Amanda Stern (left) kicks off the third ending of New York City’s Happy Ending reading series with a special charity event. Her little sister, Nina, had just enrolled at Tulane a week before Katrina came by New Orleans. “While in the lobby of her dorm checking in,” Stern emails, “it was announced that the school was closing for a day or two and that everyone would need to drop their things and evacuate.” Nina was fortunate–she made it back home safely in plenty of time, and she’ll be taking classes at NYU this fall. We all know not everyone was so lucky, however, so at tonight’s reading, Nina will be collecting donations from audience members ($10 minimum) and tabulating their votes on which charity will receive the evening’s proceeds. Stern already has a shortlist of possible candidates with “some suggestions from Ammi Emergency of Soft Skull Press,” who was in Morgan City, Louisiana, when the storm hit, “and a list that Bomb magazine sent around.”
Tonight’s reading features four great storytellers–James Salter, Jim Shepard, Julia Slavin, and Amy Hempel–plus a musical performance by Sam Bisbee. It starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Happy Ending bar at 302 Broome Street, just off Forsyth (one block north of the B/D stop at Grand Street or a few blocks from the F/J/M/Z at Delancey). If you can’t make it, but still want to contribute to Katrina relief efforts, the organizations on the Bomb list are among many worthwhile groups who need your help at this time. Also, Amazon.com’s Red Cross page has already raised $12.37 million and continues to accept your donations.