"This Brilliant Darkness" w/ Jeff Sharlet & Jay Kirk
Please Join Us for a Reading & Discussion w/
JEFF SHARLET, Author of This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers
in Conversation w/ JAY KIRK
About This Brilliant Darkness:
Known for immersion journalism that is more immersed than most people are willing to go, and for a prose style that is somehow both fierce and soulful, Jeff Sharlet dives deep into the darkness around us and awaiting us.
This work began when his father had a heart attack; two years later, Jeff, still in his forties, had a heart attack of his own. In the grip of writerly self-doubt, Jeff turned to images, taking snapshots and posting them on Instagram, writing short, true stories that bloomed into documentary. During those two years, he spent a lot of time on the road: meeting strangers working night shifts as he drove through the mountains to see his father; exploring the life and death of Charley Keunang, a once-aspiring actor shot by the police on LA's Skid Row; documenting gay pride amidst the violent homophobia of Putin's Russia; passing time with homeless teen addicts in Dublin; and accompanying a lonely woman drifting into dementia, whose only friend was a houseplant, on shopping trips.
Early readers have called this book "incantatory," the voice "prophetic," in "James Agee's tradition of looking at the reality of American lives." Defined by insomnia and late-night driving and the companionship of other darkness-dwellers--night bakers and last-call drinkers, frightened people and frightening people, the homeless and the lost (or merely disoriented), other people on the margins--This Brilliant Darkness erases the boundaries between author, subject, and reader to ask: how do people live with suffering?
About the Author:
Jeff Sharlet is associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, and the best-selling author of The Family (made into a Netflix documentary series), This Brilliant Darkness, C Street, and Sweet Heaven When I Die. His work has earned numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award and the Outspoken Award.
Jay Kirk is the author of Kingdom Under Glass, and his work has appeared in Harper's, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and The Nation. He is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Writing Award, a 2005 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and a finalist for the 2013 National Magazine Award for his story “Burning Man.” His forthcoming book, Avoid the Day, will be published by Harper Perennial in July 2020. He teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania.