First Annual Celebration of Open Letter Books & Rochester

This has been in the works for a number of months now, but we’re finally ready to unveil some of the details about the first annual celebration of Open Letter and Rochester, including how you can buy tickets and support all of our programs. (Spoiler alert: Buy the tickets here.)

The celebration is set to take place at the Historic German House (315 Gregory St, Rochester, NY) on Friday, October 23rd at 8pm, and is primarily based around our forthcoming release, Rochester Knockings by Hubert Haddad. Which only makes sense, since Haddad’s novel is all about the Fox Sisters, three of the most famous (or infamous?) Rochesterians of the nineteenth century.

Growing up in a supposedly haunted house just outside of Rochester (the basis of this movie), the two youngest sisters started “communicating” with the dead through a series of “knockings” or “rappings.” They became instantly popular and put on a number of performances—at the now demolished Corinthian Hall and Carnegie Hall in NY—leading to the creation of dozens, if not hundreds, of mediums who toured America in the years following the Civil War, helping explore the “new science” of speaking to the deceased.

Local poet and professor Jennifer Grotz translated this book for us, and will read from the book and talk about it at the celebration.

In addition to a talk from Jen, the celebration will feature the Fox Sisters, a local rock band that will definitely enliven this whole event. There will also be food, drinks, and a silent auction—all of which will go to benefit Open Letter and our myriad programs.

As you can see on the official page, there are three levels of support for this: For $20 you get entry to the party, for $25 you get into the party AND get a copy of the book, and for $100, you get all of that along with entry to a VIP reception with Jennifer Grotz where we will serve up some Fox Sister Cocktails.

I really hope all of you reading this can make it to the event itself, but even if you can’t, I’d love for you to consider buying a ticket anyway as a way of supporting the organization. (Obviously, we’ll send you a copy of the book even if you can’t make it to the celebration.) Donations from readers like you are what allow us to continue all our programs—from publishing and promoting great literature, to maintaining the Translation Database and the Best Translated Book Award, to working closely with young translators trying to break into the business—all of which are designed to connect English readers with the rest of the world.

Thanks in advance for all your support and I hope to dance with you in October!

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