Room 220 Presents: A Happy Hour Salon with Francine Prose and Michael Jeffrey Lee

Room 220 is pleased to host the highly prolific and widely celebrated Francine Prose for a Happy Hour Salon on the occasion of the publication of her new novel, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. Prose will be joined by local author Michael Jeffrey Lee, whose collection of short stories, Something in My Eye, was selected by Prose as the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction in 2010. The event will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Monday, May 19, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.).

Prose is the author of more than two dozen books of fiction and nonfiction. She is the past president of the PEN American Center, a recipient of the Guggenheim Award, and has been finalist for the National Book Award. A number of her books have been adapted for the screen and the stage.

In Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Prose treats readers to a tale of queer love and Nazi intrigue following the gradual descent of a cross-dressing racecar driver into evil, told from a kaleidoscope of perspectives, including fictional stand-ins for Henry Miller, Pablo Picasso, Suzy Solidor, and Brassai, the real-life Hungarian photographer who took the photograph “Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle” which, in Prose’s novel, is renamed “Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932.”

In his glowing review of Lovers at the At the Chameleon Club, Edmund White extols Prose’s knack for rendering an unsavory protagonist. Likewise, in her introduction to Michael Jeffrey Lee’s Something in My Eye, Prose praises Lee for much the same: “I was drawn to Lee’s line-up of loners and drifters, imperiled children and haunted psychos neither because I want to hang out with these bad boys, nor because I plan to cross the street when I see them coming, but because the invitation to inhabit their minds, to see the world through their eyes, and to watch their often unsettling stories play out in space and time enables Lee to do all sorts of extremely interesting things with consciousness and language.” Lee teaches at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Tulane University. Recently, his work has appeared in the anthology XO Orpheus as well as Gigantic and The Collagist.

Stay tuned for the Room 220 interview with Francine Prose, conducted by Ari Braverman. In the meantime, read the Room 220 interview with Michael Jeffrey Lee.