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(Online) Henry Hoke and Melissa Broder on Animal Desire

Tue 19 September 2023 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30

Virtual Event Virtual Event

What might a mountain lion have to say about Los Angeles? Experience modern life, weird sex, climate collapse, and gender questioning through the eyes of California’s most famous, ill-fated puma in Henry Hoke’s rambunctious new work, Open Throat.

In Open Throat, Henry Hoke’s “queer and dangerously hungry” protagonist confronts a central question: “Do they want to eat a person, or become one?” Inspired by a real-life Hollywood Hills puma, Hoke uses an animal perspective to break into human language, highlighting cruelties and contradictions in the anthropocene world. Our protagonist is a naive and probing witness to all that L.A. has to offer: sex, crime, cars, climate change, economic disparity, digital content creation, New York transplants, and more. A delicious contribution to contemporary fiction, the book defamiliarizes the human world, while simultaneously revealing hidden depths to hunger, desire, grief, and care. 

Hoke will appear in conversation with celebrated author of Milk Fed and The Pisces, Melissa Broder.

About the speakers: 

Henry Hoke is an editor at the Offing and the author of five books, most recently the novel Open Throat and the memoir Sticker.  

Melissa Broder is the author of the novels Milk Fed, The Pisces, and the forthcoming Death Valley, the essay collection So Sad Today, and five poetry collections, including Superdoom. Her books are translated in ten languages. She has written for the New York Times, Elle.com, and New York magazine’s the Cut. She lives in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Open Throat:

Eileen Myles writes of its protagonist that “the beauty and tragedy of all of nature is in this character”, and that “Open Throat is a fierce writing act. Henry Hoke makes it true.” It has been praised by Chris Kraus as “completely awakening.”

Author Marie-Helene Bertino described the book in the New York Times Book Review as “an act of ravishing and outlandish imagination,” and concludes: “At its best, fiction can make the familiar strange in order to bring readers and our world into scintillating focus. Open Throat is what fiction should be.” Read the review here

Hoke’s protagonist is inspired by real-life puma P-22. Learn about LA’s most iconic feline here.

Important information: This event is online. Attendees will receive a Zoom link upon registration. Participants will be able to pose questions through the Zoom chat function.

This event requires advance registration.

Evenings with an Author are free and open to the public (with a 10€ suggested donation)
thanks to the generous support of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of GRoW @ Annenberg.


Tue 19 September 2023
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
Event Categories:
(Online) Henry Hoke and Melissa Broder on Animal Desire
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