Literature Program

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.


Talking Leaves Books presents:

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

Free screening of 35-minute documentary film featuring many of the 50 prominent contributors to the 2008 coast-to-coast literary compilation.

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America is an American road trip in book form: original writing on all 50 states by 50 of some of our finest novelists, journalists, and essayists. Inspired by the example of the legendary WPA "American Guide" series of the 1930s and '40s, now 50 of our foremost writers have produced original pieces of reportage and memoir that capture the 50 states in our time, creating a fresh portrait of America as it lives and breathes today. At turns poignant and funny, and always insightful, these 50 writers tell us something lasting and revealing about each state through personal memory or contemporary reporting that captures the essential qualities that make each state its own.

The book—copies of which will be for sale at the screening by Talking Leaves—features original writing on all fifty states, including Alabama by George Packer, California by William T. Vollmann (a visitor to Hallwalls in 1989), Connecticut by Rick Moody, Massachusetts by John Hodgman (of Daily Show fame and the series of TV ads for Apple in which he plays PC), Mississippi by Barry Hannah, Montana by Sarah Vowell, New Jersey by Anthony Bourdain, New York by Jonathan Franzen, North Dakota by Louise Erdrich, Oklahoma by S.E. Hinton, Oregon by graphic novelist Joe Sacco (Palestine), Vermont by graphic novelist Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic), West Virginia by Jayne Anne Phillips (a visitor to Hallwalls in 1982), and 37 more.

Some publications related to this event:
October, 2008 - 2008