Book Club

PEN Center USA's book club meets monthly at The Edison in downtown Los Angeles. All meetings are free and open to the public, and feature signature cocktails inspired by our monthly pick, a lively conversation with a special host, and the occasional guest author.

Get a 15% discount on book club books from the Last Bookstore.

Contact Rachelle Yousuf, head of membership, at rachelle@penusa.org with any questions.


Upcoming Book Club Selections:


Join us on October 18th to discuss
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Siel Ju
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night.
Happy hour prices available.

Free and open to all, members and non-members:

— RSVP HERE —

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

"A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex . . . Just as the world of Orwell's 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood's handmaid!"
The Washington Post Book World


Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at The Last Bookstore.

Siel Ju lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her novel-in-stories, Cake Time, won the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award. Siel is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles ReviewDenver Quarterly, and other places. Siel is the recipient of a residency from The Anderson Center at Tower View and Vermont Studio Center; she holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. She gives away a book a month at sielju.com.


November


Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng
11/15/2017

"Ng’s stunning second novel is a multilayered examination of how identities are forged and maintained, how families are formed and friendships tested, and how the notion of motherhood is far more fluid than bloodlines would suggest."
Booklist



Past Book Club Events:



Upcoming Book Club Selections:


Join us on September 20th to discuss
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Hayanna Kim
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night.
Happy hour prices available.

Free and open to all, members and non-members:

— RSVP HERE —

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

"Díaz's novel is a hell of a book. It doesn't care about categories. It's densely populated; it's obsessed with language. It's Dominican and American, not about immigration but diaspora, in which one family's dramas are entwined with a nation's, not about history as information but as dark-force destroyer. Really, it's a love novel."
Los Angeles Times


Hayanna Kim is, first and foremost, a reader from Los Angeles, California. She is a digital influencer in the book community and has collaborated with many publishers, including Riverhead Books, Graywolf Press, NYRB, Milkweed, Penguin, Haymarket Books, Knopf, Penguin Press, and HMH, among others. Her account is a diary of her healing journey through reading and writing that combines her personal thoughts and feelings that arise from the books that she reads. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science and has worked in event planning, law, politics, and business. After being diagnosed with lupus, she ended up in this beautiful world of books and literature and writing. Hayanna is currently working on her first book. You can find her at @herpickings.

Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at The Last Bookstore.



Join us on August 30th to discuss
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Tananarive Due
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night.
Happy hour prices available.

Free and open to all, members and non-members:

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

— RSVP HERE —

"In Kindred, Octavia Butler creates a road for the impossible and a balm for the unbearable. It is everything the literature of science fiction can be."
—Walter Mosley


This month's Book Club is co-sponsored by Clockshop.

Clockshop is a multidisciplinary arts organization in Los Angeles that creates new conversations about art, politics, and urban space. We commission work by artists and writers, curate inclusive public programs about pressing social and political issues, and collaborate with institutions to strengthen the social fabric of our community and the world beyond.

Tananarive Due is a screenwriter and an award-winning novelist who teaches Afrofuturism at UCLA. She also teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles and for Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). She was the former Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Spelman College. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir.

Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at The Last Bookstore.



JULY

Join us on July 26th to discuss
All Grown Up by Jamie Attenberg!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Edan Lepucki
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night.
Happy hour prices available.

Free and open to all, members and non-members:

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

“Attenberg knows how to make a reader laugh and feel. This novel takes a hard look at what it means to be a woman living on her own terms.”
—Lisa Lucas

Edan Lepucki is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels California and Woman No. 17, as well as the novella If You're Not Yet Like Me. Her nonfiction has been published in Esquire, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, and she's a staff writer for The Millions. She is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.


MAY

Join us on May 24th to discuss
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Happy Hour & Book Discussion
Hosted by Sanura Williams

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night.
Happy hour prices available.

Free and open to all, members and non-members:
R.S.V.P. on Facebook

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

“By mixing the real and the surreal, and using old fairy-tale magic, Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines.”
—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future… At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.”
—Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review

This month's Book Club is co-sponsored by My Lit Box

My Lit Box is a Los Angeles-based subscription box company committed to highlighting diversity in contemporary literature. My Lit Box's mission is to celebrate writers of color and create conversations surrounding their works while building a community of book lovers.


APRIL'S BOOK CLUB SELECTION:

This month's Book Club is co-sponsored by Women Who Submit

“It felt good to say the word fat."

We're delighted to announce that author Sarai Walker will join us on April 5th to discuss her novel Dietland

 
Fight Club meets Margaret Atwood”
Bustle
"Dietland resonated with the part of me that wants, just once, to deck a street harasser... Which is to say, sometimes I forget I am angry, but I am. Dietland is a complicated, thoughtful and powerful expression of that same anger."
Annalisa Quinn, NPR

For more information, e-mail: rachelle@penusa.org.

Gabrielle Zevin will be leading our April book club. With special guest Sarai Walker

Sarai Walker is the author of the novel Dietland. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. She worked as a writer and editor on the 2005 update of Our Bodies, Ourselves, and previously wrote for magazines including Seventeen and Mademoiselle. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of London. She has taught writing and literature at several universities. Current projects: She's living in Los Angeles and working on the Dietland television series. She's also writing a TV pilot and working on her second novel, which is even more bonkers than her first one.

Gabrielle Zevin is an internationally bestselling author, who has been translated into over thirty languages. She is the author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which spent several months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller List, and has been a bestseller all around the world. Her other novels include Margarettown, The Hole We’re In, Elsewhere, and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.

She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best First Screenplay. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She began her writing career at age fourteen as a music critic for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Women Who Submit seeks to empower women writers by creating physical and virtual spaces for sharing information, supporting and encouraging submissions to literary journals, and clarifying the submission and publication process. Join them for their April 9th Submission Blitz at the Arts District Brewing Co.

March

This month's Book Club is co-sponsored by Lambda Literary

Join PEN Center USA and The Edison for our March book club!

Join us on March 1st  to imbibe and discuss Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM Happy Hour and Book Discussion

“A young American involved with both a woman and a man. . . . Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candor and yet with such dignity and intensity.”  —The New York Times

Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at Skylight Books.

For more information, e-mail: libby@penusa.org.

We are thrilled to announce that Gil L. Robertson IV and Dan Lopez will be our March book club leaders!


Gil L. Robertson IV is co-founder and President of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the premier body of Black film critics in the world and produces the annual AAFCA Awards, an important event on the Hollywood Awards Calendar. He is a veteran journalist and best selling author who has edited/written 3 successful anthologies, Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community (2013), Family Affair: What it Means to be African American Today (2008), selected as “Pick of the Week” by Publisher’s Weekly and the classic Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community. Robertson is also the author of Writing as a Tool of Empowerment, a resource book for aspiring journalists, and a regular contributor to The African American Almanac (Gale Press). He earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Cal State Los Angeles and is a professional member of the National Press Club, The National Association of Black Journalists, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Science, The National Academy of Television Arts and Science and MPAA.


Dan Lopez is the author of The Show House, named a Best Book of 2016 by Chicago Review of Books, and Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea, a Lambda Literary Finalist for Debut Fiction. His work has most recently appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Storychord, Time Out New York, The Nervous Breakdown and Lambda Literary. He lives in Los Angeles.


January 2017

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
6 PM - 8 PM
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101,
Los Angeles, California 90012
5 PM - 7 PM Edison Happy Hour

"There is no book more important to me than this one." - Alice Walker

“This is a beautiful novel about soulfulness. That it should be so is a tribute to Hurston's skill. She makes 'culture' — that slow and particular and artificial accretion of habit and circumstance — seem as natural and organic and beautiful as the sunrise. She allows me to indulge in what Philip Roth once called 'the romance of oneself,' a literary value I dislike and yet, confronted with this beguiling book, cannot resist." - Zadie Smith

We are thrilled to announce that Melissa Chadburn will be our January book club leader!


Melissa Chadburn has written for Guernica, Buzzfeed, Poets & Writers, Salon, American Public Media’s Marketplace, Al Jazeera America, and dozens of other places. She is a fellow for The Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Her essay, “The Throwaways,” received notable mention in The Best American Essays and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, is forthcoming with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in spring 2017.

*Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at Skylight Books.

For more information, e-mail: libby@penusa.org.

R.S.V.P. on Facebook

Book club inquiries: Libby@penusa.org

November 2016

October Edison Book Club


"Jade Chang’s debut novel is a heartbreaking, hilarious, and honest American epic: a road trip that’s an ultimate escape from our parents’ American dream, toward an unknown destination that’s both more vulnerable and hopeful.”
— J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest


"Funny, brash, honest, full of wit and heart and smarts. This is a novel I wish I could write, have been dying to read, and hope everyone else reads, too."
—Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You


THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD

PEN Center USA and The Edison present the October book club selection! Join us on October 20th to imbibe and discuss this month's selection, The Wangs vs. The World* by Jade Chang, a Fall 2016 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
6 PM - 8 PM Happy Hour and Book Discussion
7 PM - 8 PM A short reading by Jade Chang followed by a Q & A, and a signing

(5 PM-7 PM The Edison's Happy Hour)

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, # 101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

[ R.S.V.P. on Facebook ]

For reservations: www.edisondowntown.com 
or (213) 613-0000
Book club inquiries: libby@penusa.org

Amelia GrayWe are thrilled to announce that Margaret Wappler will be our November book club leader!

Margaret Wappler has written about the arts and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Elle, Cosmo, New York Times, and several other publications. Her debut novel, Neon Green, published by Unnamed Press in July 2016, has been praised as "witty and entertaining" by the Los Angeles Times and a depiction of "life in the nineties as it was actually lived " by Electric Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and can be heard weekly on the pop culture podcast, Pop Rocket.
*Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at Skylight Books.

October 2016


October Edison Book Club


"This book is both terrifying and terrific."
— Lauren Groff

"This elegant-yet-twisted horror story is all about power and its relationship with identity. It's chilling in the best ways, so buckle in and turn down the lights."

— Elle.com


[ R.S.V.P. on Facebook ]

For reservations: www.edisondowntown.com 
or (213) 613-0000
Book club inquiries: libby@penusa.org

PEN Center USA and The Edison present the October book club selection! Join us on October 20th to imbibe and discuss this month's selection, The Vegetarian* by Han Kang, winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Thursday, October 20, 2016
6 PM - 8 PM Happy Hour and Book Discussion
(5 PM-7 PM The Edison's Happy Hour)


The Edison
108 W 2nd St, # 101
Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Amelia GrayWe are thrilled to announce that Amelia Gray will be our fearless October book club leader!

AMELIA GRAY is the author of four books: AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, THREATS, and Gutshot. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the NYPL Young Lion, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She lives in Los Angeles.
*Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at Skylight Books.