebrity death can inspire, whether it’s somewhat expected (like Swayze’s) or not (like Michael Jackson’s), there’s something shocking — and haunting — about a high-profile suicide that leaves fans reeling. In her new book Death Becomes Them, Alix Strauss looks at the methods and the madness behind some of the most shocking celebrity suicides in recent memory, from Kurt Cobain to Elliott Smith, and some from not-so-recent history (think Vincent van Gogh and Hitler).… Read More

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Before There Was Target, There Was The Memphis Movement

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a design-addict’s Oz. If you made your way through the maze to the back of the Javits Center this Sunday, you would have found the Lion — a heavily bearded Michele De Lucchi — sitting down for a chat with Glenda, embodied in the stylish, shining Paola Antonelli. Manufacturers, fabricators, designers, and the PR people who support them filled the audience to hear Antonelli, senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art, speak with renowned Italian designer De Lucchi.… Read More

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Required Reading: How It Ended, by Jay McInerney

The relationships in Jay McInerney’s new short story collection How It Ended end pretty much as one would think — with tears, confession, self-hatred, or resignation. And in between there is that time-honored McInerney trope — drug use and impulsive sex. But something else emerges in these 26 stories, written in 26 different years. … Read More

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Exclusive: Jayne Anne Phillips and the Birth of Lark and Termite

Jayne Anne Phillips, known for her free-wheeling Faulkner-esque storytelling (her first short story collection, the visceral Black Tickets, is a must-read), is back with her first novel in almost a decade. Lark and Termite delves deep into the big questions of family ties, the damage wreaked by war, and what exactly is (capital T) Time? But, just as sweeping and epic as this novel is, there are moments that are so intimate and blisteringly pitch-perfect in detail, that it almost seems (as the New York Times‘ Michiko Kakutani noted),“…the characters…threaten to move in and take up permanent residence in the reader’s mind.”

We hear from her here, but you can find Phillips for yourself in New York this Friday at the Cue Art Foundation, Sunday at KGB Bar (that literary center of yore), or at the 92nd Street Y, reading with T.C. Boyle on February 9.

Don’t live in NYC? Get up close and personal with the author after the jump. … Read More

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