When thinking about the arts in our city, do not forget the literary arts. Just Buffalo Literary Center supports them here in Buffalo by:

  • Bringing the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, most recently with our acclaimed BABEL series
  • Supporting the development of young writers through the Just Buffalo Writing Center
  • Fostering a vibrant cultural scene, becoming an important regional asset and one of the nation’s top literary centers

You may have also seen their work on Washington Street, donning light posts with LIT CITY signs, reminding us of how important Buffalo is to the country’s literary scene.

Personally, our first BABEL experience was this season with Marlon James. He spoke about his life and the influence behind his award-winning work, A Brief History of Seven Killings. We were so entertained throughout the lecture and interview, we were moved to buy the book and I immediately dove into it. Without BABEL, I wouldn’t have heard of James nor had such an experience.

This Thursday, BABEL continues with Dave Egger at Kleinhan’s. JBLC has prepared a list of reasons why you absolutely should attend. Support Buffalo’s literary arts by doing so!

10. You’ve seen the movie trailer for The Circle with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Here’s your chance to meet the writer.

9. You’re a teacher or you care about teachers. Dave Eggers started the Teacher Salary Project to advocate for fewer hours and better salaries for teachers.

8. You like pirates & superheroes & magic. So does Dave Eggers, But you won’t believe how he’s using them to change the world.

7. You love New Orleans. Egger’s depiction of New Orleans at the moment of Hurrican Katrina in Zeitoun is riveting. All profts from this book when back to New Orleans through the foundation Eggers created.

6. You’re a fan of Where the Wild Things Are. Come meet the creative mind who brough this beloved children’s book to the big screen.

5. You’ve lost someone to cancer. Dave’s parents died of cancer within weeks of each other. At the afe of 21, Eggers became the guardian of his 8-year-old brother and wrote about it with humor & honestly in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. 

4. You like to laugh. Dave Eggers writes about some serious topics – outsourced labor, the American middle-class, refugees – but he’s still incredibly funny. You’re guaranteed to laught. A lot.

3. You keep meaning to come to one of these BABEL things. You’ve seen the posters. All your friends have been. What’s stopping you?

2. You’re a writer or you’d like to be one someday. Eggers has done pretty much everything in the publishing world: memoirs, novels, nonfiction, screenplays & he’s also editied magazines like McSweeney’s.

1. You read about him in Vogue or The New Yorker, or maybe you heard him on NPR or Conan O’Brien. Could be any of the above. He’s everywhere! But he’ll only be in Buffalo for one night: Thursday, April 20. You don’t want to miss it!

Dave Eggers burst onto the national literary landscape with his stylistic memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which is a memoir of raising his 7-year-old brother after both of their parents died of cancer. Since then, he has received or been nominated for nearly every major literary award there is. He is also the author of numerous screenplays such as Where the Wild Things Are. Over the last year or so, his novels A Hologram for the King and the The Circle (co-starring Emma Watson & Tom Hanks) have been adapted into films. Why are we telling you all of this? Because next Thursday, April 20th, he will be appearing at Just Buffalo Literary Center’s BABEL season finale.

BABEL has been going strong for 10 years, bringing the world’s brightest literary stars to Buffalo, NY. Past authors include everyone from Salman Rushdie to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Patti Smith.

If you’ve never been, the format for BABEL is quite simple. You park on Porter and walk along the early spring blooms to Kleinhans. You walk in, perhaps enjoy a drink in the lobby with your friends, and then head inside the auditorium. After some brief introductory remarks, what happens next can be nothing short of magical. Imagine the smartest person you know talking for 45 minutes about something they love and suddenly you find yourself inspired. Afterwards, you can write down a question that will be hand-delivered to the stage for the author or get your book signed. Finally, you shuffle back out into the night, inspired and intellectually charged.

Tickets are available at justbuffalo.org or 716.832.5400