Good news! The American Library in Paris, an expat membership institution, has just launched Browser, a blog covering expat subjects and literary news and events (and not just ones at the Library itself). An inaugural post announces an event worth planning for:
Since the mid-1990s the Library has been fortunate to host the talented and inventive San Francisco performing arts company Word for Word for annual productions of American short stories. The stories are performed exactly as written — that is, the actors speak not just dialogue but the narrative in its entirety. Watching these performances is an exercise in the unexpected on one level; on the next, it puts a writer’s style and tone into an entirely new context. The experienced is heightened, in my experience, by reading the story beforehand so that you can concentrate on its interpretation.
This year, on Thursday 15 April, Word for Word brings us a 1951 Tennessee Williams story, “Two on a Party.” Williams is best known for his plays — “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Night of the Iguana,” “The Glass Menagerie” — and wrote few stories, but these too reflect his staging and pacing skills. “Two on a Party” is about two lonely drifters, hookers we might call them today, who strike up a strange bond that transcends their different sexualities and their separate longings. As Williams writes in the closing section, it’s about “a female lush and a fairy who travel together, who are two on a party… Two queens sleeping together with sometimes a stranger between them…”
Anyone queer or queer-friendly knows the importance of this seminal (pun intended!) short story. It’s sure to be an exciting evening. If you can’t make it, bookmark Browser for alerts to other cool events.