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Monday, September 26

Six Bestselling Authors Coming to the Hall This Fall

Season schedule of Writers events nearly doubled from last year
Loft provides new opportunity for authors and audiences
Between September and December, The Music Hall will welcome six authors to the arts center’s two stages -  in the Historic Theater’s Writers on a New England Stage series, presented in partnership with NH Public Radio, and in the more intimate Writers in the Loft series, presented with Portsmouth’s RiverRun Bookstore. 

Said Executive Producer Patricia Lynch,  “The season ahead should be our best ever for lovers of literature as we’ll be presenting a greatly expanded schedule, rich with literary events suiting all interests. This fall alone, over the next three months, we’re presenting nearly double the number of authors we’ve presented in entire past seasons, and the diversity of writing styles will be unmatched.”

“In November, we’ll welcome the hip and wonderful bad boy of fiction Chuck Palahniuk, and then, just days and weeks, later we’ll present New Yorker magazine superstar writers Ann Beattie and Adam Gopnik.  Mix in the ‘season opener,’ Harvard Professor Stephen Greenblatt, and political commentator Chris Matthews at the start of the holidays and you’ve got real breadth and depth. The icing on the cake is celebrated novelist Chris Bohjalian, a New England author, whose October 6 event in the Loft is already sold out,” added Lynch.

Asked about the growth in literary programs, Lynch said, “with the opportunity of the Loft space, we can do so much more in support of literacy and the life of the mind.”

The Music Hall’s flagship author program, Writers on a New England Stage, is held in the Historic Theater.  The evening features an author presentation and stage interview with NHPR host Viriginia Prescott, plus live music by house band Dreadnaught.

Akin to the Writers on a New England Stage series, Writers in the Loft  features today’s top authors but in a smaller, more intimate space. The ticket package includes author presentation, book, bar beverage, and author meet-and-greet/signing.  
“In very different ways, both these programs offer reader-audiences fabulous experiences.  Writers in the Loft is less of a presentation and a radio show and more like a book club night out -  one of those sexy book clubs where you get a glass of wine and you really talk.  People have loved the format. It’s neat to feel so engaged in the work and to meet the person behind the words,” said Lynch. On the other hand, Writers on a New England Stage allow authors to do more formal but still fun things on stage. Wait until audience experience Chuck Palahniuk – he has all sorts of games planned, a real show. Also with the stage format the orator-commentator Chris Matthews will shine.  We have lots of great nights ahead.”
Said Tom Holbrook, owner of RiverRun Bookstore and a presenting partner in the series, “Humans have a unique, centuries-old connection with books.  That relationship is deepened when you are able to meet and listen to the author of the book you hold in your hand.  Our collaboration with The Music Hall has made it possible for New England’s literary community to come together in Portsmouth for incredible discussions—on History, Literature, the Arts and beyond.  It’s also really, really fun!  This season has it all, so don’t miss out.”
Upcoming Writers in the Loft events:
STEPHEN GREENBLATT - Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 7pm
The NY Times bestselling author of  Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, will discuss his new nonfiction work, about the great cultural “swerve” known as the Renaissance – an innovative tale of history and a discovery, crafted by a celebrated Harvard University professor. 
Ticket package: $41, $38 members.  Includes reserved seat, book (THE SWERVE: How the World Became Modern  $26.95 hardcover), and bar beverage; author presentation/reading, Q&A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
CHRIS BOHJALIAN  - Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7pm
The author of NY Times bestsellers Midwives and The Double Bind joins us with his latest novel, a riveting ghost story centered on a tragic airplane crash. THE NIGHT STRANGERS has all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from this award-winning  novelist.
Ticket package: $39, $36 members.  Includes reserved seat, book (THE NIGHT STRANGERS $25 hardcover), and bar beverage; author presentation/reading, Q&A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
ANN BEATTIE - Monday, November 7, 2011, 7pm
One of America’s most celebrated writers, heralded “a National Treasure” by the New York Times Book Review, brings us this riveting exploration of former First Lady Pat Nixon.  Beattie’s writing has always reflected her interest in minor or marginalized characters. Now, she creates a startlingly original portrait of the elusive icon Pat Nixon –  one of America’s most famous marginalized characters – drawn from a wealth of sources ranging from books by Woodward and Bernstein, Jonathan Schell, Mary McCarthy and H.R. Haldeman to articles found in old Life Magazines, vanity press books, and photos of the Nixons.  The result is an unprecedented and deeply personal glimpse into Beattie’s brilliant (and sometimes very funny) imagination, and into the life of this historical female figure.  It is also an intriguing and revelatory look at how a writer creates and imagines a life.
Ticket package: $40, $37 members.  Includes reserved seat, book (MRS. NIXON:  A Novelist Imagines a Life $26.00 hardcover), and bar beverage; author presentation/reading, Q&A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
ADAM GOPNIK  - Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 7pm
The award-winning New Yorker writer, author of Paris to the Moon, takes on the topic of food. In this new nonfiction work, Gopnik examines America’s food culture today, looking at exactly what goes on around the table among families, friends, lovers and strangers.  He locates our table ancestry in France and follows it as it as it bends in moments of mania to the power of puritanical guilt, Chef Boyardee, and cable TV glitz. Gently satirizing the entire human comedy of the comestible in inimitable Gopnik style, he leads us to some surprising and hilarious conclusions about the way we eat now. 
Ticket package: $40, $37 members.  Includes reserved seat, book (THE TABLE COMES FIRST: Family, France and the Meaning of Food $25.95 hardcover), and bar beverage; author presentation/reading, Q&A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
Upcoming Writers on a New England Stage events:
CHUCK PALAHNIUK  - Thursday, November 3, 2011, 7:30pm
The bestselling author of Survivor and Fight Club and Choke (both made into movies)  takes the stage with his new book, DAMNED, a tale of adolescence….which we all know is a form of hell!  One of American fiction’s most brilliant troublemakers, Chuck Palahniuk is not to be missed.   (Ticket price: $13; $11 members; Book:  DAMNED  $24.95 hardcover, $22.45 reserved in advance)
CHRIS MATTHEWS - Friday, December 2, 2011, 7:30pm
The host of MSNBC’s Hardball and author of Life’s a Campaign and Kennedy and Nixon, joins us with his new work, JACK KENNEDY: Elusive Hero. Matthews examines JFK’s life, presidency, and influence on America, and show how Jack Kennedy (all political opinions aside) was a true American Hero.  (Ticket price: $13; $11 members
Book: JACK KENNEDY:  Elusive Hero  $27.50 hardcover, $24.75 reserved in advance)
WRITERS IN THE LOFT EVENING SPONSOR:  Seatrade International (Chris Bohjalian and Adam Gopnik)
WRITERS ON A NEW ENGLAND STAGE SERIES SPONSORS:  Auger Building Company, Inc.; Calypso Communications; New England Audio Tech, LLC ; Piscataqua Landscaping Company Incorporated; RMC Research Corporation; Popovers on the Square and Haunted Milk Design.

Ticket purchases

Writers on a New England Stage tickets and book vouchers and Writers in the Loft ticket packages can be purchased through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603-436-2400 or online.

(603) 436-2400
24-hour Film Line:
(603) 436-9900
Business Office:
(603) 433-3100