A Bright Ray of Darkness: Ethan Hawke with Caryn James

Mon. Mar 22, 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
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Event Description

The acclaimed actor/writer/director's first novel in 20 years is the blistering story of a young man making his Broadway debut in Henry IV just as his marriage implodes.

Ethan Hawke's new novel is a bracing meditation on fame and celebrity and the redemptive power of art; a portrait of divorce; and a poignant consideration on fatherhood. It's also a passionate love letter to the world of theater. His narrator is a young man in torment, disgusted with himself after the collapse of his marriage, still half-hoping for a reconciliation that would allow him to forgive himself and move on. But he might find his redemption in the challenge of performing Hotspur in a production of Henry IV under the leadership of a brilliant director, helmed by one of the most electrifying—and narcissistic—Falstaffs of all time.

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the support of Library patrons and friends, as well as by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

 Ethan Hawke
, a four-time Academy Award nominee, twice for writing and twice for acting, has starred in the films Dead Poets SocietyReality BitesGattaca, and Training Day, as well as Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise trilogy and Boyhood. He is the author of Rules for a KnightThe Hottest State, and Ash Wednesday. He lives in Brooklyn with his four children and his wife.

 Caryn James is a film critic for BBC Culture, and a frequent contributor on film and television to The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter. She was previously a film critic and chief television critic at The New York Times, and an editor at The New York Times Book Review. She has appeared on various television programs as a film commentator and is also Adjunct Asst. Professor of Film at Columbia University. She is the author of the novels Glorie and What Caroline Knew, and has a Ph.D. in English literature from Brown University.

If you have a NYPL library card—or live in New York state and want to apply for one now—you can borrow A Bright Ray of Darkness for free with our e-reader app SimplyE. The title is available in accessible formats for community members who do not use standard print. Find out more at: nypl.org/talkingbooks. You can also request this book, and more, for pickup at one of our Grab & Go locations

Readers everywhere who wish to purchase copies of A Bright Ray of Darkness can do so at The New York Public Library Shop. Proceeds benefit the New York Public Library. 

A live transcript will be provided.

ASL interpretation will be provided. 

Any media will be accompanied by alt text to reference before the program or by audio description.

This program will be streamed on Zoom and simulcast to YouTube. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email shortly before the discussion to receive the link. Captions for this event will be provided. 

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Ethan Hawke © Brigitte Lacombe

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