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Friday, October 14

Writers on a New England Stage: Chuck Palahniuk

The Music Hall and New Hamphire Public Radio present
Writers on a New England Stage
Chuck Palahniuk
Thursday, November 3, 7:30pm
The New York Times bestselling author of Fight Club and Choke
will present his new book, DAMNED
“To read a Chuck Palahniuk novel means being shocked,
enlightened, disturbed, buoyed, horrified, delighted and perplexed
– sometimes on a single page.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, October 6, 2011:   Chuck Palahniuk, the bestselling author of  Fight Club and Choke, will take the stage at The Music Hall Historic Theater on Thursday, November 3, at 7:30pm in the celebrated author series Writers on a New England Stage,  presented by The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with Yankee Magazine and RiverRun Bookstore.  Palahniuk will discuss his new novel, DAMNED, a story of adolescence, friendship, and….HELL!.  Following his talk, Mr. Palahniuk will be interviewed by Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  
About Palahniuk’s novel, DAMNED
Adolescence is hell?  You have no idea…  Welcome to the Inferno by way of The Breakfast Club, from the mind of American fiction’s most brilliant troublemaker, Chuck Palahniuk,
“Death, like life, is what you make of it.”  So says Madison, the whip-tongued 11 year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive homage to the young adult genre. The daughter of two narcisstic film stars, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans.  She dies over the holiday of a marijuana overdose - and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell.  This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted Inferno inspired by both the most extreme and mundane of human evils, where The English Patient plays on repeat…
In an effort to reason her way through her pain, she begins confiding in Satan—her new overlord who’s mysteriously everywhere and nowhere at once.  For Madison, though, a more immediate source of comfort lies in the motley crew of young sinners she meets during her first days in Hell.  It’s almost too good to be a true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a delinquent, united by fate. For the first time, Madison witnesses rare acts of kindness and courage, and allows herself to feel the vulnerability of friendship.  With the help of Archer, Babette, Leonard, and Patterson, she learns to navigate Hell - and that she’d rather be mortal and deluded and stupid with those she loves than perfect and alone.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK, the official bio
Chuck Palahniuk is the critically acclaimed author of FIGHT CLUB (made into a film by David Fincher) and CHOKE (also made into a movie, and featured on the New York Times Bestseller List). Known as the “Bad-boy” of fiction, Chuck has gained status as one of the most disturbing, witty, and creative authors of our time. He has also written Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby¸ and Haunted, which features an infamous short story that has reportedly made nearly seventy people faint at readings! Chuck currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK, the real story
      A LITERARY ROCK STAR:   The Cult of Chuck is huge and still growing.  He has over 300,000 Facebook fans and over 300,000 followers on Twitter. His readings hum with rock concert energy - with groupies that come in costume and bring props - and have literally spilled over, stopped traffic, required EMS assistance and draw hundreds of people.

      RAGS TO RICHES STORY:  Chuck worked at Freightliner, a truck manufacturing company, for 13 years on the assembly line and ended up writing their training manuals until hitting the big time with Fight Club, which was published in 1996 and celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.  He left Freightliner after publication.  And Chuck’s writing ethic is still going strong: he still meets with his writing group every Monday night.
·     MAJOR MOTION PICTURES: Two of Chuck’s previous novels (Fight Club and Choke) were made into major motion pictures directed by David Fincher and Clark Gregg, respectively.  Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham-Carter starred in Fight Club and Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston and Joel Grey starred in Choke.  All of his novels have been optioned for film.  
      HE’S A MEGA-BESTSELLING AUTHOR:  More than 5 million copies of his books in currently in print. DAMNED is Chuck’s 12th novel.  Chuck is the author of the bestselling Fight Club, Survivor; Invisible Monsters; Choke, Lullaby; Diary; Haunted; Rant; Snuff, Pygmy, and Tell-All, as well as his non-fiction collection Stranger Than Fiction and Fugitives and Refugees, part of the Crown Journeys series.  

Praise for the author and his work
“Few contemporary writers mix the outrageous and the hilarious with greater zest…Palahniuk’s splenetic, anarchic glee makes him a worthy heir to Ken Kesey.”—Newsday
“Twisted?  Come on, it’s Palahniuk.  Impossible to put down?  Same answer.”—Men’s Journal
“Palahniuk is a writer of remarkable talent, willing to look unflinchingly at despairing lives and their often-warped quest for even momentary redemption.”—Boston Globe
“To read a Chuck Palahniuk novel means being shocked, enlightened, disturbed, buoyed, horrified, delighted and perplexed – sometimes on a single page.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
About the 2011-2012 Writers on a New England Stage series
Writers on a New England Stage was created by executive producer Patricia Lynch, also executive director of The Music Hall, and is presented in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio and in collaboration with Yankee Magazine and Portsmouth’s independent RiverRun Bookstore. Since 2005, the series has spotlighted a broad range of celebrated authors including Mitch Albom, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Brown, Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Ann Patchett, E.L. Doctorow, Anita Madeleine Albright, the late John Updike, Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult, David McCullough, and Cokie Roberts, among many others. 
Next up in the series Writers on a New England Stage is Chris Matthews, who will take the stage to discuss his new biography, JACK KENNEDY: Elusive Hero, on Friday, December 2 at 7:30pm*.  Each author’s presentation is followed by an interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught.  The live shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio’s noontime program “Word of Mouth.” 

Book Clubs and High School Guests of The Music Hall
At each Writers event, The Music Hall hosts local high school students selected by their teachers, who come free of charge to the event and get an opportunity to meet the author.  The Music Hall welcomes local book clubs attending on the night to take part in a drawing to be guests at a private backstage book signing/reception with the featured writer.  For more information on how to join the Writers on a New England Stage book club list and drawing, contact Associate Producer Margaret Talcott at

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