John Freeman in conversation with Sarah Smarsh

Watermark Books & Café will host John Freeman, in conversation with Sarah Smarsh on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:00 p.m. The pair will discuss John's new book Dictionary of the Undoing

Description


For John Freeman—literary critic, essayist, editor, poet, “one of the preeminent book people of our time” (Dave Eggers)—it is the rare moment when words are not enough. But in the wake of the election of 2016, words felt useless, even indulgent. Action was the only reasonable response. He took to the streets in protest, and the sense of community and collective conviction felt right. But the assaults continued—on citizens’ rights and long-held compacts, on the core principles of our culture and civilization, and on our language itself. Words seemed to be losing the meanings they once had and Freeman was compelled to return to their defense. The result is his Dictionary of the Undoing.

From A to Z, “Agitate” to “Zygote,” Freeman assembled the words that felt most essential, most potent, and began to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last. The message that emerged was not to retreat behind books, but to emphatically engage in the public sphere, to redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.

With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, Dictionary of the Undoing is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world.

About the Author


John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual of new writing, and executive editor of the Literary Hub. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology of new writing about inequality in the U.S. today. Maps, his debut collection of poems, was published in 2017. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he is Writer in Residence at New York University.

Event date: 

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

4701 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67218
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Dictionary of the Undoing Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli (Afterword by), John Freeman
$15.00
ISBN: 9780374538859
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - November 12th, 2019

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