Author and The Brooklyn Rail fiction editor Donald Breckenridge will be the first guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings at Stony Brook Southampton. Breckenridge will read from and talk about his work on Wednesday, February 7, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall (239 Montauk Highway) in Southampton.
In addition to being the fiction editor of The Brooklyn Rail, Breckenridge is co-founder and co-editor of InTranslation, a venue for outstanding work in translation and a resource for translators, authors, editors and publishers seeking to collaborate. He has written four novels, edited two fiction anthologies, and introduced the NYRB Classics edition of Henri Duchemin and His Shadows by Emmanuel Bove.
Breckenridge’s latest novel, And Then, is a ghost story chronicling “tales of people that come and go from the lives of others and the indelible marks they leave.” Opening with a vignette describing Jean Rouch’s short film Gare du Nord, Breckenridge sets a deeply unsentimental tone, both necessary and greatly in opposition to his descriptions of his father’s slow and deliberate death.
The novel is interwoven with stories, including a young woman’s hopeful arrival in New York, a young man’s voyeuristic summer spent housesitting for his professor, and a soldier who never made it out of Vietnam. All feature a deep preoccupation with the way lives resonate and connect. It’s described as “an emotionally honest love story about how people relate to others and to themselves.”
Following Breckenridge, other writers and programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series include: poet Sam Sax on February 14; Judith Newman on February 21; Lee Clay Johnson on March 7; poet Jericho Brown on March 21; Daniel Alercón and Debora Kuan on April 18; and Melissa Febos and Alex Gilvarry on April 25. On May 2, the evening will be devoted to readings by students currently enrolled in Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.
Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by readings at 7 p.m. The evening concludes with a Q&A and book signing.