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In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Lincoln in the Bardo places the reader in a Georgetown cemetery on a rainy February night in 1862. From that seed of historical truth, the story spins into a metaphysical realm as a grief-stricken President Lincoln—one year into the Civil War—mourns the loss of his son Willie. Through a thrilling experimental form narrated by a chorus of voices, a blend of history and philosophy, a cast of characters living and dead, Saunders grapples with the timeless question: How can we continue to love when everything we love must eventually be lost? Join us for a special evening as Saunders takes the stage to discuss this astonishing feat of imagination with award-winning author Anthony Marra, known for his transcendent stories of love and war.

 

George Saunders

George Saunders is the author of nine books, including the New York Times bestsellers Congratulations, by the way and Tenth of December, the essay collection The Braindead Megaphone, and the critically acclaimed short story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He regularly writes short stories for The New Yorker and travel pieces for GQ and his work has appeared in the O’Henry, “Best American Short Story,” “Best Non-Required Reading,” “Best American Travel Writing,” and “Best Science Fiction” anthologies. He’s made special appearances on The Charlie Rose Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report. Saunders has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation and in 2006 was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013, he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Michiko Kakutani wrote in The New York Times, “No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders,” and Zadie Smith wrote of his work, “Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.” Saunders has taught in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University since 1996 and he lives in the Catskills. Lincoln in the Bardo is Saunders’ long-awaited first novel.

 


Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra is the bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize. This debut novel about the transcendent power of love in wartime was hailed by The New York Times as “brilliant” and topped many “best books” lists of 2013, including New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, NPR, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus Reviews, and Publisher’s Weekly, among many others. Marra’s latest work, The Tsar of Love and Techno, is a collection of lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art. This collection was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. Novelist Francine Prose wrote of Marra’s stories, “Reading his work is like watching the restoration — the reappearance, on the page — of those whom history has erased.” His work has been honored with the National Magazine Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. He teaches at Stanford University as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and now resides in Oakland, California.


Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr was one of the original cast members of Mad TV and an alumnus of Yale University and The Groundlings Theater. He is known for his work in Pulp Fiction and for his extensive voice-over work, including animated shows Futurama, Samurai Jack, Justice LeagueFamily Guy andBojack Horseman, and video games like Injustice, Shadow of Mordor and Mortal Kombat X. He can currently be seen in this season of HBO’s Veep and in The Black Version improv comedy show monthly at Largo At The Coronet.


Important details to note:

Location

Writers Guild Theater
135 S Doheny Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(*Please note venue change from The Broad Stage to The Writers Guild Theater)

Parking

Complimentary parking for all ticket holders
Writers Guild Theater Parking Structure
135 South Doheny Drive
Parking structure located just south of Wilshire. Look for signage and enter structure through the alley from Doheny.

Will Call

6:30 PM – Will call opens
7:00 PM – House doors
7:30 PM – Program begins

All tickets and books will be available for pick-up the night of the program at will call. Please bring a photo ID. Tickets are non-refundable.

The author will be present for a book signing following the program.

Main image credit: Thomas Cole, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, 1836


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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