Posts From Author: the vacationers

Curtain Call: Falling For Perfection

How far we’ve come. The House of SpeakEasy opened its doors on a snowy January night with a guest list including Uma Thurman, Andy Borowitz and Susan Orlean. Since then, we’ve featured some thirty of the best and brightest writers in the literary firmament. Tonight, two days after the summer solstice, and with temperatures firmly lodged in the eighties, we’re delighted to feature a super-cool guest list for our season finale. The Daily Show‘s Elliott Kalan, the New Yorker‘s Bob Mankoff, maestro Christopher Mason, poet Jeffrey McDaniel, polymath playwright and novelist Adam Rapp, Barnard College president and writer Debora Spar, and novelist Emma Straub will all take the mic to tackle the pleasures and pitfalls of Falling For Perfection. We’re delighted to introduce them to you… Elliott Kalan has been the head writer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since he took over from Tim Carvell in January. “Writing for Jon Stewart… is the number-one job in the world,” he says, and it’s easy to see why. In this presentation sponsored by the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Elliott analyses the use of humour in politics: Bob Mankoff is the cartoon editor at the New Yorker. He recently published an excellent memoir, How About Never — Is Never Good For You?: My Life […]
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On Holiday with Emma Straub

Escaping the “melting concrete armpit” of Manhattan is what many New Yorkers will be dreaming of in the infernal months ahead. When the tarmac starts to gleam and descending to the subway becomes a Dantean prospect, a couple of weeks in a Mallorcan villa sounds like just the ticket. You’re in luck! Open Emma Straub’s The Vacationers (Riverhead Books, 2014), and that’s exactly where you’ll find yourself. As elder son Bobby observes, “The Posts were masters of self-delusion, all of them”. But in Straub’s second novel it is the fate of the Post family to have their eyes comprehensively de-wooled. The Mallorca trip was supposed to be a celebration of Jim and Franny’s thirty-five years of marriage, but in the wake of a seismic indiscretion on Jim’s part, that notion has come to seem like “a joke with a terrible punch line”. His career at a men’s lifestyle magazine called Gallant has recently come to an ignominious close after the revelation of an affair with a twenty-three-year-old editorial assistant called Madison. Franny, herself a successful journalist and writer, is devastated. In addition to the prospect of losing her husband, her younger child, Sylvia, is set to depart for college in […]
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