The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. We also feature workspace, grants, and classes to support emerging writers, reading groups on classic and contemporary authors, and programs to help get kids reading. We recognize the best in the world of fiction through our annual awards, and we operate one of the few independent fiction book shops in the country. We are also an important piece of New York City history, continuing to build our renowned circulating library collection, begun in 1820 by New York City merchants before the advent of the public library system.
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Wednesday at 7pm, join us for a night of readings from Epiphany; A Literary Journal, featuring contributors Douglas Watson, Sara Batkie, Jason Katzenstein, Miranda McLeod, and Ann Goldstein. 

Epiphany is committed to publishing literary work in which form is as valued as content. They look for writing, wherever it may fall on the spectrum from experimental to traditional, that is thoroughly realized not only in its vision but also in its commitment to artistry. They are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere.

Douglas Watson is the author of a book of stories, The Era of Not Quite. His novel, A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies, is due to be published on April Fool’s Day by Outpost 19. He lives in New York City.

Jason Katzenstein writes and draws, mostly in pajamas, from his apartment in Bushwick. You can find his comics in MAD Magazine, The Toast, Funny or Die and at

Sara Batkie was born in Seattle, has lived in Connecticut and Iowa, and currently resides in Brooklyn. She is a 2010 graduate of New York University’s Masters in Fiction Writing program. Her stories have been published in Gulf Coast and LIT magazine and received mention in the 2011 edition of Best American Short Stories. She recently completed work on her first novel.

Miranda McLeod’s fiction has appeared in Willow Springs, The Sunday Times, Confrontation and elsewhere. She earned a BA in Sociology at Columbia University, an MFA in Fiction at New York University and is currently earning her PhD in Literature at Rutgers University. She teaches creative writing at the Bryant Park Word for Word series and recently finished her first short story collection. She lives in the East Village.

Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alessandro Baricco, Romano Bilenchi, and Elena Ferrante, including My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name, the first two volumes of Ferrante’s Neapolitan trilogy. She is currently editing the Complete Works of Primo Levi in English, and has been the recipient of a PEN Renato Poggioli translation award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

For more information or to RSVP:

Notes on Fiction: Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Friday March 28, 2014
07:30 pm

Tonight marks another Notes on Fiction event! Each concert in this event series captures the spirit of a book in sound and features short readings of passages that inspired the musical program. Performances are followed by a wine reception, where the audience can mingle with the musicians. Join us this time for a musical and visual performance by ensembles Sideband and Spirograph Agnew, based on Philip K. Dick’s Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Reinterpret Philip K. Dick’s story about the product of a top secret government experiment turned TV star, whose record inexplicably disappears from the data banks, with two groups on the forefront of new music. Sideband is the professional touring ensemble of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. Using specially designed and custom made hemispherical speakers and a fleet of laptops, mobile devices, interfaces, wireless networks, and other objects, Sideband turns each member of its ensemble in to an island of sound. Spirograph Agnew is music for 3D glasses. A quartet consisting of violin, cello, double bass, and laptop, they perform structured improvisations with software systems that turn its sound into literal and/or figurative visual representations.

These three works of art coming together is going to make for a great show!

For more information or to RSVP:

Coming to AWP? We’re presenting two panels on Friday, both moderated by our Director, Noreen Tomassi:

Author & Editor: The Relationship that Builds a Book
Jess Walter, Chuck Palahniuk, Calvert Morgan, and Monica Drake
Friday, 12:00-1:15pm

This session focuses on the process of revision both in publishing houses and in writers’ groups. It features author Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins) and his editor at HarperCollins Calvert Morgan who discuss their work together, along with Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed) and author Monica Drake (The Stud Book) who are in a writers’ group together and are trusted readers of one another’s work in its early stages. Moderated by Center for Fiction Director Noreen Tomassi.

Image & Idea: A Reading and Conversation
Rachel Kushner and Colm Tóibín
Friday, 4:30-5:45pm

Colm Tóibín (The Testament of Mary) described Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers as, “an ambitious and serious American novel. The scope is wide. The political and the personal are locked in a deep and fascinating embrace.” And in Tóibín’s latest novel he takes on nothing less than the mother of Christ. Hear these two authors read and speak about the larger ideas that inspired them and the need for scope in the contemporary novel. Moderated by Center for Fiction Director Noreen Tomassi.

And don’t forget to stop by our booth! We’re #1011.

Ladies in Hades: A Story of Hell’s Smart Set by Frederic Arnold Kummer #literarygems

Megan Abbott

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
A Life of Barbara Stanwyk by Victoria Wilson
I never miss Laura Lippman’s novels. There are always crimes at the center and the suspense elements are expertly rendered, but they’re also, more deeply, about the lingering effects of crime and the way it marks character. They’re about choices and memory and the weight of the past, and this one has gotten incredible buzz. Also Julia Fierro’s debut, Cutting Teeth. I heard her read from it last year and it sounded terrific—smart and funny and trenchant in the vein of Tom Perrotta and Meg Wolitzer. And, catching up on late 2013 releases, I’m dying to read A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Vol 1) by Victoria Wilson because, quite simply, it’s Barbara Stanwyck.

Jonathan Franzen

Bark by Lorrie Moore
Bobcat by Rebecca Lee 

Right now there are two books I’m saving for those days when I really need what I’m reading to be good. One is an advance copy of Lorrie Moore’s new story collection,Bark.  No matter where Moore chooses to take me, I’m always assured that something interesting is going to be happening—linguistically, morally, politically—on every page. The other book is Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat. I’m a hardcore fan of Lee’s first book, The City is a Rising Tide, and everyone I know who’s read Bobcat has assured me that I’m in for total pleasure when I read it.

Rivka Galchen

Piano Stories by Felisberto Hérnández

The biography for Felisberto Hernández reads: “Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1902, Felisberto Hernández was a talented pianist who played in the silent-screen movie theaters when he was twelve years old and later toured the small concert halls of Uruguay and Argentina. He married four times, published seven books, and died, impoverished, in 1964.” I’ve only ever read one story of his before, “The Crocodile,” about a pianist who learns to cry crocodile tears, and this does wonders for his career, and then, eventually, after being given a cartoon drawing of a crying crocodile who resembles him, “though I had no intention of imitating the crocodile, my face began to weep, all on its own. I watched as if I were looking at a sister whose unhappiness I knew nothing about.” It’s a very good story! And now a collection of Hernández stories, Piano Stories, is being put out in English, translated by Luis Harss, with an introduction by Italo Calvino and a preface by Francine Prose, and I am very much looking forward to reading this book.  

Laura Lippman

The Fever by Megan Abbott
We’re friends, but I was a fan before I was a friend. She is one of my favorite writers and her style varies based on her subjects. As I understand it, The Fever is about a mysterious ailment plaguing a group of teenage girls and I think it’s a great subject for her. 

Claire Messud

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee 

 I’ve already had the privilege of reading Rebecca Mead’s delicious meditation, My Life in Middlemarch, which falls somewhere between biography, memoir, and criticism; but I’m looking hugely forward to sharing it with friends, as it’s not officially published until January. Mead’s reflections upon the central place of George Eliot’s masterpiece in the formation of Mead’s own psyche are enlivening and inspiring. The rare pleasure of this book is like that of a great literary conversation, of a kind increasingly rare: It is meant to be shared. An enormous treat to look forward to later in the year is Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, already available in the UK and appearing here in 2014. Inevitably underrated—herself a mistress of understatement—Fitzgerald was one of the great British writers of the late Twentieth century. Her wry, continent novels contain worlds and wisdom far greater and more engrossing than many far longer books. The Blue Flower remains one of the most extraordinary novels I know. That Fitzgerald didn’t publish until she was 58—an age at which most people are preparing to retire—makes her all the more remarkable, and her biography all the more tantalizing.

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Our annual holiday lunch yesterday at Dos Caminos. There *may* have been a copious amt of margaritas #nomnom

Amazing gift box by our intern Elisabeth! #cffsecretsanta (at Dos Caminos)

The winner of this year’s The Flaherty-Dunnan award Margaret Wrinkle! Congratulations!!!!

The lovely Robin Desser with hilarious Master of Ceremonies B.J. Novak. So exciting to see all these amazing talents in one room! #benefit2013

A beautiful dinner at the Union League for our annual benefit.