Kenning Editions happily welcomes Pamela Lu for a rare visit to the Midwest, reading from her novel Ambient Parking Lot (2011).
Saturday, April 21st, 7:00 PM at Woodland Pattern Book Center with Carl Bogner, 720 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee. $8.00, $7.00, and $6.00 admission. See www.woodlandpattern.org for details.
Pamela Lu is the author of the books Ambient Parking Lot (Kenning Editions, 2011) and Pamela: A Novel (Atelos, 1999), as well as the chapbook The Private Listener (Corollary Press, 2006). Her writing also appears in the anthologies Bay Poetics and Biting the Error, and has been published in periodicals such as 1913, Antennae, Call, Chain, Chicago Review, Fascicle, Harper’s, Mirage, Poetics Journal, and Tinfish. She grew up in Southern California, and now lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Carl Bogner worked for nearly a decade as a bookseller and, truth be told, prefers reading to everything. He has worked as a film curator for some time, crafting schedules for, among others, Milwaukee’s only LGBT Film/Video Festival, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Film Department Screenings, UW-M’s Union Theatre, Asian Media Access in Minneapolis, and Woodland Pattern Book Center’s Experimental Film/Video series.
Sunday, April 22nd, 4:00 PM at the Logan Square Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. The event is free and the venue is ADA accessible.
Ambient Parking Lot is a 187-page book about one band’s quest to capture the world’s most perfect ambient noise in a parking lot. Wait, don’t go away! It’s great … I swear. It’s dizzying, really, and hilarious.
—Cooper Berkmoyer, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Lu’s book looks at the cerebral struggle of artmaking and of ambient music: as struggle between the problems of the language of the individual and the language of the collective.
—Devin King, Make Magazine
The Ambient Parkers’ yen for recognition seems to be a residual effect of their desire to create something that matters, but what their message or the content of that matter might be is always skirted over or slides into something new. In this way, Lu captures—and mocks as well, perhaps, but lovingly—the existential pretenses of artistic endeavors. In the end, Lu suggests that despite the absurdities and shifting metamorphoses inherent in human effort, the greatest grace and sense of humanity comes from attending, from recognizing that the deathly silence we fear is in fact fully populated and alive once we quiet ourselves. By the novel’s end, ambience takes on new meaning, and doesn’t require our torturously theorized amplifications but graces us when we quietly acknowledge it.
—Sueyeun Juliette Lee, The Constant Critic
What I love about Lu’s work is her sharp wit, subtle delivery and deadpan hilarity, which you have to slow down and listen for in order to fully appreciate. Thus, parked, I listened.
—Jai Arun Ravine, Lantern Reviews
Part fiction, part earnest mockumentary, Ambient Parking Lot follows a band of musicians as they wander the parking structures of urban downtown and greater suburbia in quest of the ultimate ambient noise, one that promises to embody their historical moment and deliver them up to the heights of their self-important artistry. Along the way, they make sporadic forays into lyric while contending with doubts, delusions, miscalculations, mutinies, and minor triumphs. This saga peers into the wreckage of a post 9/11 landscape and embraces the comedy and poignancy of failed utopia.
Ambient Parking Lot is the much anticipated second book by Pamela Lu. Portions of this book were previously published in Chicago Review and Harper’s. She is also the author of Pamela: A Novel and The Private Listener, a chapbook from Corollary Press. Pamela: A Novel is on the decade’s bestsellers list from Small Press Distribution, and has been taught in a number of literature and creative writing classes. Her writing also appears in the anthologies Bay Poetics and Biting the Error, and has been published in periodicals such as 1913, Antennae, Call, Chain, and Fascicle. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
On Pamela Lu’s previous novel—“Pamela: A Novel is one of the finest books to emerge from the ardent, experimental writing scene in the Bay Area . . . Lu builds a social space and founds a society.”—The Stranger / “Reading the word ‘I’ in this novel becomes a mystical experience—an invitation to connect to the ‘I’ in all of us . . . This is a work of ‘precision,’ as Robert Musil would say, ‘in matters of the soul.’ It extends the novel’s capacity to think.”—Rain Taxi Review of Books / “Lu, in her debut, . . . [creates] a precise and humorous elegy to the self, and to its self-subversions . . . This is a book of extraordinary philosophical subtlety and clarity, one that manages to tell a beautiful story in spite of itself.”—Publishers Weekly
Comfort Station is a turn-of-the-century structure turned multidisciplinary arts space in the heart of Chicago’s Logan Square. Originally a resting place for tired travelers, it now plays host to artists from all walks of life, and to anyone with an interesting idea. As the only structure of its kind still standing along the entire boulevard system, Comfort Station represents the preservation of a neighborhood rich in history, while playing host to exhibitions and events that promote its present culture.