8:00pm (Reception, 6:30-7:30pm)
in conversation with Carolyn Kellog
discussing James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room
and a dramatic reading by Ron Livingston
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
$20 General Admission
$37 Reserved Section Seating, copy of Giovanni’s Room
$60 Reserved Section seats for two, 1 copy of Giovanni’s Room
$95 Reception (6:30-7:30pm) Reserved Section seats, 1 copy of Giovanni’s Room
Colm Tóibín wrote the introduction to upcoming Everyman’s Library edition of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, marking the 70th anniversary of it’s publication.
New York Times, January 24, Alice Walker and Colm Tóibín on Hollywood, adaptations of their work and how life has informed their fiction.
Tóibín is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning author. His novels include The Master, winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Novel Award, The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. The movie adaptation of Brooklyn, about a naïve Irish girl who immigrates to the United States in the 1950s, was released in November to stellar reviews and received three Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture. Tóibín lives in Dublin, Ireland
James Baldwin (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America’s foremost writers. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews. His essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were best sellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement exploring palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. His novels include Giovanni’s Room (1956), about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country (1962), about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in much savage criticism from the black community. Going to Meet the Man (1965) and Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone (1968) provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people. A Harlem, New York, native, he primarily made his home in the south of France. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.
Giovanni’s Room, Baldwin’s groundbreaking novel about love and the fear of love is set among the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris. David is a young American expatriate who has just proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Hella. While she is away on a trip, David meets a bartender named Giovanni to whom he is drawn in spite of himself. Soon the two are spending the night in Giovanni’s curtainless room, which he keeps dark to protect their privacy. But Hella’s return to Paris brings the affair to a crisis, one that rapidly spirals into tragedy. Caught between his repressed desires and conventional morality, David struggles for self-knowledge during one long, dark night—“the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.” With sharp, probing insight, Giovanni’s Room tells an impassioned, deeply moving story that lays bare the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
Carolyn Kellogg is book editor of the Los Angeles Times. She is a recipient of the paper’s editorial award and she is a vice president of the board of the National Book Critics Circle. Kellogg has served as editor of LAist.com, web editor of Marketplace and has been widely published. She has an MFA in creative writing and a bachelor’s degree from USC.
Ron Livingston was most recently seen in Columbia Pictures “The 5th Wave” along with Chloe Grace Moretz, Live Schreiber and Maria Bello, up next is the crime thriller “Shimmer Lake,” directed by Oren Uziel and stars Wyatt Russell, Rainn Wilson and Rob Corddry.
In 2015, he co-starred in 3 films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival — the critically acclaimed “The End of the Tour,” directed by James Ponsoldt, based on Rolling Stone contributing editor David Lipsky’s acclaimed memoir about the time he spent interviewing David Foster Wallace in the mid 1990’s; “James White,” which marked the directorial debut of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” producer Josh Mond and stars Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon; and Joe Swanberg’s “Digging for Fire.”
In November, Livingston starred in NatGeo’s “Saints & Strangers,” which was filmed in South Africa last summer. The two part series, told the story of the crossing on the Mayflower of the first settlers in Plymouth, and the trials and tribulations they endured.
Livingston recently wrapped production on “Shangri-La Suite,” in which he plays Elvis Presley in co-writer/director Eddie O’Keefe’s fictional story about a couple who meet and fall in love in a mental hospital and set out on a cross country road trip with the intent to murder Presley.
Other film credits include Lynn Shelton’s “Touchy Feely” with Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney and Ellen Page; New Line’s supernatural thriller, “The Conjuring” along with Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor; “Parkland” alongside a stellar cast, which included Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden; “Boardwalk Empire” where he went on to garner a SAG Award Nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series category; Walt Disney pictures ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” which starred Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, and “Ten Year” with Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson and Anthony Mackie; For HBO’s multiple award-winning “Game Change” along with Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Sarah Paulson; Paramount Pictures film “Dinner for Schmucks” with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, directed by Jay Roach; “Time Traveler’s Wife” with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and the ABC series “Defying Gravity,” a one-hour drama about a team of astronauts on a six-year billion-mile mission in outer space.
Other appearances include Off Broadway in the Neil Labute play In a Dark, Dark House; with Michael Sheen and Melissa George in the “Music Within,” and “Holly,” a film about child trafficking shot on location in Cambodia and screened at several festivals; as Captain Lewis Nixon in the 2001 HBO film “Band of Brothers,”; as Jack Berger on the ever popular HBO series “Sex and the City” opposite Sarah Jessica Parker.
Previous films include “The Cooler,” “Adaptation,” “Swingers,” “Pretty Persuasion,” “Winter Solstice,” “Little Black Book,” and he may be best known as the star of the cult hit “Office Space.”
Raised in Iowa, Livingston graduated from Marion High School and attended Yale University.