International Bon Vivant and Raconteur (nick_kaufmann) wrote,
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
nick_kaufmann

Kill All Your Russian Lovers

I've already mentioned that my cousin Jana Martin is a writer, and an excellent one at that. Tonight she read from her collection, Russian Lover and Other Stories, at New York City's semi-legendary club The Knitting Factory. Accompanying her was well-known, underground New York writer Luc Sante, who was reading from his latest collection, Kill All Your Darlings.

The Knitting Factory is a weird place. There was a huge -- and I mean huge -- line to get in, and I thought, "Wow, they're all here to see Jana!" Then I thought, "Wait, maybe Luc Sante." Then I told the doorman I was there for the reading and he waved me right in. Turned out the line was for something else entirely, and The Knitting Factory itself is a dimension-spanning labyrinth of event spaces upstairs and downstairs to infinity.

There was a pretty good turnout for the reading, which was held in one of the dimensional vortex rooms below street level. I got to see some family members, and Milda DeVoe, a friend from my writing group, showed up too. (Jana was a founding member of the writing group, but Milda only joined after Jana left, so they'd never met before.) At one point I could have sworn I saw Jim Jarmusch in the room, tall and wearing a helmet of supernatural white hair, but then suddenly he made like Kevin Spacey blowing on his fingertips, and was gone.

Jana read "Perforated: A Lexicon" from Russian Lover, a story about a woman who punctures her eardrum and starts losing her hearing, all told in mini dictionary-like entries. She also read a little bit of the title story, which is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. She did a great job, as always. Must run in the family. ;-)

Luc Sante read a very funny piece about our culture's love affair with cigarettes. The thing about Luc Sante is that when he first took the stage, he sounded like a jaded history professor who was over it all. Then the minute he started reading...Bam! The whole thing came alive. His piece was fantastic. I think I need to read more Sante.
Tags: books, new york
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