The words “authors after hours” might call to mind certain tendencies in the letting down of the hair — drunkenness, vicious verbal fisticuffs, sexual deviance. Or they can refer to a series of readings at the Amagansett Library.
This year’s version began Saturday with the novelist James Frey, whose name retains a certain bad-boy air, doesn’t it. With his latest, “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” he boldly, questionably takes on the Good Book, thus following in the steps of his (in some ways) troublemaking literary forebear, Norman Mailer — remember “The Gospel According to the Son”?
But about the series: Book fans, it’s a strong one. Next up, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, is Hilary Thayer Hamann and “Anthropology of an American Girl,” her novel of a sensitive, perceptive soul’s coming of age in East Hampton in the shaggy, pot-fumed, banana-seat-bicycle 1970s. It’s a peculiar story — its publication, that is, the stuff of a writer’s dreams. Ms. Hamann self-published the book in 2003, and then it was picked up by the Spiegel & Grau publishing house, re-edited and repackaged, and released last year, making a splash and getting its due.
Here’s a résumé to send your eyebrows skyward: professor of English at the University of Southern California, founder of the graduate program in creative writing and literature there, author of four novels, two books of essays, and eight collections of verse, National Book Award finalist, current poet laureate of California. It belongs to Carol Muske-Dukes, who will be at the library on July 30 to read from her latest book of poems, “Twin Cities.” And, ah, to be bicoastal; she changes up life under the desert skies of L.A. with time at her house in the green fecundity of Springs.
Another Springs writer, Gary Reiswig, will stop by on the first Saturday in August to talk about his recent book, “The Thousand Mile Stare: One Family’s Journey Through the Science and Struggle of Alzheimer’s.” A former owner of the Maidstone Arms, he has also written a novel, “Water Boy,” set in the 1950s in his native Oklahoma.
On Aug. 20 the series concludes with one of the hamlet’s own, Neal Gabler, journalist, television commentator and film critic, and the author of monumental biographies of Walter Winchell, Walt Disney, and, now in the works, Ted Kennedy.