Robert B. Silvers Lecture: the Future of New York

Tue. Dec 8, 2020 8:00pm - 9:00pm EST
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Event Description

At the close of one of the city's most challenging years, contributors to The New York Review of Books look toward a future of resilience and renewal for New York.


  • Molly Crabapple

  • Deborah Eisenberg

  • Michael Greenberg

  • Hari Kunzru

  • Jana Prikryl

Two enduring city institutions, The New York Public Library and The New York Review of Books, join forces for an evening of conversation grounded in the ideas of possibility and promise. Regular NYRB contributors—fellow New Yorkers all—gather to discuss their reasons for optimism about what lies ahead and to speculate on how New York will come back from its setbacks in 2020. While there is no shortage of uncertainty surrounding 2021, there is always room for hope.

The Robert B. Silvers Lecture is an annual series created by Max Palevsky in recognition of the work of Robert B. Silvers, who was a co-founding editor of The New York Review of Books.

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.

 Molly Crabapple
is an artist and writer in New York. She is the author of two books, Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun, (with Marwan Hisham), which was long-listed for a National Book Award in 2018. Her reportage has been published in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and elsewhere. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art. Her animated short "A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" has been nominated for an Emmy award in the category of Outstanding News Analysis: Editorial and Opinion.

 Deborah Eisenberg moved to New York City in 1966 and has had an intense and turbulent emotional relationship with it ever since. She worked—briefly—for Bob Silvers at The New York Review of Books in 1972, and subsequently had the exhilarating pleasure of writing several pieces for him. Her most recent collection of short fiction is Your Duck is My Duck.

 Michael Greenberg is the author of Hurry Down Sunshine, a memoir, and a collection of essays called Beg, Borrow, Steal. From 2003 to 2009 he wrote the "Freelance" column in the Times Literary Supplement. From 2010 to 2012 he was a columnist at Bookforum. Greenberg is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, where he has published essays about New York City's housing emergency, the NYPD, immigration, Occupy Wall Street, Hurricane Sandy, and the state of California among other subjects, both political and cultural.

 Hari Kunzru is the author of six novels, including Gods Without Men, White Tears and Red Pill, which has just been named a 2020 notable book of the year by The New York Times. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. He teaches in the Creative Writing program at New York University and is the host of the podcast Into the Zone, from Pushkin media.

 Jana Prikryl is the author of two books of poems, No Matter (2019) and The After Party (2016). Born in the former Czechoslovakia, she grew up in Canada and moved to New York City in 2003. She works as a senior editor and poetry editor at The New York Review of Books. She received a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation this year and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2017-2018.

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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Deborah Eisenberg © Elizabeth Cannon

Hari Kunzru © Clayton Cubitt

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