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  • 6 years ago
Wanting What You Can't Have: Happy Ending at Joe's Pub

Wanting What You Can't Have: Happy Ending at Joe's Pub

Host and curator Amanda Stern concluded this season’s Happy Ending Music & Reading series at Joe’s Pub on July 11 with an evening themed around “communication.”  Stern’s themes are almost always designed to resonate ironically and this program was no exception, as the authors Rajesh Parameswaran, Alex Shakar and Nell Freudenberger delivered variations on the idea of wanting what you can’t have, and don't know how to ask for.
Parameswaran read from his collection “I am an Executioner” — a story in which a captive tiger falls in love with his zookeeper and things do not go well. Shakar offered an excerpt from his novel “Luminarium.”  His protagonist Fred is beset by a Job-like pile of woes, and spends an afternoon with a Hollywood wannabe who claims to have achieved enlightenment.  Nell Freudenberger’s novel “The Newlyweds” features a 21st-century version of the mail-order bride; in the excerpt heard here, she finds her arranged (by her) wedding more light-hearted than she anticipate