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September 29, 2016

This Sunday I’ll be in conversation at Book Court with Leopoldine Core about her debut collection of short stories, When Watched, at 4:00pm.

Her work is incredible and she is also a very interesting person.


About When Watched:In Leopoldine Core’s stories, you never know where you are going to end up. Populated by sex workers and artists, lovers and friends, her characters are endlessly striving to understand each other. And while they may seem to operate at the margins, there is something eminently relatable, even elemental about their romantic relationships, their personal demons, and the strange shapes their joy can take.

Refreshing, witty, and absolutely close to the heart, Core’s nineteen stories, set in and around New York City, have an other-worldly quality along with a deep seriousness–even a moral seriousness. What we know of identity is smashed and in its place, true individuals emerge, each bristling with a unique sexuality, a belief-system all their own. Reminiscent of Jane Bowles, William Burroughs, and Colette, her writing glows with an authenticity that is intoxicating and rare.

Dirty and squalid, poetic and pure, Core bravely tunnels straight to the center of human suffering and longing. This collection announces a daring and deeply sensitive new voice.

Praise for When Watched:

“These distinct stories are flawless and strange at the same time. Core’s command of detail and nuance allows each of these stories to shimmer with just the lightest touch. . . . The writing is smart, profound, and sexy.” —Travel + Leisure, “The Best Books to Read on Vacation This Summer”

“This collection of short stories starts off tough, astute, and bleeding with emotional generosity. Within the first few pages, Leopoldine Core hits you with nuggets of poignant gold. Her stories embody little snippets of truth, one after the other. . . . Pick up this book and prepare to face sublime recognition.” —Emily Wood, Rookie

“Leopoldine Core is the author that’s turning everybody’s heads. These stories set in NYC form an unforgettable work about sexuality, identity, and gender.” —Bustle

“Full of dazzling insight and empathy, each of the 19 stories in this debut will force you to consider how personal identity is impossible to pin down: We are all chameleons, shifting parts of ourselves to make the best of new circumstances. While there is an undeniable headiness to Core’s collection, her writing is never heavy-handed: It’s refreshing—even bright—and full of heart. This new voice fills a void that, until finishing the final pages, we didn’t know was sorely missing. But now that When Watched has surfaced, we can’t wait for more from Core.” —Refinery 29

“Core’s prose isn’t fancy, but it’s gemstone smooth, and that’s its most important quality: the writing is a seamless, nearly translucent vehicle that connects us to the tangled brushwork of her characters—their sorrows and desires and their so many attempts at striving for human intimacy more profound than strained conversations.” —The Paris Review Daily

“[A] spiky collection.” —Ladies’ Home Journal

“A stunning collection of short stories. Like most of her writing, the tales are often dark, always precise, and hard to put down.” —Afar magazine

“Leopoldine Core is one of the most original new writers I’ve come across. Reading her carefully laid out sentences is like following a trail of white pebbles through a dark forest of strange insights and passion. Her ardent wanderers exist in the ever-churning flux of their moods and minds, in a haunted, desperate, and bejewelled New York. I get so much from being in her worlds.” —Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?

“Leopoldine Core writes deceptively poetic prose—there’s a delicacy to it, without being precious at all, and it leaves you with a feeling that resonates long after. She captures an essence of her generation, a sort of alienated and self-destructive ennui. I felt so protective toward these characters, like I wanted to reach into the pages and pull them out and save them from themselves.” —Molly Ringwald, author of When It Happens to You

“Intent on both wasting and appreciating their youth, Leopoldine Core’s distinct and fascinating characters know they’re being watched but seldom fully seen. But every now and then, they see each other. And they don’t just meticulously observe the sweetly gritty East Village of the recent past; they bring it absolutely to life.” —Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness

“Powerful and lucid, these stories are full of pain and sex and the cutting things people say to one another.” —Marie Calloway, author of what purpose did i serve in your life

“I love the way Leopoldine Core lets her characters fight toward a turbulent happiness.  Like a lesson in how to talk to each other—and also how to be alone.  Fast, lucid, and beautifully blunt, these stories cut and swoop to the conversations and meditations that, of an afternoon, can define an epoch in your life.” —Benjamin Lytal, author of A Map of Tulsa

Author Bio:
Leopoldine Core was born and raised in New York’s East Village and graduated from Hunter College. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Joyland, Open City, PEN America, and Apology magazine, among others. She is the recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for Fiction, as well as fellowships from the Center for Fiction and the Fine Arts Work Center. Author of the poetry collection Veronica Bench and the short story collection When Watched, Core lives in New York.Gabrielle Bell was born in England and raised in California. In 1998 She began to collect her “Book of” miniseries (Book of Sleep, Book of Insomnia, Book of Black, etc), which resulted in When I’m Old and Other Stories, published by Alternative Comics. In 2001 she moved to New York and released her autobiographical series Lucky, published by Drawn and Quarterly. Her work has been selected for the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction, and she has contributed to McSweeneys, Bookforum, The Believer, and Vice Magazine. The title story of Bell’s book, “Cecil and Jordan in New York” has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her latest book, The Voyeurs, is available from Uncivilized Books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Leopoldine Core with Gabrielle Bell
When Watched
Sun Oct 2, 4:00PM
Event Type:
On the Docket:
Audience Q&A
Book Signing

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 29, 2016 9:15 pm

    I’m Didier Drogba

  2. Anonymous permalink
    September 29, 2016 9:30 pm

    Long forenames followed by short surnames are an abomination

  3. Hello permalink
    October 2, 2016 12:32 pm

    Bomb the 80s with trans-temporal bio-drones

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