Book Markers: 04.24.14

Local book news

From Hannibal to Steinbeck
    It’s a digital jungle out there, writers, and Ed Hannibal, who recently saw two of his novels, “Chocolate Days, Popsicle Weeks” and “A Trace of Red,” reissued as e-paperbacks through the Authors Guild BackinPrint program, will offer guidance for those seeking to find their way tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor. Mr. Hannibal, who lives in Springs, is also heading up a workshop, the ABCs of Creative Writing, on Wednesdays at the Amagansett Library.

    John Steinbeck, once a man about Sag, and moreover the author of a timeless portrait of the place and of small-town life, “The Winter of Our Discontent,” is due for reconsideration, wouldn’t you say, what with the 75th anniversary of the publication of “The Grapes of Wrath” upon us. It’ll come courtesy of Susan Shillinglaw on Saturday at Canio’s at 5 p.m. A professor of English at San Jose State, she ran the Center for Steinbeck Studies there for 18 years and is the author of “A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California” and “Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage.”

Only Obser
    And so the teacher steps from behind the desk to put her own work out there for scrutiny. Eileen Obser of East Hampton, for a couple of decades a leader of writing workshops at Suffolk Community College and lately at the Hampton Library, is now out with a memoir of her own, “Only You,” from Oak Tree Press. It’ll be feted with bubbly, aired with a reading, and serenaded with old-time rock ’n’ roll on Sunday at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor at 2 p.m. (The two women met 38 years ago when Ms. Obser did public relations work for the then-fledgling gallery.)

    The tunes, to be performed by Jim Turner, relate to the subject of the book, which, according to a release, is “set in the late 1950s and early 1960s” and relates Ms. Obser’s “personal experience growing up in Queens,” including “her doomed-to-fail marriage at 18 to a 19-year-old boy from their candy store crowd.”

Gabrielle Selz’s “Unstill Life”
    Quite a legacy: Gabrielle Selz’s father, Peter Selz, was chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art from 1958 to 1965, during the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which meant the likes of de Kooning and Rothko unwinding in the family living room.

    Her father went on to a number of other marriages and a career at the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Selz went on to write about her family life in a book to be released by W.W. Norton on May 5, “Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction.” Now of Southampton, she’ll read from it at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill on Friday, May 2, at 6 p.m. The evening involves a screening of a short film by Ms. Selz and a question-and-answer session with her father. The cost is $10, free for museum members.