At 47 years old, Augusten Burroughs
has reincarnated himself from the anxiety-addled teen of Running with Scissors to the cocksure ad man plagued by addiction
of Dry to the award-winning - sober -
author he is today. And he's learned a thing or two along the way, the best of
which he shares in his new book This Is
How, a self-help manual that offers practical advice like "how to be fat"
and "how to ride an elevator."
Welcome to "Meet the Mayor," a segment in which we interview local Foursquare Mayors in
their natural habitats.
Why did you used to
be the mayor here?Mainly because of the Box Office Babies
screenings. I was bringing my infant here for quite a while.
William Gibson has been called the father of cyberpunk and coined the
term "cyberspace" back when Internet was little more than a twinkle in DARPA's eye.
That's enough to mean that he's probably developed a fan base devout
enough to build shrines in his honor, or at least commemorative iPad
if you ask Gibson himself -- like one audience member did during a
Brookline Booksmith reading at the Coolidge Corner Theatre last year --
it still doesn't make him a celebrity.
writes overwrought, Dickensian novels, and he’s damned proud of it. The
New England-born author spent much of his reading at the Coolidge
Corner Theatre on Tuesday night defending himself against imaginary
criticisms of his work — criticisms that were remarkably similar to the New York Times’ review of Irving’s new book, Last Night in Twisted River
Augusten Burroughs is all too familiar with the disastrous and absurd —
to the point that all six of his memoirs (starting with the hugely
successful Running with Scissors in 2002) have veered so far from the conventional that critics have questioned whether they’re even true. Apparently,
Burroughs has a knack for attracting chaos even post-youth.
Jonathan Lethem seems the ultimate New Yorker: Born and
raised in Brooklyn, the 45-year-old writer first earned literary cachet with
his 1999 crime fiction novel, Motherless
Brooklyn. His 2003 The Fortress of
Solitude is a semi-autobiographic work, also set in Brooklyn. Now, Lethem's
touring to promote his newest New York novel, Chronic City, in which narrator Chase
Insteadman (a former child actor) befriends an eccentric, marijuana-pumped culture writer named
If you ever happen to find yourself in England and you run into a
neurotic middle-aged Londoner, a kid who asks strings of naive
questions, and a music nerd who defines himself by his favorite band,
then you’ve probably stumbled into a Nick Hornby novel.Anyone who’s cracked the spine of High Fidelity or About a Boy won’t be surprised that Hornby’s new book Juliet, Naked
contains his signature set of lovable, music-obsessed neurotics, as
well as liberal dollops of his wry humor.
Last Saturday night at midnight, Johnny Cupcakes brought late-80s gamer geek classic The Wizard to the Coolidge. People who crave their fix of both Nintendo nostalgia and exclusively designed Powerglove posters flocked to the theatre early that night. I arrived at 11:15 to find the line stretched down the alley.
Last week, two young women were arguing about the color of zombies in a waiting room at Mass General. When a doctor appeared, they asked her for an opinion on whether zombies should, by rights, be green or gray. The doctor thought for a second and said, "I don't know, but I'll ask my friend Dr. Schlozman -- he's been driving us nuts all week trying to get us to watch zombie movies."
Last Wednesday, the Coolidge's upstairs theater was heaving with
excitable dorks of all stripes, all giddy with anticipation for a live
reading and performance from John Hodgman and his surprise musical guest, Jonathan Coulton. You don't get a bill like this too often, folks. (Impatient peeps, scroll down for the MP3 download.