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Lilly Dancyger with Alia Volz / Negative Space

Booksmith / Virtual Events

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Booksmith and The Bindery are thrilled to host Lilly Dancyger for her debut, Negative Space: A Memoir. She'll be joined in conversation by Alia Volz (Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco).

This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required. Event link will be sent to everyone who registers.

You can order the authors' books below:

Negative Space by Lilly Dancyger

Home Baked by Alia Volz

About the book

Despite her parents’ struggles with addiction, Lilly Dancyger always thought of her childhood as a happy one. But what happens when a journalist interrogates her own rosy memories to reveal the instability around the edges? A memoir from the editor of Burn It Down: Women Writing About AngerNegative Space explores Dancyger’s own anger, grief, and artistic inheritance as she sets out to illuminate the darkness that was hidden from her.

Dancyger's father, Joe Schactman, was part of the iconic 1980s East Village art scene. He created provocative sculptures out of found materials, and brought his young daughter into his gritty, iconoclastic world. She idolized him—despite the escalating heroin addiction that sometimes overshadowed his creative passion. When Schactman died suddenly, just as Dancyger was entering adolescence, she went into her own self-destructive spiral, raging against the world that had taken him away. But as an adult, Dancyger began to question the mythology she'd created about her father—the brilliant artist, struck down in his prime—using his paintings, sculptures, and prints as a guide to piece together a truer story.

About the authors

Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as one of the winners of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards; and the editor of Burn It Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press. Her writing has been published by Longreads, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. She lives in New York City, and you can find her on twitter at @lillydancyger.

Alia Volz is the author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana and the Stoning of San Francisco, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography and winner of the 2020 Golden Poppy Award for Nonfiction from the California Independent Bookseller Alliance. Her essays are widely published, including in The New York Times, Bon AppetitGuernicaThe Best Women’s Travel Writing, and The Best American Essays. Her family story has been featured on Snap JudgmentCriminal, and NPR’s Fresh Air. Photo by Dennis Hearne.

This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required.