Debbie Harry graces the cover of Wayne Koestenbaum’s new collection of musings, staring out at us from beneath pink-shadowed lids. Her look is one of expectation, fittingly. In My 1980s & Other Essays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Koestenbaum—ever the academic scenester—requires a hyperliterate knowledge from readers, not to mention a range of cultural savvy that spans from Roberto Bolaño and Cindy Sherman to Brigitte Bardot and cartoon porn. Though full comprehension may 
require some Google searching, the effort pays off in this series of vignettes about how art and academia give the personal life shape and context. Hear the poet and critic read tonight at this book launch and see why he’s been likened to the impossible love child of Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.

Thu., Aug. 15, 7 p.m., 2013