events

THE NARROW DOOR with Paul Lisicky, Fiona McCrae, and Meghan Daum

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 7:00pm

Paul Lisicky presents his new acclaimed memoir, The Narrow Door (Graywolf) with Fiona McCrae, publisher and director of Graywolf Press, and Meghan Daum (The Unspeakable).

In The Narrow Door, Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul’s romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise’s cancer diagnosis and Paul’s impending breakup. Lisicky’s compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival—hard-won, unsentimental, authentic—proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life.

“Intelligent and intimate, fierce and tender, real and raw, Paul Lisicky’s The Narrow Door is an unforgettable memoir about love and loss, friendship and forgiveness. It had me in its thrall from page one.”
—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild


“Paul Lisicky’s The Narrow Door circumnavigates the often inscrutable forces that bring us in and out of each other’s lives and hearts, while paying welcome homage to the oft-unsung role of friendship in them. While Lisicky bears witness to ‘the hell of wanting [that] has no cure,’ his ship always feels buoyant, by virtue of a narrator whose attentiveness to feelings both big and small is marked throughout by honesty and devotion.”
—Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: Lawnboy, Famous Builder, The Burning House, Unbuilt Projects, and The Narrow Door, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in January 2016. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Ecotone, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Rumpus, Unstuck, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Rutgers-Newark, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and elsewhere. He lives in Philadelphia, PA and teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, the low residency program at Sierra Nevada College, and at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. He is the editor of StoryQuarterly and serves on the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Meghan Daum is the author of four books, most recently The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, which won the 2015 PEN Center Award for Creative Nonfiction. She is also the editor of the New York Times bestseller, Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers On The Decision Not To Have Kids. The recipient of fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, Meghan has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times for over a decade and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue, among other publications. She is a member of the adjunct faculty in the Graduate Writing Division of Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

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