To celebrate the publication of Gordon Lish's new fiction White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings (Little Island Press, 2017), Little Island Press and Hotel co-host an evening of readings on and around the works of Gordon Lish, with writers reading from their own works and from this new collection. Chaired by David Winters, the program will include readings from Claire-Louise Bennett, David Hayden and Will Eaves and will conclude with a pre-recorded reading from Lish himself, broadcast exclusively on this occasion.
As fiction editor of Esquire from 1969 to 1977, then as an editor at Knopf and of The Quarterly until 1995, Gordon Lish has worked closely with many of the most daring writers of the past fifty years, including Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Harold Brodkey, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, Anne Carson, Amy Hempel, Jack Gilbert and Ben Marcus. More than a dozen books have appeared under Lish's own name – including the novels Dear Mr. Capote (1983), Peru (1986), and Zimzum (1993). These have won Lish a passionate cult following as a writer of recursive and often very funny prose.
Lish's latest work of exquisitely crafted fiction, White Plains sees a narrator – variously 'Gordon!', 'I', 'He' – approaching the precipice of old age. Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and consistently hilarious narratives. White Plains is Lish at his sharpest, tackling his perennial subject – the memory of memory itself – with spellbinding mastery.
In addition to a celebration of the UK publication of Gordon Lish's work through the years, this evening will also see in the publication of Hotel's third issue; a collation of writings, conversations, and artworks pertaining to a varied cast of characters including Lish, Nick Cave, Mark Kozelek, Jason Shulman, Frederic Tuten, Jack Robinson, Hanya Yanagihara, Jasmine Parker, Rowan Evans and Owen Booth, amongst others. Copies of White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings will be available on the night and copies of Hotel #2 & #3 will also be for sale. Hotel #3 includes a sequence of works from White Plains and a hitherto unreleased story, 'Bamford or Bust!,' that appears exclusively in Hotel for the first time.