Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Story Literary Debutante Ball, May 21 2010

Here are some candid photos in no particular order from the most amazing night in Literary History! I bring you: The One-Story Literary Debutante Ball... Before I continue let me just say that I have never had such fun with writers. Graduate school was often a cauldron of ambition and jealousy. Oh we were friends and good ones, but underneath the camaraderie was a constant undercurrent of competition that kept your teeth on edge. That unpleasant buzz was gone from this event. Everyone looked beautiful. Everyone was happy. My good friend from grad school who is a successful writer has always said there was plenty of room for everyone who writes, and at the One-Story Ball for the first time in my entire writing life, I believed her.

This first one is my favorite. It's my mentor, pal, and escort of amazing-ness, Victor LaValle and me soaking up the applause of Mr. Jonathan Lethem. That little feather thing in the bottom right corner is my Pen Parentis partner MM De Voe's cocktail ring.

This lovely lady is none other than Ms. Elissa Schappel who looked resplendent in her red hair and retro garb. I was talking to her for about 15 minutes before I realized who she was, and forgot to tell her how much I admire her work... See, that was the whole thing about the event. Writers are not Brangelina. You don't know who is who unless you know them. Which I love. But which is also a little intimidating because one minute you are sipping Brooklyn Lager with a nice lady at the empanada station and next thing you know you have revealed all your breast feeding tips to an Academy Award-winnning screenwriter, aka Tamara Jenkins.

This is Alexis McGuinness. She played a moth in "Bar Joke, Arizona," Sam Allingham's story. I did not know this and thought she wore wings for the hell of it, which I thought was rad.

Revelers- all Pulitzer Prize nominees/winners

Vic. Tor.
He looked amazing and was so charming and great. I think the reason I had such a great time is because such a talented and take no prisoners artist had my back. A thousand thank yous, Mr. LaValle. I owe you a rotisserie chicken.

These two lovebirds are the literary power duo JT Petty and Sarah Langan. Don't they look great?

Yo DJ! My feet were killing me and so not much dancing. I love to dance. I just could not.

One-Story Editor Hannah Tinti and Webonair Devin Emke pose for snaps. Note Colson Whitehead in suit and tie.

This sparkly wonder is Ramona Ausubel who moments before the ball sold a story collection and novel. I know! She is tall and gorgeous and charming too. I hear she can write you under the table too so look out litterati- she's coming to get you and take all your prize monies.

This is Cheston Knapp and Sam Allingham. Two nicer gents I have never met. Writers are so funny. Self-depricating, ambitious, sensitive, envious, emotionally intelligent, bad with money. We are all walking conundrums. We spend our days washing dishes in restaurants to pay the rent and our nights typing on our laptops, pasty and wired on espresso till sun-up, so dressing us up and making us twirl for an audience was quite bewildering for us all- the boys especially. Except for Patrick Somerville- he loves to twirl.

One-Story gave these fake tattoos out a long time ago. This reveler knew to save hers for a special occasion... cool right?

I could have used a better bra, lost 20 pounds and gotten a good night's sleep but this is me at the Ball. I had a singular experience never to be forgotten and can't thank One-Story, Maribeth and Hannah, Master of Ceremonies John Hodgman, Mr. Victor LaValle, my Facinator-maker Heather in London, or my Darling Husband enough... It was a night to remember. You can always subscribe to One-Story or donate $$ to them and write it all off at any time...

I want now to mention all the Debutantes because they are all awesome and I loved spending time with them. We all had a lot in common and were all really different. I shall mention their escorts because they were great too...

Sam Allingham escorted by Dan Chaon
Ramona Ausubel escorted by Michelle Latiolais and Ron Carlson
Nell Casey escorted by Tamara Jenkins
Amelia Kahaney escorted by Michael Cunningham
Cheston Knapp escorted by Jim & Karen Shepard
Grant Monroe escorted by Jonathan Lethem
Patrick Somerville escorted by Hannah Tinti
Cote Smith escorted by Deb Olin Unferth


Andrew Roe said...

Hi Arlaina,

Great photos! And thanks for the other links.

I was there, too, but unfortunately our paths didn't cross. It was an amazing night... I'm still a little tingly.

Congrats on being debutanted and on your novel.



Arlaina said...

Hey Andy!

Wasn't it awesome? I'm spending way too much time basking in the afterglow of it all. Novels, I'm shocked to realize, do not write themselves...

Stay cool!

Léna said...

Sounds divine! What a cool idea for a party! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall . . . Hannah Tinti spoke at a Girls Write Now event - she's amazing! xoxo

Arlaina said...

Hannah is indeed amazing and so is Girls Write Now- When I have a little more um, time in my life- I'd love to do something with them. I taught writing teens in the South Bronx for a while and loved it (most of the time).