A single mother in Massachusetts reads through her son’s notebook and shoots herself. Still grieving, the son ends up working in a Boston homeless shelter, where one day his alcoholic father seeks refuge. The father is a bad drunk, as many are, and after a while the clinic votes to bar his reentry. The father spends his first night on the streets, sleeping on exhaust vents behind a library. During the vote that sent him outside, the son either does or does not raise his hand. Then the son writes an entire book about his mom’s suicide and the booze and the homeless shelter and that vote. The writer later stands onstage with the likes of James Frey, and this man, Nick Flynn, makes Frey’s semi-real book about semi-real addiction pretty much disintegrate into oblivion by comparison. Flynn leaves Boston and marries and has a daughter, and his father eventually makes it into a subsidized apartment and then to a hospice and then gets to meet Robert De Niro, who will be playing him in a movie about his son’s book. It’s all Nick Flynn’s doing and the result is Flynn’s third memoir, The Reenactments, a poetic and probing diary of writing, memory, and filmmaking.
Showing 26 posts tagged nick flynn
“Many people asked, while the film was being shot, and now, after, what it was like, to see De Niro as my father. It must have been strange, they say, or it must have been thrilling, or it must have been a trip, or it must have been wild. I have no simple answer to that question, I never did, and so I wrote a book.”
—Nick Flynn on why he wrote The Reenactments. He took the photo above, of Julianne Moore playing his mother.
I’m in awe of Nick Flynn’s newest memoir, The Reenactments. It recounts the experience of watching his memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, being turned into the movie ‘Being Flynn.’ It’s really about much more, including the subjectivity of memory and how we rewrite our own lives without meaning to. His style of writing is mostly short little vignettes and snapshots of moments. I don’t know how he pulls it off, because from anyone else it would seem unfocused. It also has tidbits on his experience working with DeNiro; I’m a huge fan of younger DeNiro and unhealthily addicted to Taxi Driver. DeNiro’s strong work ethic and immersive technique shines through these pages and it’s fascinating to observe, especially the scene where he calls Flynn from the dentist’s office, about to have his teeth pulled out so he looks more like Flynn’s homeless father - “How are your father’s teeth?” He asks over the phone.
Come join us in San Francisco on Friday, January 25, at St. Cyprian’s Center to help Nick Flynn launch his new book, The Reenactments!
There’ll be a reading, a conversation with Rebecca Solnit, and musical performances by Penelope Houston and Cass McCombs—plus lots of cool people to hang out with.
Tickets are only $10, and proceeds go to Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH), an organization working to end homelessness in San Francisco.
Get more event details and buy tickets here!
Nick Flynn’s events are always filled with fun surprises. Here’s his whole tour schedule, including an appearance tonight at BookCourt in Brooklyn.
NICK FLYNN, LIVE IN NEW YORK
New Yorkers, if you missed Nick Flynn at BAM, fear not: You’ve still got two more chances to see the man in person this week.
Wednesday, 1/16 at 7pm: He’s at Brooklyn’s Bookcourt with Sarah Lipstate
Thursday, 1/17 at 7pm: At Strand with Chris Bollen of Interview
To celebrate the publication of his latest memoir The Reenactments, Nick Flynn joins audiences for a discussion of his work, a book signing, and a special screening of Being Flynn, a film based on his bestselling memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, Rose Cinemas
When: Tuesday, January 8th, 7pm
How Much: $13 (General Admission), $9 (Students/Seniors), $8 (BAM Cinema Club Members)
FIRST LINES FROM NEW BOOKS OUT TODAY: JANUARY 7, 2013
“As he nurses his pint in the quiet corner of the Smoking Dog pub on Malmesbury High Street, turning distractedly through the pages of his unfinished manuscript, Donald Gladstone feels the first stirrings of a familiar dissatisfaction.”
Finding Camlann: A Novel by Sean Pidgeon
“I’ve noticed a curious phenomenon. Students will complain that statistics is confusing and irrelevant. Then the same students will leave the classroom and happily talk over lunch about batting averages (during the summer) or the windchill factor (during the winter) or grade point averages (always).”
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan
“Ousep Chacko, according to Mariamma Chacko, is the kind of man who has to be killed at the end of a story.”
The Illicit Happiness of Other People: A Novel by Manu Joseph
“All hushed, seven of us huddle in a kitchen, stare into a monitor. It’s about to start.”
The Reenactments: A Memoir by Nick Flynn
“I returned: to the bleached light
and the birdlife,
miniature, coked, afraid to stop.
To the drowsy jacarandas
getting naked in the street,
and the filaments of carnelian
in the sidewalk cracks.”
The Oracle of Hollywood Boulevard: Poems by Dana Goodyear
“‘O elephant-headed god, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati; scribe who wrote down the Mahabharata from the seer Vyasa’s dictation: Lord Ganesh, look favourably on this endeavor.’
Professor Ved Vyasa Chaturvedi paused, looked out across his audience, and smiled. ‘The god invoked at the start of all compositions. What better way to begin?’”
Leela’s Book: A Novel by Alice Albinia
“Maybe only poets should be allowed to write memoirs, because they know that our perception is partial, our recollection is worse, and the world is made of shards and fragments that make patterns, but leave gaps and sharp edges. Nick Flynn’s excellent new memoir embraces the unknown and unknowable as the very core of our experience.” — Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Nick Flynn’s memoir, The Reenactments, will be in stores on January 7, 2013. It chronicles the surreal experience of being on set during the making of the film Being Flynn, from his best-selling memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and watching the central events of his life reenacted: his father’s long run of homelessness and his mother’s suicide. Enter to win an advance copy of The Reenactments on Goodreads today.