IS THERE GOD AFTER PRINCE: An Evening with PETER COVIELLO and SARAH ENSOR
A Room of One's Own is thrilled to welcome Peter Coviello and Sarah Ensor for a reading and conversation on Peter's newest book Is There God After Prince.
This is an in person event at A Room of One's Own.
About the book
Is There God After Prince? is a book about loving things (books, songs, people) in the shadow of a felt, looming disaster – in the grain of what author Peter Coviello calls an endstrickenness that every twenty-first-century day has made harder and harder to ignore.
Written in a voice that is by turns intimate, incisive, funny, and heart-piercing, these are essays that survey pieces of culture across a clamoring and expansive range: songs by Joni Mitchell and Gladys Knight, Pavement and Prince, novels by Sam Lipsyte and Sally Rooney, Paula Fox and Edward St. Aubyn, as well as movies like The Shining, shows like The Sopranos, poems, videos, pop artifacts of more or less every kind. What can it mean to love such trifling and beautiful things, Coviello asks, even now, in the midst of worlds so glutted with ruinous, planet-sized calamity? Balancing comedy against anger, exhilaration against battered sorrow, Coviello illuminates the strange and surprising ways the objects we cherish help to keep us, on the better days, attached to life.
Moving, mordant, sparking with caustic intelligence and an unsurrendered joyousness, Is There God After Prince? shows us what criticism might be – what it can do, how it might speak to us – in a time of frightful slow-moving collapse, an age of Last Things.
Peter Coviello is a writer of criticism, scholarship, and literary nonfiction. The author of five previous books – including Long Players, a memoir selected as one of ARTFORUM’s Ten Best Books of 2018, and Make Yourselves Gods, a finalist for the 2020 John Whitmer Historical Association Best Book Prize – he has written extensively as well for venues like The Believer, Frieze, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Raritan, the Chicago Review, and Elle. His previous book, Vineland Reread, was listed among the New York Times’s “New and Noteworthy” titles for January of 2021. His work has been described as “memorably passionate” (Publisher’s Weekly), “stingingly funny” (The Portland Press Herald), “sad, joyous, funny, and heart-cracking” (ARTFORUM). “Nearly alone among contemporary critics,” A 2017-8 fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, he taught for many years at Bowdoin College and since 2014 has been at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is Professor and Head of English.
Sarah Ensor is an Assistant Professor of English at UW-Madison, whose work engages intersections between queer and environmental thought in American literature. She is completing her first book, Queer Lasting: Ecologies of Care at Future’s End (under contract with NYU Press), which reads literatures of queer extinction for practices of care and grammars of persistence that emerge “at the last.”