Join Room 220 for a Happy Hour Salon with local authors Zachary Lazar and Daniel Castro from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will celebrate the release of Lazar’s new novel, I Pity the Poor Immigrant.
I Pity the Poor Immigrant is Lazar’s third novel. It uses notorious gangster Meyer Lansky as a pivot point around which mobsters, journalists, and a seedy cast of characters run circles, darting back and forth between past and present, Israel and the United States, fiction and “reality.” Room 220 will feature an interview with Lazar soon about the book, conducted by Engram Wilkinson, but until then you can read profiles in the Times-Picayune and the Los Angeles Times. Publishers Weekly called I Pity the Poor Immigrant “an interesting and challenging novel,” while Kirkus Review said the intricate connections Lazar makes in the book are “complex and artful, though at times bewildering even to discerning readers.” So, bring your thinking caps.
Lazar’s previous novel, Sway, received significant critical acclaim. It’s a mishmash of pop culture (emphasis on cult) and fiction that re-imagines in a disturbing narrative weave the mesh of pivotal 1960s bad boys such as Kenneth Anger, the Rolling Stones, and Charles Manson. (Read an interview with Lazar in BOMB magazine about the book.)
Joining Lazar will be Daniel Castro, who was born and raised in New Orleans. Castro is a graduate of NOCCA and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald and the Tampa Review. He is the winner of the 2012 Novella Prize from the Faulkner Society, and the 2013 CINTAS fellowship in literature.
As always, this Room 220 event is free and open to the public.