Wednesday I received an announcement from industry buzz builder Lauren Cerand about the Min Jin Lee and Mike Doughty event last night at B&N’s “Upstairs at the Square”, the monthly series pairing music and lit. While I was unable to attend, Cerand was good enough to send me this report on the evening:
“Over 400 people showed up for the April edition of “Upstairs at the Square” featuring nationally bestselling debut novelist Min Jin Lee (Free Food for Millionaires) and hot, hot singer-songwriter Mike Doughty (Golden Delicious) discussing and performing their work in conversation with host Katherine Lanpher. Both talked about success, failure, hitting the road, the realities of “overnight” success, and the myriad twists, turns and ups-and-downs they encountered on the path to where they are today (including regular shrink appointments). Doughty chatted about his “dude theory” (as in, “Dude, come over and let’s make a record”), studying poetry with Sekou Sundiata as an undergrad, his pre-Soul Coughing days as a doorman at the Knitting Factory, and did stripped-down acoustic versions of his radio-ready ode to common first names, “27 Jennifers,” the Age of Aquarius-infused anti-war weeper, “Fort Hood,” and smash hit “Looking at the World from the Bottom of a well”, inspired by a Murakami novel and recently featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Lee talked about anguish, longing, class, religion, race, and other themes that have made her first book a darling of critics and readers alike, earning her comparisons to masters of the kind of 19th Century novel that tackled it all.
Find out who Lauren spotted in the crowd after the jump.
Spotted in the audience: super agent Bill Clegg of William Morris, Harold Augenbraum of the National Book Foundation, Asian American Writers Workshop director Ken Chen, novelist Jami Attenberg (The Kept Man), recent PEN/Faulkner winner Kate Christensen (The Great Man), editors from More and People magazines, editor Barbara Jones from Hyperion, editor Meghan Lynch from Riverhead, author and New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee, Barnes & Noble Vice President of Author Relations Brenda Marsh, and Grand Central Publishing publicist power trio Elly Weisenberg, Tanisha Christie and Valerie Russo. A video of the entire show will be posted online at www.bn.com/upstairs (where all previous editions of the series can be viewed) in a few days.
This photo of Min Jin Lee appears (along with an essay) in this month’s Vogue; credit: Kerry Raftis.”