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Thursday, September 26, 2019

John Freeman & Christian Kiefer - November 26th

Time Tested Books 
is pleased to welcome back
John Freeman in conversation with Christian Kiefer

Dictionary of the Undoing

Tuesday, November 26th, 7:00pm

For John Freeman—literary critic, essayist, editor, poet, “one of the preeminent book people of our time” (Dave Eggers)—it is the rare moment when words are not enough. But in the wake of the election of 2016, words felt useless, even indulgent. Action was the only reasonable response. He took to the streets in protest, and the sense of community and collective conviction felt right. But the assaults continued—on citizens’ rights and long-held compacts, on the core principles of our culture and civilization, and on our language itself. Words seemed to be losing the meanings they once had and Freeman was compelled to return to their defense. The result is his Dictionary of the Undoing.

From A to Z, “Agitate” to “Zygote,” Freeman assembled the words that felt most essential, most potent, and began to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last. The message that emerged was not to retreat behind books, but to emphatically engage in the public sphere, to redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.

With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, Dictionary of the Undoing is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world.

“All [of John Freeman’s] projects feel like an invitation to enter into a polyphonic, multi-voiced conversation with other minds. Dictionary of the Undoing is no different. It is a book that makes you think, then rethink. It invites you to engage with it, to refute it, to contribute to it.” —VALERIA LUISELLI

Freeman's: California
Freeman's is the brainchild of literary critic and writer John Freeman. Collecting fiction, essays, and poetry from some of the best-known writers around the world and from new voices, Freeman's is a cross between a journal and an anthology--essential for any reader of modern writing.

A stunning tribute to his home state, Freeman's: California gathers work from some of the world's best storytellers, including Tommy Orange, Rabih Alameddine, and Rachel Kushner. This issue also includes shorts by Yiyun Li and Jaime Cortez, poetry by Mai Der Vang and Maggie Millner, fiction by Karen Tei Yamashita, and nonfiction from Reyna Grande and Geoff Dyer. Like Granta's Chicago issue, California paints a vivid portrait of our most populous state, rebuilding after a series of fires and droughts and making a home for a community of writers from around the world.

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual of new writing. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology of new writing about inequality in the U.S. today. Maps, his debut collection of poems, was published in 2017. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta and one-time president of the National Book Critics Circle, he is currently Artist-in-Residence at New York University. (J.F. photo by Deborah Treisman)

Christian Kiefer is the author of the novels Phantoms (Liveright 2019), The Animals (Liveright 2015), and The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury 2013), and has been an active songwriter, musician, and poet for a number of years. His work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Santa Monica Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader amongst others. He serves on the faculty of American River College in Sacramento and lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with his family.

This event is FREE & all are welcome

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